Sadly, I am unable to attend Lyra’s funeral tomorrow in St Anne’s Cathedral, and I know that other colleagues are unable to attend as well. On behalf of them, I extend our deepest sympathy to Lyra’s family, her friends, her colleagues who have spoken so movingly and so courageously about their work as journalists, and especially her partner whom she loved deeply and who loved her deeply—they should have been able to grow old together. Their lives are forever changed, and there will always be a gap at the table that no one else can fill.
I found the apology offered today by the New IRA absolutely nauseating. It cannot undo the grief, the heartache, the pain and the suffering of Lyra’s family, friends, colleagues and partner. It identified as the enemy PSNI officers—police officers—who courageously go about their business day after day and face this threat. They are not the enemy; they are there to protect the entire community—all of the community, as Mr Campbell has said—courageously and impartially. Will the Secretary of State just repeat the words that I have long remembered from a papal visit to Ireland: “Murder is murder is murder and it is always wrong”?