Why did journalist in Northern Ireland have to die?

The 29-year-old journalist Lyra McKee was shot dead last Thursday during riots in the Northern Irish city of Londonderry. The paramilitary group the New IRA has admitted responsibility for the killing, saying McKee was "tragically" hit as she was standing near police officers. Some commentators blame Brexit for the violence; others see it as a result of the lack of perspectives.

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Deutschlandfunk (DE) /

McKee's death should be a wake-up call

The self-same politicians who are so appalled by the attack must assume responsibility and find a compromise in the Brexit row, Deutschlandfunk demands:

“Already the violence is increasing again in the region; a bomb exploded in Londonderry at the start of January. In the current negotiations with the opposition Labour Party a customs union is now under discussion. A soft Brexit that would render the backstop unnecessary. That would also be a possibility. Now all sides must give up the red lines, the obstinacy and self-interested power politics for the sake of peace in Northern Ireland. The death of the young journalist should be a wake-up call.”

The Irish Times (IE) /

Youths see no future in Northern Ireland

The Irish Times describes the lack of prospects for young people living in places like Derry:

“The social changes in Northern Ireland over the last 20 years have been huge. Belfast has transformed, but places like Derry are on something of a bungee cord, running forward with some degree of resistance before being yanked back by the regressive, violent, irresponsible, reckless actions of others. It's a place where most young people cannot imagine fulfilling their purpose. In 2017, a Youth Exodus survey found that 87 per cent of young people living in Derry didn't see a future for themselves there. … The majority said their reason for leaving was a lack of job opportunities.”

Belfast Telegraph (GB) /

Social problems no excuse for murder

The problems in Derry and other places in Northern Ireland must never be used to justify acts of terrorism, The Belfast Telegraph stresses:

“Studying the social and economic factors which go into destabilising a society is important, but it's equally necessary not to allow understanding something to become a gateway into defending or excusing it. Derry has serious social problems, but so does everywhere else. Deprivation was also far worse in the past, and that was no excuse for a previous generation of psychopaths to kill in the name of Irish unity or the Union either. ... When is everyone going to stop making excuses for them, as if they can't be held responsible for their own actions?”