Northern Ireland: Murder of Lyra Mckee

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 6:55 pm on 23rd April 2019.

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Photo of Jim Shannon Jim Shannon Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Human Rights), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Health) 6:55 pm, 23rd April 2019

I thank the Secretary of State for her comments. Last week—in 2019—the New IRA murdered Lyra McKee in an indiscriminate shooting, depriving Northern Ireland and the whole world of a magnificent talent. She was an innocent bystander. We offer our sincere condolences to her partner, her mother and her family.

An apology from the dissident IRA is, of course, meaningless; it means nothing. I am sorry to say that the fact of the matter is that, unfortunately, they will kill again and they will say sorry again, and it will not mean anything to them. I remind the Secretary of State and the House of the murder of Joanne Mathers some 38 years ago, in 1981. This is the same IRA. There are new recruits—different people—pulling the trigger, but it is the same old men behind, directing operations. Joanne Mathers left behind her husband Lowry and her son Shane. Struck down for being a census worker, Joanne was a legitimate target as far as the IRA were concerned, and they deprived that family of a wife and a mother.

Will the Secretary of State give this House an important assurance? After the murder of Lyra McKee, 140 people gave evidence to the PSNI. Although we are pleased to see that an investigation is ongoing, is it too much to ask—for the husband and son of Joanne Mathers—that another investigation be reopened to ensure that those who perpetrated the murder of Joanne in 1981, the same as they did in 2019, are held accountable for their actions?