Partner of murdered journalist Lyra McKee says she's 'lost the love of her life'

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Sara Canning, the partner of 29-year-old journalist Lyra McKee at a vigil in Derry-Londonderry

Q Newsdesk

A journalist shot dead by dissident republicans had her dreams snuffed out by a barbaric killing, her partner said.

Lyra McKee, 29, was shot in the head during disturbances in Londonderry on Thursday evening.


(Lyra McKee)


Her partner Sara Canning said it was a senseless murder.

"Our hopes and dreams and all of her amazing potential was snuffed out by this single barbaric act."

She said it has left so many friends without their confidante.

"Victims and LGBTQI community are left without a tireless advocate and activist and it has left me without the love of my life, the woman I was planning to grow old with.

She added: "This cannot stand, Lyra's death must not be in vain because her life was a shining light in everyone else's life and her legacy will live on and the life that she has left behind."

Police have blamed the anti-peace process New IRA for the killing after it fired handgun shots aimed at their officers in the Creggan estate.

Detectives believe the violence was orchestrated in response to an earlier search by officers aimed at averting imminent trouble.

They said more than one person was involved in the murder.



Speaking at a press conference about the shooting of journalist Lyra McKee, 29, Stephen Martin said violence was "out of step with the wishes not only of the people of this city, but the people of this island".

He asked the public to "turn something good from last night's appalling events" and ask their relatives not to take part in violence.

Ms McKee was shot in the head and killed on Thursday night during disturbances in Londonderry.

Police said the New IRA was "most likely" to be behind Ms McKee's death.

Deputy chief constable Martin said: "As well as making an appeal today for people to come forward with what they know to assist the investigation, I have another appeal today.

"There are people in this city who will know the people they love are involved in organisations like the New IRA. I would urge those people to have conversations in their home, in their family space, in Lyra's memory.

"And to urge the people they love to step away from such violence and to step away from such organisations, and to recognise how out of step they are with the wishes not only of the people of this city, but the people of this island.

"We all want to live in peace. We all want a better future for our children, and last night's actions are just so out of step with what all of us want.

"So I would urge people, in Lyra's memory, have those conversations. Let's turn something good from last night's appalling events."

He added that people should pursue republican or unionist causes through "discourse", and that "carrying out violence is completely unacceptable".

"There are people in this society who can have those conversations and try to get people to step away from those organisation," he said.

"People are entitled to desire to retain a link with the United Kingdom. People are entitled to pursue a united Ireland. Do it through politics, do it through discourse."

Books of condolence have been opened at the Guildhall in Derry-Londonderry and at Belfast City Hall.



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