Queer journalist Lyra McKee to be remembered on 25th anniversary of Good Friday Agreement

The 29-year-old was tragically shot and killed in April 2019 by a gunman affiliated with a group known as the New IRA.

A close up headshot of Lyra McKee, who will be remembered in Good Friday commemoration. Lyra is smiling with her head tilted to the right. The photograph is taken outdoors in front of blurred railings.
Image: @happybirthdaydaily via Instagram

On Good Friday, April 7, Lyra McKee will be among the 3,600 names read out at the Dublin Unitarian Church’s annual ceremony commemorating the lives lost as a result of the conflict in Northern Ireland. The service will also mark the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement, the 1998 peace treaty that ended much of the violence of the Troubles.

Expected to run from midday to 3pm, members of the congregation and public will read out names of those killed, starting with John Patrick Scullion, a Catholic storeman shot by the UVF in West Belfast during May 1996. McKee will be the list’s concluding addition, after the queer journalist was tragically shot and killed by an alleged member of the New IRA while observing a group of rioters in Derry in 2019.

At present, there have been a total of fifteen arrests made in connection with the crime. Three of these people have been charged with murder, and four others have been charged with rioting and associated offences. However, the gunman remains on the loose, a matter of deep concern for the McKee family. Anyone with information is being urged to come forward, and the reward currently stands at £20,000.



The church’s minister, Rev Bridger Spain, will commence and end the service, with the Abbey Theatre’s Artistic Director, Caitriona McLoughlin, being the first reader. People wishing to attend are welcome to do so between the times mentioned above, and anyone who wishes to join the list of readers are encouraged to contact Rev Spain.

This will be the twentieth year that the Dublin Unitarian Church holds its commemoration ceremony, the only Good Friday religious service of its kind in Ireland.

“These readings illustrate powerfully the terrible, random nature of death in war and civil conflict,” the church stated.

“All human life and death is in these mournful lists: British soldiers, IRA volunteers, loyalist paramilitaries, Ulster policemen and women, part-time UDR men, prison officers, gardaí, civil rights marchers, judges, businessmen, farmers, taxi drivers, social workers, housewives, children of all ages, people killed walking home from the pub, while watching football on the television, while attending church; people killed on buses and trains; and walking and shopping and visiting in London and Birmingham, Dublin and Monaghan, Belfast and Derry and Banbridge and Omagh and a score of other Northern Irish towns and villages.”

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