The strange thing about Journalism is that they get to report on their own. Not just the Leveson Inquiry.
And they seem quite well disposed to fellow journalists.
Whether its a Brother from the old Press Lodge in Arthur Square or someone from the wider freemasonry of journalism, Journalists seem to like Journalists. The curious exception on Slugger O’Toole at least is James Kelly who died aged 100 a few years ago. He had been 80 years in Journalism but seemingly that’s not good enough for a tribute on Slugger. As my father was a friend of Jimmy Kelly, its not an issue that I will let go easily.
Its how Journos are…Terry Lloyd (ITN) killed during the Gulf War, Jill Dando (BBC) murdered on the streets of London and Martin O’Hagan murdered on the streets of Lurgan.
And now Lyra McKee, shamefully murdered on the streets of Derry.
I first met Ms McKee about seven years ago. And over a four year period, I probably saw her seven or eight times. I have not seen her in maybe three years as my blogging activity has been winding down.
The Norn Iron Bloggerati is a small and not overly friendly bunch. Or maybe that’s just me. I have never been the kinda blogger who “likes” other blogs in the curious quid pro pro that is part of the local blogging scene. But we come across each other at party conferences, manifesto launches, seminars, lectures, Platform for Change crap, hustings, victims groups
Yet one of the reasons that Lyra McKee stood out was her youth (she was maybe 22 when I first met her) , her gender and her talent. It was evident that she would make the leap from the Internet to something more mainstream, especially as her writing became more adult. She was also different because she was nice.
Lyra McKee deserves so much better than being a statistic who was shamefully murdered in the Creggan last week.
Over on Slugger O’Toole, Alan Meban honourably reminded contributors to observe common decency when commenting. It was hardly the time for analysis.
But curiously within hours, Mick Fealty was telling us that Ms McKee embodied “the patient promise of the Good Friday Agreement” and in another post Brian Walker was talking about the “political response”. And Mick went full poetic with “Dulce et Decorum Est”.
This is Total Bollox and Total Latin Bollox.
As I draft this, Mick is at it again with Dante’s Inferno.
I even saw our Patrick Corrigan (who else???) …the local rent-a-quote from Amnesty on Skype on BBC News.
There is nothing intrinsically wrong with what anybody was saying. The point is that a narrative was being set up and accepted in the public space.
There is nothing nuanced about Murder. The murder of Lyra McKee was shameful. There is a time for analysis and it is a pity that the line between uncomplicated condemnation and (uncontested) analysis was blurred.
Lyra McKee …Rest in Peace.
The funeral was today. It’s quite a journey from St Gemma’s Catholic School in North Belfast to St Anne’s Church of Ireland Cathedral in the City Centre. The nearest thing we have to an “established” Church. It is after all where Edward Carson is buried. As religion declines, St Anne’s has re-invented itself as a Cathedral of LetsGetAlongerism. Lyra McKees funeral is no less a State Funeral than Edward Carson in 1935.
Fr Martin Magill spoke. He is the Catholic priest who is effectively chaplain to the LetsGetAlongerists. I cant imagine anyone else wanting that gig.
An tUachtarán Michael D Higgins was there. And an Taoiseach Varadker and an Tanáiste Coveney. Oh and not forgetting Theresa May. And Karen Bradley.
And the great and the good and the mere celebs of LetsGetAlongerism. And the journos. And the cross-party politicians.
This was a political funeral…no less than the funeral of Bobby Sands in 1981. This was about setting an agenda. Did Bobby Sands funeral change Norn Iron? Will Lyra McKee’s funeral change Norn Iron?
This was a propaganda funeral …no less than the funeral of “Princess” Diana in 1997. This was about setting an image.
Did Lady Di’s funeral change the English “Royal Family”?
The real message is that a young woman was brutally murdered last week. The Politics and Propaganda of (new and traditional) LetsGetAlongerism detracts from it.