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Thursday 5 October 2023 Dublin: 14°C
Lyra McKee's partner hits out at 'idiot with a gun' who 'took away an amazing person'
McKee was shot dead during rioting in Derry in the early hours of Good Friday.

Channel 4 News / YouTube

THE PARTNER OF murdered journalist Lyra McKee has hit out against the “idiot with a gun” who cut short her future with the 29-year-old Belfast journalist. 

In an interview with Channel 4 News this evening, Sara Canning also revealed that the pair were due to be engaged in Central Park in New York this month.

Canning has hit out at the dissident group behind McKee’s murder last month and questioned why they were being protected “when all they’ve done is bring carnage into a community. Again.”

McKee was murdered early on Good Friday morning in the Creggan in Derry following a night of fierce riots. She was part of a crowd of onlookers that was shot into by people taking part in the violence. 

McKee had recently relocated to Derry from Belfast to live with Canning. Her killing was condemned and sparked an outpouring of support and sympathy from all across the world.

Her funeral, which was attended by Irish and UK leaders, renewed calls for the restoration of government power-sharing at the Northern Ireland Assembly at Stormont.

“People live in these communities and they’re just a microcosm of the product of poverty and the product of years of intimidation and these people know exactly what they’re doing,” Canning told Channel 4 News, in reference to dissident republicans in Derry. 

I would love nothing more than for Lyra’s murderer to be caught. Because that’s what he is – he’s a murderer.

“It wasn’t an accidental shooting. It wasn’t a mistake.”

Canning also described those responsible for Lyra’s murder as “no better than paedophiles” who are “grooming young men and women”.

‘What are we protecting?’

During tonight’s interview, Canning discussed her interactions with political leaders at McKee’s funeral and the “anger” she felt at their inaction while paying tribute to her partner “who put her heart and soul into everything for everybody”. 

“She would have laughed at you if you’d said she made a difference, but she did. She did a lot.”

“So what are we protecting here? Canning asked about Lyra’s killer. 

“And if it’s your child? I’d be ashamed to have a child that had done that. I’d be ashamed.”

“They took away an amazing person,” said Canning. “It was so indiscriminate. There was no regard for human life … They took away an amazing person. I’ve lost the person I was supposed to spend the rest of my life with. I was supposed to get engaged today in Central Park.”

“We’d planned the rest of our lives together and in one split second some idiot with a gun took that away.”