A priest who ministered to a journalist murdered by paramilitaries as she lay dying has described her killers as “anti-Christ”.
Lyra McKee was shot on Holy Thursday evening while she covered a riot in the Creggan area of Derry City.
Ms McKee (29) was murdered by a gunman who was shooting at the police. The PSNI said they believed that so-called dissident republicans were behind the attack.
Fr Joe Gormley, the local parish priest told BBC Radio Foyle on Good Friday that after Ms McKee had been taken to hospital, “I went and anointed her…Her family and her partner have great dignity.
“Many of her friends were there last night and they were all shocked as well. They have great dignity but they are feeling the loss this morning. The shock, for them, is awful.”
He said his whole parish was stunned by the killing and accused those outside the area of being behind the attack.
“Our parish is full of so many good people and these people come into our area and use us to carry out such vile acts. How dare they. How dare they,” he said.
“They have done it in this Holy Week. They have done it in a way that is totally, totally anti-Gospel and literally anti-Christ,” he said.
Bishop of Derry Donal McKeown also condemned the killing. “Anyone who fires shots in the middle of a highly built-up area is absolutely off their rocker,” he said.
Primate of All-Ireland Archbishop Eamon Martin – a native of Derry – took to Twitter to react to the attack: “On #GoodFriday morn, 21 yrs after our historic peace accord, we wake up to shocking news of pointless, violent death on the streets of #Derry.
“Please pray for her family, friends and colleagues today who must now carry such a heavy cross of grief and pain. Rest in peace,” he wrote.