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09th May 2019

Lyra McKee’s partner says those responsible for her murder are ‘no better than paedophiles’

Alan Loughnane

“They’re a scourge. They are a scourge”

Lyra McKee’s partner has said that those responsible for the murder of the woman she was going to marry are “no better than paedophiles”.

In an interview with Channel 4 News, Sara Canning said that the groups drew parallels with paedophile gangs in terms of their violence and methods.

“They are grooming young men and women,” Canning told Channel 4 News. “They’re no better – they speak out about paedophile gangs – but they’re no better than paedophiles.

“They literally take young people who are disenfranchised at the best of times, who are living in poverty, who don’t see a future for themselves in Northern Ireland because there is literally very little here for them. And they tell them that the way forward is a gun in their hand. The way forward is never a gun in your hand.”

She also called groups like Saoradh and the New IRA a scourge and ridiculed their “mealy-mouthed apologies and back-tracking and absolutely pathetic statements” saying “You fire a gun at a crowd, that’s not an accidental shooting”.

In the interview, she also discussed what she said to the politicians who attended Lyra’s funeral including her comments to Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.

“I was speaking to Leo Varadkar and I said you need to facilitate these people sitting down at a table,” Canning said.

“And so I’m putting my trust in you – you’re a world leader, and you have a presence here. You need to use it for good.”

You can listen to the full interview on Channel 4 below.