The terrorist killer of Lyra McKee will likely be caught quickly – Washington Examiner
The tragic murder of 29 year-old Lyra McKee in Northern Ireland on Thursday evening shows the ongoing threat posed by dissident Irish Republican terrorists. Fortunately, the identity of McKee’s killer will likely be handed in to the Police.
Of course, that doesn’t diminish the misery of this moment.
McKee, a journalist, was shot and killed as she covered riots in Londonderry sparked by Police search operations in the city. Those operations were targeted at uncovering illicit weapon and explosive stocks held by the New IRA terrorist group. The police believe the New IRA (also known as the Real IRA) was responsible for McKee’s murder. The police had been the target, but the gunman fired indiscriminately in their direction, hitting McKee.
Such callousness figures. A mix of fanatics who are unable to accept the peace process, thuggish criminals, and idiotic young men who find cause in chaos, the Real IRA lacks any of the original IRA’s balancing of brutality to political guile. Instead, the group wants to rip Northern Ireland out of the United Kingdom by force of arms.
But in 2019, the Real IRA’s violence is the exception to Northern Irish sentiment. And it is for that reason that the gunman will likely be turned in by his own Republican community. This is not to say that the Real IRA will surrender the gunman. But considering the close-knit Catholic communities where Real IRA operatives live and hide, it is highly likely that the rumor mill will lead to his name being delivered to the police. With more support than their often misunderstood predecessor, the Royal Ulster Constabulary, today’s Northern Ireland police force, the PSNI, retains more community cooperation. The PSNI’s struggle against the Real IRA also benefits from a well-resourced intelligence operation from Britain’s domestic intelligence service, MI5.
Still, this isn’t just about security operations. The police are greatly assisted by a political consensus that now firmly rejects terrorism. Evidencing as much, all the major Northern Irish political parties on Friday agreed a common condemnation of the terrorist attack.
“Lyra’s murder,” their statement said, “was also an attack on all the people of this community, an attack on the peace and democratic processes. It was a pointless and futile act to destroy the progress made over the last 20 years, which has the overwhelming support of people everywhere.”
Yes, the Real IRA remains an obvious threat, but its members will be held to account. Expect McKee’s killer to be caught quickly.