The dissident republican group, the New IRA, has admitted responsibility for the killing of Lyra McKee offering “full and sincere apologies” to her family and friends.
In a statement to the Irish News using a recognised codeword, the group acknowledged its activists had killed the 29-year-old investigative journalist and reporter, who was shot dead in the Creggan estate in Derry on Thursday, and apologised to her relatives.
However, it also sought to justify its actions, characterising them as part of a defensive operation against enemy forces.
The statement read: “On Thursday night, following an incursion on the Creggan by heavily armed British crown forces which provoked rioting, the IRA deployed our volunteers to engage. We have instructed our volunteers to take the utmost care in future when engaging the enemy, and put in place measures to help ensure this.
“In the course of attacking the enemy Lyra McKee was tragically killed while standing beside enemy forces. The IRA offer our full and sincere apologies to the partner, family and friends of Lyra McKee for her death.”