A mural in Orlando dedicated to murdered Northern Irish journalist Lyra McKee has been vandalized with a Nazi swastika. 

LGBT+ charity Zebra Youth highlighted the issue, posting a picture of an anti-trans message written on the mural beside the swastika. 

"Protect lives, saves kids' lives from trans lies," the graffiti stated. 

A separate mural featuring a trans flag inside a heart was vandalized with the message: "One male, one female. No more, no less." 

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Zebra Youth condemned the incident in a post on Instagram, describing it as a "horrible hate crime" and said they had contacted the police. 

"Today Zebra Youth and The LGBT+ Center’s beautiful murals were vandalized with hateful homophobic and transphobic messages and n*zi symbols. We are working with Orlando Police Department to identify and prosecute this horrible hate crime. We appreciate all of the community support and are doing everything to ensure the safety of our youth and staff. We will not allow hate to win," the group said on Saturday. 

In a follow-up post, the group confirmed that the graffiti has now been removed from the murals. 

McKee, who was fatally shot while covering rioting in Derry in April 2019, had spent time in Orlando on a cultural exchange program following the deadly mass shooting at a gay club in Orlando in June 2016. McKee also dedicated TEDX Talk in Belfast to the 49 victims of the shooting. 

World Affairs Council of Central Florida executive director Sarah Gal helped organize McKee's cultural exchange and said the Irish journalist "radiated warmth and kindness". 

Following McKee's death, Gal proposed a resolution to the city of Orlando to honor her, and the mural was later installed in December 2019. 

"I knew I had to do something to honor her and the amazing life she had," Gal told the Belfast Telegraph in December 2019. 

The mural features a direct quote from McKee's powerful piece "Letters to my 14-year-old-self". 

"Keep hanging on, kid. It's worth it. I love you," the mural states. 

Speaking in December 2019, McKee's sister Nichola described the mural as "absolutely beautiful". 

"It's a really fitting tribute, it really captures Lyra and what she stood for, love, tolerance, joy and happiness," Nichola told the Belfast Telegraph. 

"We are overwhelmed that our wee Lyra is being memorialized in this way in a city like Orlando."