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Rainbow campaign to reflect Lyra's positive message of hope

15 April 2021

Council buildings including City of Derry Airport, the Strand Road Offices and the Guildhall have been lit up in rainbow colours this week to celebrate the life of journalist Lyra McKee, marking the two year anniversary of her tragic murder.

At the request of Mayor of Derry and Strabane, Councillor Brian Tierney, l ocal Councils in Belfast, Causeway Coasts and Glens, Ards and North Down, and Lisburn and Castlereagh will also join  in showing solidarity with the campaign for justice being led by Lyra's family and friends. Buildings across the Council areas will be illuminated on Sunday April 18th, two years to the day since the 29-year-old was killed when shots were fired as violence flared in the Creggan area of Derry.

Mayor Tierney was approached by Lyra's partner Sara Canning, who has been campaigning for justice since the death of the talented young journalist, who was highlighted in the Forbes 30 under 30 list and a rising literary star by the Irish Times.

An online campaign - justice4lyra.com - was also launched this month by her family on what would have been her 31st birthday.

Speaking ahead of the anniversary, Cllr Tierney encouraged people to remember Lyra McKee this weekend, and the positive message she tried to convey through her work.

"While this is a very sad time for Lyra's partner Sara and her friends and family, I know they will be celebrating the many positive memories of Lyra and all that she achieved in her short life. She was a passionate advocate for peace, inclusion and a better future for this country, and this inspired her in both her journalism and her personal life. The rainbow colours are an appropriate reflection of Lyra's vibrant energy and the diversity she wanted us all to embrace.

"I want to thank the other Councils for standing with us as we show our solidarity with Sara and Lyra's family and send a clear message that people here absolutely oppose violence and support justice for Lyra. I also want to reiterate the appeal for anyone with any information about Lyra's murder to please come forward and ensure that her killer is brought to justice."

Lyra's partner Sara Canning said she hoped the people of Derry and Strabane would join with Lyra's family and friends in remembering Lyra.

"Lyra was someone who embodied the best of this place, she didn't care about colour or creed, she just wanted a better future for all of us. Her friends spanned all counties, all political affiliations, and she bridged divides by bringing unlikely allies together.

"Lyra's murder was hugely negative, it took so much away from us all, but in life she was a force for positivity, and it seems only appropriate to remember her with that same spirit."