Northern Ireland news

Lyra McKee's 'amazing potential snuffed out by a single barbaric act' says partner at Derry vigil

 Sara Canning, the partner of murdered journalist Lyra McKee, spoke at a rally in Derry's Creggan estate today. Picture by Margaret McLaughlin
Claire Simpson and Maeve Connolly

THE partner of journalist Lyra McKee who was fatally shot in Derry has described her killig as a "senseless murder".

She was speaking at a vigil in the Creggan where the 29-year-old journalist was killed during rioting last night. Police have blamed dissident republicans and the New IRA in particular.

Senior politicians from all the main parties also attended the rally which is the first of a number taking place across Ireland today.

Sara Canning told the large crowd that Ms McKee's death had "left me without the love of my life, the woman I was planning to grow old with". She said her partner's "hopes and dreams and all of her amazing potential was snuffed out by a single barbaric act".

"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 in the light that she has left behind."

 Sinn Fein President Mary Lou McDonald (left) and DUP leader Arlene Foster with Sara Canning, the partner of Lyra McKee behind them carrying a rainbow flag. Picture by Brian Lawless, PA Wire

Among the politicians to address the crowd were DUP leader Arlene Foster who got a sustained round of applause, along with Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald.

Arlene Foster said it was her first visit to the Creggan and she was there "to stand in solidarity with all of the people who are here today"

"I want to say your pain is my pain. It doesn't matter whether you're a Catholic or a Protestant, whether you identify as Irish or British, when people come out with guns to shoot people from their own community then we have to say enough is enough so thank you for your welcome today..."

A second vigil is due to take place at the Guildhall in Derry at 5pm.

 

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Flowers at the scene in Derry following the death of 29-year-old journalist Lyra McKee who was shot and killed in what police are treating as a "terrorist incident" . Picture by Brian Lawless, PA Wire 

People will gather for a separate candlelit vigil at Belfast City Hall from 6pm while a further vigil will take place in Dublin this afternoon.

Well-wishers are asked to meet at the bust of Countess Markievicz in Stephen's Green Park at 4pm. 

Meanwhile, a book of condolence for Ms McKee has opened in Belfast City Hall.

A fundraising page has also been set up in Ms McKee's memory. Leaders of the main political parties have issued a joint statement condemning the killing which took place during rioting in the Creggan.

Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald (left) and DUP leader Arlene Foster with DUP MP Gregory Campbell. Picture by Brian Lawless, PA Wire 

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The scene in Derry following the death of 29-year-old journalist Lyra McKee who was shot and killed in what police are treating as a "terrorist incident" . Picture by Brian Lawless, PA Wire 
 

Friends of murdered 29-year-old journalist Lyra McKee at the rally in Derry. Picture by Brian Lawless/PA Wire 

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