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'Her life was a shining light': Tributes paid to journalist Lyra McKee

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'Her life was a shining light': Tributes paid to journalist Lyra McKee
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Tributes have been pouring in for a celebrated young journalist who was shot dead in Londonderry, Northern Ireland on Thursday night.

Lyra McKee, 29, was covering rioting in the area when she was killed. Police have said dissident republican group, the New IRA was most likely responsible for the killing after a clear escalation in recent violence.

Friends and family, and officials, gathered in the city for a vigil on Friday, in which Mckee's partner, Sara Canning said her life was a "shining light in everyone else's life".

We are all poorer for the loss of Lyra. Our hopes and dreams and all her amazing potential was snuffed out in a single barbaric act. This cannot stand. Lyra's death must not be in vain, because her life was a shining light in everyone else's life, and her legacy will live on in the life that she's left behind."
Sara Canning
Partner of Lyra McKee

She had a book deal with British publisher Faber and Faber, which paid tribute to her on Friday, calling her a writer of "exceptional gifts and compassion".

The Mayor of Londonderry, John Boyle, called McKee an "outstanding individual" when he spoke at a news briefing on Friday.

Seamus Dooley, the head of the National Union of Journalists Ireland, said she was a journalist of courage, style and integrity.

McKee was named Sky News Young Journalist of the Year in 2006.

REUTERS
Lyra McKee was a celebrated young journalistREUTERS

She was writing a book on the disappearance of young people during the three decades of sectarian in Northern Ireland that largely ended with the 1998 Good Friday Agreement. She had also written about her struggles growing up gay in Northern Ireland.

“A Letter To My 14-Year-Old Self”

McKee wrote and spoke openly about the struggles of growing up gay in a hostile environment.

A 2014 letter she wrote to her teenage self received much acclaim and was subsequently turned into a short film.

The letter can be read in full here.