Speaking to O’Rourke, she shared, “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. I’ve seen a lot of things happen in Derry. It’s been a hotbed of activity. It’s really sad to see that we are sliding backwards a bit.”
McKee was murdered in April of this year when she was shot while reporting at the scene of riots that broke out in Derry.
Sara Canning continued, “There’s a lot of people who are very good at manipulating the current political situation to meet their ends. They are using young people as a means to do it, they’re indoctrinating people in a way no different to Isis. They’re using a situation that is unclear and unsure and an economic situation that’s incredibly volatile and it’s detrimental to people.”
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Just finished this mural of Lyra McKee. Sitting in the Sunflower bar now with a mutual friend of ours hearing stories about how she came along to his poetry night in this same bar, wrote a poem there and then on the night, performed it, and stole the night. . Talking to Lyra's family outside about how much she would have loved the mural, but also thought it was hilarious, and made us retake selfies infront of it. I didn't know Lyra, but I really wish I had. . Like many other people, Lyra's death has shocked and upset me. She was of a similar age to myself, and had, from what I can gather, a lot of the same beliefs and opinions as myself. Although her death has really upset me, I did not know Lyra, and I cannot even imagine how her loved ones are feeling. I just hope I have done her justice. . Nothing can bring Lyra back. Lyra did a lot of great work in her lifetime, and had a lot of great work still to do. She would have done great things. We won't get to witness the great work she would have done, but can make sure this never happens again. . In Lyra's words: Here's to better times ahead and saying goodbye to bombs and bullets. . Thanks to Lyra's family and partner Sara for being so supportive of this mural going ahead. Thanks to Adam from @seedheadarts for organising Hit The North festival every year. Thanks to @michellekuras for assisting me, to @jasonashford and to Jackie in KCC. . #lyramckee #belfast
“People are living in poverty and are struggling to see a future and struggling to see a way out. Then they’re offered this prestige and a name for themselves and that is something that really appeals to young people when they don’t have anything else. We are being failed in Northern Ireland. Politicians are not as focused as they should be.”
While expressing concerns about the rise of violence, Canning also stressed the kindness and support she had received from the public. “Derry people are very goodhearted. There is a lot of heart and outreach, a lot of deep feeling.”
“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.”
Protesters and friends of murdered journalist Lyra McKee placed red hand prints on the walls of a dissident republican group in Derry.
— Sky News (@SkyNews) April 23, 2019
Appearing on the United Ireland podcast a few months ago, Canning explained, “All the politicians have been making the right noises towards me. I have conversations with everyone from Mary Lou McDonald right the way through to Arlene Foster and people in between and some people are better than others in terms of their engagement and their grasp on reality and the reality that their constituents live in.
“The rest of the UK is 5 years ahead of us in terms of equal marriage and 50 years ahead of us in terms of bodily autonomy. ‘Holy Catholic Ireland’, who no-one would ever have believed, has now legalised same-sex marriage and has abortion provision and we’re still languishing here in the North, we have nothing.”
© 2019 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.
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