British Prime Minister Theresa May and Irish President Michael D Higgins plan to attend Wednesday's funeral of journalist Lyra McKee, who was shot dead while observing rioting in Northern Ireland last week.

The Police Service Northern Ireland said on Tuesday that a 57-year-old woman was arrested under anti-terrorism laws in connection with the shooting of McKee in Derry/Londonderry late Thursday.

The New IRA, a splinter group of the former Irish Republican Army, admitted responsibility for 29-year-old McKee's death in a letter to local media on Monday.

Ahead of the funeral at Belfast's St Anne's Cathedral, McKee's family paid tribute to ‘a gentle, innocent soul who wouldn't wish ill on anyone.’  ‘She was a smart, strong-minded woman who believed in passionately in inclusivity, justice and truth,’ the family said in a statement via their solicitors.

They asked people to ‘continue her message of positivity and hope,’ adding that many people in Northern Ireland were ‘rightly angry’ after McKee's death.

‘Lyra's answer would have been simple: The only way to overcome hatred and intolerance is with love, understanding and kindness,’ the family said.

In earlier statements, May called McKee's death ‘shocking and truly senseless,’ while Higgins paid tribute to ‘a woman of talent and commitment, who was shot exercising her profession.’ 

British Northern Ireland Secretary Karen Bradley told lawmakers on Tuesday that local politicians ‘need to take charge ... including in the vitally important area of tackling all forms of paramilitary activity.’  Police had earlier detained two teenagers in connection with McKee's death but both were released without charge on Sunday.

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