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Lyra McKee's partner slams conservative political commentator

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Sara Canning

Sara Canning

Sara Canning

The partner of Lyra McKee has hit out at a conservative political commentator after he blamed the wrong dissident republican group for the journalist's murder.

John McGuirk, editor of right-wing news and opinion website Gript, appeared on RTE's Prime Time where he made the false claim about an Irish republican socialist group during a discussion on anti-lockdown protests in Dublin last week.

He later apologised on social media, where he said "I got my Republican groups mixed up badly in a slip of the tongue".

"It was of course Saoradh, not Eirigi, who were connected to the murder of Lyra McKee.

"I want to apologise publicly to Eirigi for the error, and thank RTE for correcting it," he said on Twitter.

Sara Canning criticised those she said had used the journalist's death to score points against public figures, sometimes without establishing the facts beforehand.

She posted: "It's bad enough seeing tons of generally right-wing people using Lyra's name as a stick to beat everyone from Nicola Sturgeon to Nancy Pelosi, and now John McGuirk using Lyra's murder, on national TV, & without having the facts straight?! Enraging."

She said it was "unsurprising" from the commentator, and accused him of being "uninformed and uninterested" in the facts surrounding the murder of her partner.

"Perhaps people should stop invoking tragedy endured by other people in order to point-score, particularly when you can't even keep your republican groups straight," she said.

Eirigi said it would seek full public retractions from RTE and Mr McGuirk after the claim was made.

It added that the organisation had condemned the murder of Ms McKee when it happened in April 2019.

"[RTE has] also potentially put the safety and lives of our members and supporters at risk, most particularly in the Six Counties," it said.

Belfast Telegraph


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