Artist behind poignant mural of murdered journalist Lyra

By Mary Dennehy

A TALLAGHT artist is behind a poignant mural of journalist Lyra McKee, which was painted in Belfast city centre over the bank holiday weekend.

Emma Blake, from Kingswood, was among a number of artists who last weekend took part in the annual Hit the North street art festival.

Lyra McKee mural 1

Artist Emma Blake painted the mural of Lyra McKee in Belfast city centre

The mural of Lyra McKee, who was fatally shot during rioting in Derry last month, is painted alongside the words of a letter the 29-year-old journalist wrote to her 14-year-old self, “It won’t always be like this. It’s going to get better”.

Writing on her Instagram page, artist Emma Blake said: “Like many other people, Lyra’s death has shocked and upset me.

“She was of a similar age to myself and had, from what I can gather, a lot of the same beliefs and opinions as myself.

“Although her death has really upset me, I did not know Lyra, and I cannot even imagine how her loved ones are feeling.

“I just hope I have done her justice.”

She added: “Nothing can bring Lyra back.

“Lyra did a lot of great work in her lifetime, and had a lot of great work still to do.

“She would have done great things.

“We won’t get to witness the great work she would have done, but can make sure this never happens again.”

The mural has been drawing visitors into Belfast over recent days, as people come to remember and pay tribute to Lyra.

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