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For nearly 2 years, I’ve been researching the last weeks of local politician Robert Bradford’s life. Before he died, it’s claimed, he was asking questions. About what, few are willing to say. Let’s find out together.

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* This project was successfully funded.
At 200 backers Lyra McKee can produce journalism that creates impact.

When you subscribe to me, you’ll get:

Exclusive access to the book as it’s being written/reported, 2 years before its publication date. Every month, I’ll publish a short chapter containing my latest findings.

Your name listed in the Acknowledgements section of the book when it’s finally published in 2016.

A free (digital) copy of the final edition, weeks before it’s released to the general public.

Access to source material like interview transcripts and documents, where possible.

Regular Q&A’s with me in Beacon discussion forums.

Access to every story, by every writer on Beacon.

Robert Bradford was assassinated.

Robert Bradford

Before he died, Robert Bradford was said to have been asking questions about “something sensitive”.

For years, there’s been a rumour.

In the weeks before he was murdered in a Belfast community centre in November 1981, Robert Bradford - a local politician - was said to have been asking questions about something “sensitive”.

Finaghy Community Centre

Bradford was shot down in the Finaghy Community Centre. The IRA claimed responsibility.

Is this just a rumour? Or is there truth in it? I want to find out. By interviewing those who knew him best and unearthing documents from government archives, I’m trying to piece together the last weeks of Bradford’s life.

Your money will be used to:

Fund regular research trips to the National Archives in London to find documents which could be relevant to my investigation. It will also enable me to meet sources who fled Northern Ireland during ‘The Troubles’ and are now living abroad, in the United States and elsewhere.

Buy me more time. With your help, I can cut down my freelance assignments and spend more time actually working on this story, finding answers.

Lyra McKee researching Robert Bradford

I’ve been researching this story deeper than anyone else. I’ve spent hours upon hours digging to find the truth.

Back this project and let’s get to the bottom of this mystery →

Nobody has left any comments yet.

We did it!

March 28, 2014 at 6:24 pm

Thank you so much for supporting Lyra and her reporting. She passed her goal of 200 subscribers!

In the coming days, you’ll get information about how to activate your Beacon account. But there are still two days left to get the last few supporters onboard.

If you know anyone who would be interested in Lyra’s investigative reporting, send this link:


Thanks again and we look forward to welcoming you onto Beacon soon.

Closing in on 75%

March 24, 2014 at 8:58 pm

WOW! Thank you so much for all your support and interest in making this project happen.

We’re quickly closing in on 75% of our goal and I am honoured by the support The Last Story of Robert Bradford has received from all of you.

There’s about one more week, so please share this project on Facebook, and via email with friends and family. If each of you helped bring on just one more new backer, we’d reach 100% in no time! Please make sure in include the link to the project: http://www.beaconreader.com/projects/the-last-story-of-robert-bradford

So excited to make this happen.

Nearly halfway there!

March 18, 2014 at 5:09 pm

Thanks for your support for Lyra McKee’s project to find out the final story of Robert Bradford. She’s nearly halfway to her goal.

If you have friends or family who would be interested in this story, please consider emailing them this link to the project page or sharing it on Facebook:


Most support comes from people spreading the word through Facebook and e-mail. If you think this story’s important, telling a few close friends about it goes a very long way.

Thanks again!

$5per month
Monthly subscription + digital copy
Access to the book as it’s being written (with a short chapter published every month) and a digital copy of the final edition when it’s published in 2016.
93 claimed
$10per month
Monthly subscription + digital copy + acknowledgement
Access to the book as it’s being written, a digital copy of the final edition AND special recognition in the Acknowledgements section of the book.
28 claimed
$15per month
Monthly subscription + digital copy + acknowledgement + get the book early!
Pledge $15 a month and you’ll receive all of the above AND the final digital edition of the book a month before its publication in 2016.
6 claimed
$20per month
Monthly subscription + future of news update
For being my top level subscriber, you’ll get the monthly subscription, the digital copy and acknowledgments but I’ll also give you exclusive updates on how my project is faring and what it means for the future of news. Perfect for media industry vets!
4 claimed
$30per half-year
Six-month subscription
A six-month subscription which renews automatically every six months. You can cancel at any time.
8 claimed
Share with a friend
A six month subscription (non-recurring) plus a six-month gift subscription to share with a friend.
3 claimed
$55per year
Yearly subscription
A year-long subscription which renews every 12 months.
7 claimed
Yearly subscription (one-time payment)
A year-long subscription that does not autorenew. Your subscription will expire after one year.
38 claimed
Yearly subscription + the T-shirt
A year-long subscription, a 3-month gift subscription for a friend and a Muckraker T-shirt!
9 claimed
Two year subscription + the T-shirt
A two-year subscription that spans the lifetime of the project, 3 three-month gift subscriptions, and a Muckraker T-shirt!
7 claimed
Project cofounder
Thanks for your incredible support. You’ll get a ten pack of yearly subscriptions to pass around, as well as the Muckracker T-shirt. You’ll also get special recognition in the Acknowledgements section of the book and a pre-publication copy.
Note: All pledges are in USD.


I’m a Northern Irish journalist based in Belfast.

I started working as a reporter in 2005. I’ve been published in and had my work broadcast on various outlets, from London’s Private Eye magazine to Sky News and BBC Northern Ireland.

In 2006, I won the Sky News Young Journalist of the Year award for an investigation into a suicide epidemic in a small community. Ever since then, digging up secrets has been my drug. My stories tend to have a central theme: injustice.

I also run a blog, The Muckraker: http://muckraker.me, where I write about investigative journalism and my methods for uncovering stories as well as the future of the craft.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • What is Beacon?

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Stories about The Last Story of Robert Bradford need to be told

Help Lyra McKee bring them to BEACON. At 200 backers, Lyra McKee can provide sustainable reporting on the topic you won't get anywhere else.

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