The partner of murdered journalist Lyra McKee has spoken of how she has been robbed of the woman she thought she would grow old with.
Sara Canning from Derry bravely took to the stage during a rally in Creggan to address the huge crowd who had turned out to show their revulsion at the killing on Friday afternoon.
Speaking just yards from where her beloved partner was fatally wounded the previous night on Fanad Drive, Sara Canning told those gathered: “The senseless murder of Lyra McKee has left a family without a beloved daughter, a sister, an aunt and a great aunt, and has left so many friends without a confidante.
“Victims in the LGBTQIA community are left without a tireless advocate and activist, and it has left me without the love of my life, the woman I was planning to grow old with.
“We are all poorer for the loss of Lyra. Her hopes and dreams, and all of her amazing potential was snuffed out by a single barbaric act. This cannot stand.”
Sara Canning fought back tears as she concluded: “Lyra’s death must not be in vain because her life was a shining light in everyone’s else’s life and her legacy will live on in the light that she has left behind.”
A minute’s silence was then held at the end of a rally which saw Unionist and Nationalist politicians from north and south of the border sweep aside differences and come together in a show of solidarity with the family and friends of Lyra McKee and the people of Derry.
Among those in attendance was DUP Leader Arlene Foster and MP Gregory Campbell, Sinn Fein President Mary Lou McDonald and Vice President Michelle O’Neill, SDLP Leader Colum Eastwood, Alliance Leader Naomi Long and UUP Councillor Mary Hamilton.
Each of the political representatives addressed the crowds, along with Catholic Bishop Dr Donal McKeown and Church of Ireland Bishop Dr Ken Good and Creggan community and youth sector representatives.