Belfast Telegraph

Line of Duty's Dunbar blames Brexit for violence that led to Lyra McKee murder

Adrian Dunbar
Adrian Dunbar

By David O'Dornana

Line of Duty star Adrian Dunbar has blamed Brexit for the violence in Londonderry that precipitated the murder of journalist Lyra McKee.

The 29-year-old was shot in the head during trouble in the city on April 18. Dissident republican terror group the New IRA admitted the killing.

Dunbar (60) believes that political uncertainty in the wake of the EU referendum has played a role in the unrest that led to Lyra's tragic death.

He said: "This is the result of Brexit.

"Brexit has destabilised Northern Ireland terribly and we can't go back to a hard border.

"If we did I'm afraid there will be civil disobedience, which could lead anywhere. It doesn't bear thinking about.

"It certainly doesn't bear thinking about when everybody was campaigning to leave the EU. No one gave a thought to Northern Ireland and what might happen."

Earlier this week Lyra's family paid tribute to the huge "outpouring of love, respect and admiration" that had comforted them "through the darkest of times".

The family added that they "will all rejoice together on the day that justice is achieved for our Lyra".

Dunbar said he is a firm believer that a shared society in Northern Ireland should be rooted in the formative years and is a passionate advocate for integrated education.

He said: "You can't make someone fear another person if they shared a desk for seven years.

"I don't think the people in the rest of the UK really understand this. You might be in kindergarten with your best friend who lives next door, then at the age of five you're made aware that person is different and they head off in one direction and you head off in another.

"And that is basically where the dysfunction within Northern Ireland starts. In the 1960s in America, they had bussing - and in Northern Ireland, they still have bussing.

"They are bussing children from one side of the city to the other."

Dunbar is one of the most talked about stars on TV thanks to his role in Line of Duty as Superintendent Ted Hastings, who heads the AC-12 anti-corruption team in the hit BBC drama but is currently under suspicion himself.

The Enniskillen-born actor lives in the Crouch End area of north London with his Sydney-born wife of 33 years, actress and casting director Anna Nygh.

In recent years he also bought himself a holiday home near Manorhamilton in north Co Leitrim, a short drive from his Co Fermanagh roots.

But he has spoken in the past about how difficult life was for him as a Catholic after his family moved to Portadown and criticised the police.

He has previously said that at one point he was dragged out of a shop because of his school uniform and beaten "while the RUC strolled by".

His family moved to Portadown in the late 1960s because "there was no work in Enniskillen".

They later moved back after the Troubles intensified.

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