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Lyra McKee’s extraordinary reporting captured an era—and also pointed a path beyond it

A new essay collection commemorates the life and work of the late journalist—and shows why, even in the early stages of her career, McKee forged a voice brimming with empathy and integrity

By Anna Cafolla  

File photo dated 06/05/19 of a the mural of Lyra McKee in Belfast city centre. The mother of murdered journalist Lyra has died a month before the anniversary of her shooting.

In a 1965 interview with the BBC, the author Edna O’Brien articulates the “stifling” landscape that Irish writers navigate, and how it creates “the urgency to write or to scream.” Her interview is sandwiched between others with men who laud the censorship of the arts in a not-so-distant past Ireland. Across her 19-book oeuvre, O’Brien captured an amorphous Ireland, and grappled with its suppressive…

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