Lyra McKee: Tributes paid to journalist murdered in Londonderry

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Tributes have been paid to a 29-year-old journalist who was shot dead during unrest in Londonderry.

Lyra McKee, who was set to become a published author later this year, was hit when a gunman opened fire on police in the Creggan area of the city on Thursday night.

Lyra McKee

Lyra McKee

Matthew Hughes said he had been left "devastated" by the death of one of his closest friends.

"I just received the heartbreaking news that my friend @LyraMcKee was murdered tonight in a terrorist incident in Derry," he tweeted.

"She was one of my closest friends. She was my mentor. She was a groomswoman at my wedding. I can't imagine life without her, and yet now I must."

Ann Travers, whose sister Mary was murdered by the IRA in 1984, said Ms McKee was a "kind, gentle, witty and stubborn soul".

"I have just heard, that my lovely friend Lyra was murdered tonight in Derry. I just can't believe, that this witty, clever human being has been taken... Feel sick."

Fellow journalist Peter McGuire said Ms McKee was a "gifted writer, a kind person and SO generous with her time and knowledge".

"So young - horrific & heartbreaking news from Derry tonight," he tweeted.

Seamus Dooley, Irish secretary of the National Union of Journalists, wrote: "Shocked by news that woman shot dead in Derry last night has been named locally as @NUJofficialLyra McKee.

"We are shocked by killing of a journalist of courage, style and integrity. Sympathy to her partner, family and many friends."

Lilly Dancyger, a New York-based editor at digital publication Narratively, said Ms McKee was "dedicated to covering the lasting trauma & violence of the Troubles".

"Devastating to hear she was killed tonight by that same violence," she tweeted.

Ms Dancyger shared an article written by Ms McKee about the families of Troubles victims.

"I was Lyra's editor on this story, and it was an honour. Sharing her work now is all I can think to do," she said.

Writer Brooke Magnanti, whose blogs were made into TV hit Secret Diary Of A Call Girl, said she was "stunned" by the news.

She tweeted: "I only knew her from online and a phone conversations after we were introduced by @GlasgaeLauraLee; she struck me as a thoughtful journalist unafraid to challenge her own beliefs. Rare and precious. Deepest condolences to family and friends."