THE callous killing of young journalist Lyra McKee in Derry on Holy Thursday night when disturbances broke out during a police raid in the Creggan area of the city has been rightly condemned by the majority of people there who don’t want anything to do with the New IRA, the hardline paramilitary group which has been blamed for the murder and whose sole aim is to wreck the peace process.
Since the Good Friday Agreement of 1998, people in the North have enjoyed 21 years of peace and normality after the three turbulent decades of the Troubles before that. They don’t want a return to the bad old days of violence and have made this very clear.
The dangerous political vacuum created by the continued failure to form a new Northern Ireland Assembly after the elections of March 2nd, 2017 is creating openings for dissident republicans to fill the space. DUP leader Arlene Foster and her Sinn Féin counterpart Mary Lou McDonald rushed to Derry on Good Friday to condemn the actions of the gunman who killed Lyra McKee, but however welcome these sentiments are, their words alone are not enough.
It is time for a renewed and more determined effort to form a new Assembly in the North in order to fill the political vacuum. This is what the people who elected them want and deserve.
Brexit notwithstanding, it is incumbent upon the British and Irish governments to get the two main parties in the North back to the negotiating table as a matter of urgency.