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'Our hopes and dreams have been snuffed out by a single barbaric act'

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Grieving Sara Canning at the vigil in Derry yesterday

Grieving Sara Canning at the vigil in Derry yesterday

PA

Grieving Sara Canning at the vigil in Derry yesterday

The grieving partner of journalist Lyra McKee has paid an emotional tribute to the woman she was "planning to grow old with".

Sara Canning said it was "a senseless murder" at a vigil yesterday afternoon in Derry.

"Our hopes and dreams and all of her amazing potential was snuffed out by this single barbaric act," she said.

Ms Canning said it has left so many friends without their confidante.

"Victims and the LGBTQI community are left without a tireless advocate and activist and it has left me without the love of my life, the woman I was planning to grow old with," she said.

"This cannot stand, Lyra's death must not be in vain because her life was a shining light in everyone else's life and her legacy will live on in the light that she has left behind. We are all poorer for the loss of Lyra."

Ms Canning said the senseless murder had left a family without a beloved daughter, a sister, an aunt and an aunt, and so many friends without their confidante.

Thousands of people gathered for the vigil in the Creggan area in a show of solidarity and support with the 29-year-old journalist.

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Police have blamed the anti-peace process New IRA for the killing after it fired shots aimed at their officers in the Creggan estate.

Detectives believe the violence was orchestrated in response to an earlier search by officers aimed at averting expected trouble.

They said more than one person was involved in the murder.