Girlfriend of murdered journalist Lyra McKee pays moving tribute on what would’ve been her 30th birthday

Girlfriend of Lyra McKee on 'bittersweet' same-sex marriage milestone

The girlfriend of Lyra McKee paid a moving tribute to the murdered gay journalist on what would have been her 30th birthday.

McKee was shot dead while reporting on riots in Londonderry, April 18, 2019, in the heavily Catholic Creggan neighbourhood.

She had recently signed a two-book deal with Faber & Faber, including a piece of investigative journalism titled The Lost Boys, about eight boys who went missing in Belfast during The Troubles.

McKee had been planning to propose to her partner Sara Canning on an upcoming trip to New York, but violence in Derry cut their time together short.

Paul McIntyre, 52, from Derry was charged with McKee’s murder, possession of a firearm and membership of a proscribed organisation, the IRA, in February.

Three other men were arrested under the Terrorism Act in connection after the New IRA claimed responsibility for her death.

Canning wrote on Twitter on Monday, March 30: “In another life Lyra and I have not long returned from our trek to Everest base camp and we’re getting geared up for her 30th birthday tomorrow.

“In that life The Lost Boys is finished, we’re engaged, and happy. Occasionally it’s nice to believe in parallel universes.”

Lyra McKee was murdered less than a year ago, and many are still grieving.

Sara Canning’s tweet was met with an outpouring of love and support from those still grieving Lyra McKee’s death.

One person wrote: “I think of you two each and every day. More often now when I’ve less to do.

“I hope you can stay strong. And I hope that 30, 40 years from now they’re still talking about her kindness and her brilliance.”

Another said: “This is both beautiful and heart wrenching. I don’t know you or Lyra but she is still so vivid and relevant and her kindness and wisdom lives on in you, those who loved her and her writing and words.”

McKee had many achievements during her lifetime, including a viral letter she wrote to her 14-year-old self.

Since her death, same-sex marriage has been legalised in Northern Ireland – but McKee never got to see it happen.