'We are being failed in Northern Ireland' - Lyra McKee's partner warns of increasing violence

'We are being failed in Northern Ireland' - Lyra McKee's partner warns of increasing violence
Sara Canning

The partner of murdered journalist Lyra McKee has said there has been a “backslide” into violence in the North.

This has come about, Sara Canning said, because of people who are “prepared to manipulate the situation to suit their own ends".

“They are using young people just like Isis did,” she told RTÉ radio’s Today with Sean O’Rourke show.

For people living in poverty being offered prestige and the opportunity to make a name for themselves the temptation is too much, she added.

Ms Canning was talking having participated in Stories from Silence, a series of interviews with journalist Susan McKay to give voices to the victims of violence.

Ms Canning with Lyra McKee
Ms Canning with Lyra McKee

She said that her message to politicians remains the same as that which she delivered at Lyra’s funeral. She said she had spoken to Taoiseach Leo Varadkar again recently at Belfast Pride.

We are being failed in Northern Ireland. Politicians are not as focused as they should be.

Ms Canning spoke of the support she has received from the people of Derry since Lyra’s murder. “Derry people are very goodhearted. There is a lot of heart and outreach, a lot of deep feeling.

I grew up during the Troubles. I have seen a lot of things happen. It is sad to see things sliding back a little bit. There is a definite backslide.

Meeting and speaking with other people who had also lost loved ones had highlighted how similar their stories were, she said. “They told stories of how their loved ones were taken from them. I made the worst phone calls of my life to people who loved Lyra and who she loved.

“If we knew how heart-rending those stories are we would have a bit more passion.”

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