Belfast Telegraph

Lyra McKee's partner Sara Canning rejects New IRA apology

Murdered journalist Lyra McKee with her partner Sara Canning
Murdered journalist Lyra McKee with her partner Sara Canning

The late Lyra McKee's partner has rejected a renewed apology from the New IRA for murdering the journalist last year.

Sara Canning said an apology was meaningless while the group continues to shield the person responsible for killing the 29-year-old.

While a number of people have been arrested in connection with the murder in Londonderry last April, no charges have been brought.

The New IRA first apologised in the wake of the murder in Creggan area during which the journalist was killed while observing rioting.

Ms Canning said every word uttered by the group "rings hollow" following its latest apology.

"Lyra is dead because of your actions, and it’s a wonder more lives weren’t lost that night," she said.

"Give up the murderer, and give up in general. You’ve admitted your actions won’t yield a result you want.

"Stop using Lyra’s name to try to evoke some sort of positive response, you bring nothing positive, you’re a stain on our society, and the lives you have taken are unjustifiable."

The apology, sent from terror group to The Irish News, said: "The IRA again take this opportunity to offer our full and sincere apologies to the partner and family and friends of Lyra McKee for her death.

"Our volunteers have been instructed to take the utmost care in future when engaging the enemy and we have put in place measures to ensure this."

The group also said it would “meet force with force” in a reference to the security forces.

"Against a background of the British government and its proxies stamping their authority on Ireland by force, we in the IRA intend meeting force with force," it said.

In recent days Ms McKee was posthumously awarded a Master of Arts degree in online journalism from Birmingham City University, where she had studied.

Ms Canning, writing on Twitter, said was "unfair" for the group to again speak out and apologise after so soon after the awarding of the degree.

"She had plans to go back and finish that masters after Lost Boys, there were plans and dreams and a life that she had planned for herself, and it was snatched away by these morons," she said.

"The same for the others whose lives have been taken and for what? Absolutely nothing, their aim will never be realised, what they claim to ‘fight’ for is not the will of the vast majority here.

"The future of this place is uncertain, but it will never be what they envisage."

On Wednesday, the representative body for police officers in Northern Ireland branded the apology as “hollow”.

"Hollow words from terrorists," the Police Federation tweeted.

"The only way to ensure this never happens again, is to disengage from trying to murder ANYONE and accept that the overwhelming majority of people want to live in peace."

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