Girlfriend of Lyra McKee calls for the ‘animal’ who killed her to hand himself in

The girlfriend of murdered journalist Lyra McKee is calling for the ‘animal’ who killed her to hand himself in – as she describes six months of ‘horror’ following her death. 

Detectives believe New IRA dissident republicans were responsible for shooting the talented 29-year-old writer while she observed disturbances in Londonderry in April.

Now her girlfriend, Sara Canning, has spoken of the flashbacks she’s endured following Miss McKee’s death as she urges those responsible to come forward. 

Miss McKee’s girlfriend, Sara Canning (right, pictured together), has spoken of the flashbacks she’s endured following the killing as she urges those responsible to come forward

In a post on her Facebook page, Miss Canning called for the 'animal' who killed Miss McKee to hand himself in - as she describes six months of 'horror' following her death.

In a post on her Facebook page, Miss Canning called for the ‘animal’ who killed Miss McKee to hand himself in – as she describes six months of ‘horror’ following her death.

Miss McKee, 29, had planned to propose to Miss Canning, ‘the love her life’, during a dream trip to New York two weeks after she was gunned down (pictured, the recent post on Miss Canning's Facebook account)

Miss McKee, 29, had planned to propose to Miss Canning, ‘the love her life’, during a dream trip to New York two weeks after she was gunned down (pictured, the recent post on Miss Canning’s Facebook account)

Sara Canning, 35, said life since her partner was shot dead by a masked dissident gunman was worse than a horror film and questioned why her killer was still ‘walking the streets’.

In an online post, Miss Canning said that the ‘animal’ who shot the 29-year-old in Northern Ireland was being protected by an extreme republican faction.

She said: ‘This time last year Lyra and I went to a Halloween double bill, it was jumpy, and a bit scary and hilarious. As much horror as either of us wanted in our lives. We had the world at our feet. 

‘It’s been six months since Lyra was murdered. Six months that we should have spent at our happiest. We would have been engaged, building our home and enjoying our life together. 

‘Instead it’s been six months of a horror no director could properly convey, of missing her, of flashbacks to the worst experience anyone could go through. 

‘We still don’t have justice, the animal who shot my beautiful girlfriend is still walking the streets, living his utterly pointless life whilst the most amazing person I have ever known is buried in Carnmoney Cemetery. 

‘These people have no remorse, they’re brainwashed morons who are fighting a war that ended before some of them were even born.’

She added: ‘He can never set this right, he could hand himself in, he could name the collaborators and put an end to this sorry mess… but he isn’t that brave.’

Miss McKee, 29, had planned to propose to Miss Canning, ‘the love her life’, during a dream trip to New York two weeks after she was gunned down.  

She had spoken excitedly to friends about her plans and even invited them to a wedding planned for 2021 before the tragic shooting.

The New IRA admitted responsibility for Miss McKee's death but so far no one has been charged with the murder.

The New IRA admitted responsibility for Miss McKee’s death but so far no one has been charged with the murder.

Sara Canning (front centre), partner of murdered journalist Lyra McKee, marching with protesters through Belfast city centre demanding same sex marriage in Northern Ireland in May

Sara Canning (front centre), partner of murdered journalist Lyra McKee, marching with protesters through Belfast city centre demanding same sex marriage in Northern Ireland in May

A mural of shooting victim Lyra McKee whose partner is calling for the person responsible for the killing to come forward

A mural of shooting victim Lyra McKee whose partner is calling for the person responsible for the killing to come forward

The New IRA admitted responsibility for her death but so far no one has been charged with the murder. 

Miss Canning spoke out days after the New IRA group, which claimed responsibility for her death, used an appearance on Channel 4 News to threaten more violence after Brexit

Her death sparked a wave of calls for Northern Ireland’s political parties to do away with their differences and return power sharing in Northern Ireland. 

Miss Canning continued: ‘Lyra’s life was filled with meaning, with truth seeking, wrong righting, with striving to be the best at whatever she did, at being brave and having a go even if it scared her.

‘The thug who took away her life will never know any of that in his own life.  His future will be forever tainted by what he took away from the world. 

‘The most he will ever amount to is that he put out a beautiful shining light, he took away someone who was seeking justice for those whose voices were not being heard, someone who listened, in spite of past wrongs, to people who wanted to set things right.

‘He can never set this right, he could hand himself in, he could name the collaborators and put an end to this sorry mess. But he isn’t that brave. 

‘He needs a mask and the cover of darkness, he needs a bitter middle aged woman to burn his clothes under that same darkness. 

‘He hides behind a group who claim to work for prisoners rights, but only by recruiting more prisoners, by ruining more young lives in pursuit of a war that isn’t being fought anywhere outside their own heads.

‘We still have no justice.’

Miss Canning’s tribute comes as Nichola Corner, the sister of Lyra Mckee, condemned politicians in Northern Ireland. 

Nichola Corner, the sister of Lyra McKee, who was shot in April in the Creggan area of Londonderry during disturbances with the police, says the current Stormont stalemate is an insult to her sister's memory

Nichola Corner, the sister of Lyra McKee, who was shot in April in the Creggan area of Londonderry during disturbances with the police, says the current Stormont stalemate is an insult to her sister’s memory

Speaking at a protest at Stormont estate to mark the landmark of 1,000 days since the devolved institutions collapsed, Ms Corner said her family believed after her sister’s much-publicised death and funeral, that the politicians in Northern Ireland would make a concerted effort to restore devolution. 

‘It seems to us, Lyra’s family, that Lyra’s death wasn’t enough for them, what is it going to take?,’ she said.

‘Are they waiting on another Omagh? Another Shankill? Another murder?

‘If our Lyra’s death wasn’t enough to get them back to work, I don’t know what will.

‘Maybe a reduction in salary wouldn’t go amiss.

‘Our elected politicians continue to let their differences be barriers to progress, peace and change and transformed the word concession into a dirty word and use it to refuse to honour the will of the people and work together and blame each other for their own failure.’

Many held banners and signs, and wore T-shirts adorned with Ms McKee’s image and the slogan #wedeservebetter.

Stormont has been in cold storage for more than two and a half years due to a stand-off between Sinn Fein and the DUP on issues such as Irish language legislation and a ban on same-sex marriage.

Northern Ireland’s elected Members of the Legislative Assembly continue to be paid their salaries, as well as expenses, a fact that protesters say is hypocritical while funding for public services is held up by the lack of an executive.

Many made speeches about how the lack of functioning government affected their lives, from schools to healthcare.

Many booed and jeered at the mention of the main political parties, and the names of leaders Michelle O’Neill and Arlene Foster.

Hopes for a new set of talks were sparked following the funeral of Ms McKee in April, although talks are ongoing, nothing substantial is expected any time soon. 

Miss Canning was with her girlfriend when she was shot during riots on the Creggan estate. 

Prosecutors said this week that witnesses to Miss McKee’s killer may be too afraid to come forward. 

The journalist’s death sparked a wave of condemnation from across the political spectrum.