'We’ve lost a journalist with very special qualities' - Lyra McKee honoured with posthumous award

Lyra McKee has been honoured with a special award for outstanding commitment and contribution to journalism.

The Journalists' Charity presented the posthumous award to her mother Joan McKee, and sister, Nichola Corner, at a ceremony in London today.

Lyra was killed while observing rioting in the Creggan area of Derry on April 18.

Ms McKee, a 29-year-old published author from Belfast, was shot in the head during the riots by dissident republicans linked to the New IRA.

Lyra McKee's sister, Nichola Corner, at today's ceremony.

Her sister, collecting the award on Lyra's behalf today, said: “Since Lyra was taken from us in the most horrific way, our family has said that her death should not be in vain and the ideals she held dearly are remembered.

"We have been deeply moved by the support we have received and are very thankful that Lyra’s qualities as a person and as a committed journalist have been recognised with this special award.”

Lyra’s sister and mother were presented with the award by James Brindle, chief executive of the Journalists’ Charity.

He said: “What we learned about Lyra in the hours and days that followed her death showed all too clearly that we’d lost a journalist with very special qualities.

“Lyra’s courage in bearing witness to violence on the streets of Derry is the type of commitment that journalists admire and hope to possess themselves."

“In addition, she championed the under-represented, gave a voice to those who weren’t being heard and held those in power to account. She reached out across the journalistic community to offer her support to people she didn’t even know - changing lives with a hand of friendship.”

Lyra McKee's mother, Joan McKee, and her sister, Nichola Corner, at today's ceremony.

Ramsay Smith, chairman of the Journalists’ Charity, said: “Lyra demonstrated the same qualities of compassion and commitment that led to the founding of the Journalists’ Charity more than 150 years ago and remain our values to this day. We are honoured that Joan and Nichola travelled from Belfast to receive this award.”

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