Northern Ireland news

Lyra McKee murder accused granted bail

Paul McIntyre was granted bail. Picture by Brian Lawless/PA Wire.

A MAN charged with the murder of journalist Lyra McKee in Derry is to be granted bail, a High Court judge ruled yesterday.

Mr Justice O'Hara held that Paul McIntyre (52) can be released from custody amid delays in the case due to Covid-19.

Ms McKee (29) was shot dead as she observed rioting in the city's Creggan area in April 2019.

Members of the New IRA were said to have orchestrated the unrest.

McIntrye, of Kinnego Park in Derry, was initially charged with rioting, petrol bomb offences, and the arson of a tipper truck.

But in February this year he was further charged with the journalist's murder, possessing a firearm with intent to endanger life, and belonging to a proscribed organisation.

According to the prosecution he escorted the gunman to the scene of the shooting and picked up his bullet casings.

However, defence team Mark Mulholland QC and solicitor Derwin Harvey contended that the evidence is too weak to link him to any role in the killing.

In court yesterday it emerged that a hearing to determine if McIntyre is to stand trial has been put back to September, or even later, because of the impact of the pandemic.

Based on the changed circumstances, the judge confirmed that McIntyre is to be released on strict conditions including living under curfew at an address on Derry's Northland Road and reporting daily to the PSNI.

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