Lyra McKee's partner Sara Canning defiant in face of pro-IRA supporting abuse

The partner of Lyra McKee has been verbally abused at the very spot where the journalist was shot dead by the New IRA.

And UTV caught the moment on camera.

A dissident republican supporter shouted  “Up the IRA,” from a passing car at Sara Canning as she filmed with UTV in Derry’s Creggan estate.

She says she won’t be intimidated.

“The way I look at it is they took everything from me that day and they completely ruined the life that I had, so what else do I have to lose?”

The encounter happened on the fourth anniversary of Lyra McKee’s murder. The 29-year-old had been observing a disturbance in the Creggan area when a gunman opened fire on police lines.

The encounter will be broadcast as part of an episode of UTV’s Up Close documentary series.

Deadly Intent examines the threat posed by dissident republicans following the New IRA’s attempt to murder PSNI officer John Caldwell in Omagh last February.

DCI Caldwell had also worked on the investigation into Lyra's murder.

Journalist Lyra McKee was killed on the 18th April 2019

A number of people charged in connection with the 29-year-old's death are out on bail awaiting trial.

Sara revealed to Up Close that she regularly bumps into some of them.

“They do nothing when they are alone, they turn tail. If I bump into them in a group then they are hard men. Then they are tough. But I refuse to be intimidated, this is my city," she says.

Sara Canning described dissident paramilitaries as "fascist" and called on them to give up their violent campaign.

An appeal echoed in the documentary by prominent republican Dominic McGlinchey Junior.

His father, also called Dominic, was an infamous INLA leader and his mother Mary was an active republican.

Both were shot dead during the Troubles.

But in his first television interview, Dominic McGlinchey says the time for armed struggle is now over.

He says: “Some of the stuff that is going on is more in tune with controlling communities. There is no military action that will drive a United Ireland any closer."

Dominic McGlinchey Jnr. speaks to Gareth Wilkinson on UTV's Up Close Credit: UTV

But a spokesperson for Saoradh, the political group accused of having close links to the New IRA, says armed actions by republican paramilitaries are likely to continue.

Saoradh insists it’s an independent political party.

But Paddy Gallagher also refuses to condemn John Caldwell’s shooting and the ongoing armed struggle.

“I can understand why it continues to happen and again if you look at it historically it will in my view continue to happen while Ireland remains under British occupation," he says.

In the program, the officer leading the investigation into the attempted murder of Detective Chief Inspector John Caldwell says children could also have been killed during the attack at a packed sporting complex.

John caldwell was shot on the 22nd February

Detective Chief Superintendent Eamonn Corrigan says he first feared John Caldwell wouldn’t survive.

He says: “It’s remarkable how he has improved over the last couple of weeks. When this investigation started it was being treated as a Category Aplus investigation. It was abundantly clear to us that John could die.”

DCS Corrigan says he believes he knows the identities of the two gunmen who carried out the attack.

Up Close airs on Thursday at 10.45pm and is available on catchup here after.

If you have been affected by issues in this film contact: uk/who-we-are/wave-centres/ belfast/

https://www.victimsupportni. com/

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know.