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New IRA admits to shooting journalist and apologizes but others are still critical

New IRA admits to shooting journalist and apologizes but others are still critical
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(Bloomberg) — The so-called new IRA said it accidentally shot a journalist in Northern Ireland during rioting last week, and apologized for her death.

The 29-year-old freelance writer, Lyra McKee, died after shots were fired in Derry, or Londonderry, after police searches in one district of the city.

“In the course of attacking the enemy, Lyra McKee was tragically killed while standing beside enemy forces, ” the organization said in a statement to Belfast-based newspaper the Irish News. “The IRA offer our full and sincere apologies to the partner, family and friends of Lyra McKee for her death.”

The group, which formed in 2012, also accused police of “provoking” the rioting preceding the gun attack that killed Ms McKee.

“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,” it said, according to the Irish News

.

The statement, which was signed T O’Neill, added: “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.”

The statement followed calls from Saoradh, who are associated with the New IRA, for the organisation to apologise.

In this file photo taken on April 19, 2019 A handout picture released by Jess Lowe. Photography on April 19, 2019 and taken on May 19, 2017 shows journalist and author Lyra McKee posing for a photograph in Belfast. JESS LOWE/ AFP

A Saoradh spokesman issued a statement which they said they received from the Derry 1916 Commemoration Committee.

It said: “The Derry 1916 Commemoration Committee have opted to cancel this Easter Monday’s annual Easter Commemoration as a mark of respect for the tragic and accidental killing of Lyra McKee.

“Our sympathy extends to the family, friends and loved ones of this innocent woman.”

DLP Policing Board member Dolores Kelly criticized the apology doled out. “The people of Derry have spoken with one voice and that is to reject them and their evil deeds and to get off their backs,” she said.

“The blame for Lyra’s murder lies squarely with the person who pulled the trigger and those who sent him out on the street.”

Kelly called on the group to end its armed campaign.

“If they are truly remorseful they would end their campaign and pursue their objectives in a democratic manner and face the people accordingly.”

Two teenagers were initially arrested in connection with Mckee’s death but were later set free with no charges.

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