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 Ian Paisley Jnr Ian Paisley Jnr Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Communities and Local Government), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Culture, Media and Sport) 6:55 pm, 23rd April 2019

May I too express my personal condolences to the family of Lyra McKee—to her nearest and dearest, her loved ones, her partner, her friends and her colleagues? Grief is an awful bitter cup of which to taste, and no doubt the family feel that tragedy at the moment.

Lyra was on one of the first “Lessons from Auschwitz” visitations run out of Northern Ireland by the Holocaust Educational Trust; she took part just a few years ago. I understand from the leader of that group, whom I was in communication with this morning, that Lyra was clearly moved by her visit to Auschwitz, where she learned the vital lesson that people want to live for their beliefs, not to be murdered because of them.

Humanity has taken a terrible blow in the last few days and over this Easter weekend. That humanity is unbowed by terrorism, but it is only unbowed if we take action, and the actions that have been called for across this Chamber tonight will eventually fall to the Secretary of State. We cannot continue just to hope that something will happen. There has got to be more than words. The Secretary of State will have to take brave actions in terms of calling the Assembly together and in terms of putting it up to those parties reluctant to take action to either form a Government or not form a Government. That will fall to the Secretary of State.

The 17, 18 and 19-year-olds have no excuses. They do not have years of discrimination, and they have never known a terrorism war or mass unemployment. They have no excuses, yet there are people around them who will try to make those excuses. Pretty soon there will be no excuses for no action by this Government. We need action and we need an Assembly back; and you, Secretary of State, have to play your role in achieving that.