Belfast Telegraph

Lyra McKee's partner Sara Canning says people are scared to speak up about her murder

29-year-old journalist Lyra McKee
29-year-old journalist Lyra McKee

The partner of murdered journalist Lyra McKee has said she understands why people are scared to speak up about her killing.

Ms McKee (29) was shot dead by a New IRA gunman as she observed rioting in Londonderry's Creggan estate in April.

Nine people have been arrested and released in connection with her murder, however no one has been charged.

Her partner Sara Canning said Lyra McKee's killer must have trouble dealing with guilt over their actions.

"If that was a young person who murdered Lyra, then that is the rest of his life that he is tarred with that brush of being a murderer. It is the rest of his life that he has to carry it," she told the BBC.

"How do you rationalise that? How do you look someone in the eye knowing you have killed someone belonging to them? I can't imagine being able to rationalise it or having the gall to walk around with your head held high knowing what you have done."

She added that she understands that people in Derry may be scared of coming forward and providing information to police.

"A lot of people have criticised why more people haven't come forward, and I have to explain to them, you don't understand the way of life in those communities," she said.

"You don't understand the hold these people have over their communities."

In the weeks following Ms McKee's murder, more than 140 people provided footage, photographs and other information to the PSNI through their Major Incident Public Portal.

Two people have also been charged with rioting in the Creggan estate on the night the 29-year-old journalist was murdered.

At the weekend, it was reported that the prime suspect in her killing is believed to have gone into hiding, possibly in the Republic.

Ms Canning said she is satisfied with the pace of the police investigation, as long as it means the right person is held responsible for Ms McKee's murder.

"We live in Northern Ireland, we have seen how many miscarriages of justice there have been, that's not something I want," she said.

"I want the right person behind bars for the crime they committed."

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