Belfast Telegraph

Lyra McKee partner 're-traumatised' over BBC report on murder

Journalist Lyra McKee was killed by dissident republicans in Londonderry in April as she observed a riot (Chiho Tang/Oranga Creative/PA)
Journalist Lyra McKee was killed by dissident republicans in Londonderry in April as she observed a riot (Chiho Tang/Oranga Creative/PA)
Andrew Madden

By Andrew Madden

The partner of murdered journalist Lyra McKee said she was "re-traumatised" by newly aired footage from the night of the fatal shooting.

Sara Canning took to social media to vent her anger at the inclusion of the images aired during Tuesday night's BBC Newsnight programme.

A BBC spokesperson said the broadcaster was sorry Ms Canning was upset by the programme, however the footage was integral to the story and to the process of "bringing those responsible to justice".

Lyra McKee was shot dead by dissident republican group the New IRA as she observed rioting in Derry's Creggan estate on April 19.

In a segment presented by renowned journalist Peter Taylor on the threat of dissident republicans in Northern Ireland, phone camera footage is shown of the moment Lyra McKee was shot.

A gunshot can be heard, followed by screaming and scenes of observers running passed the camera.

The programme also features an interview with a spokesperson for the republican party Saoradh, which is widely believed to be the New IRA's political wing.

In a post on Twitter, Sara Canning disagreed with how the footage was used.

"Massive thanks to Peter Taylor and Newsnight for re-traumatising me tonight, the footage of the moments around Lyra’s death were shown totally inappropriately and I am utterly disgusted," she said.

"A total lack of respect shown for Lyra, her family, friends and myself.

Murdered journalist Lyra McKee and her partner Sara Canning
Murdered journalist Lyra McKee and her partner Sara Canning
Sara Canning, the partner of murdered journalist Lyra McKee (Brian Lawless/PA)

"I lived those moments, I relive them every single day, I did not need to have a new angle added to the flashbacks. Nobody who loves Lyra needed that to be broadcast to the nation."

Other viewers, however, voiced their support for the programme.

"Powerful journalism and film making from Peter Taylor on the New IRA’s murder of Lyra McKee on @BBCNewsnight last night," one user wrote.

Another said: "This was such a powerful piece from Peter Taylor, six months on from the death of Lyra McKee."

A BBC spokesperson said: “We are sorry Lyra McKee’s partner Sara Canning was upset by our film. We worked with some of Lyra’s closest friends on the film and communicated with them throughout, and through them with Ms Canning.

"We contacted them again to alert them to the broadcast of our film last night. The scenes surrounding the murder of Lyra McKee are extremely shocking, but they are also integral to the story, and to the process of bringing those responsible to justice.

"We take the welfare and wellbeing of those involved in our stories very seriously.”

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