Northern Ireland

Alleged dissident republican on bail for murder of Lyra McKee has bail varied

Paul McIntyre pictured at a previous court appearance. Picture by Niall Carson/PA Wire
Paul McIntyre pictured at a previous court appearance. Picture by Niall Carson/PA Wire

AN alleged dissident republican on bail for the murder of Lyra McKee has had his bail varied to allow him to live in the Bogside area in Derry.

Paul McIntyre (54) of Rinmore Drive in the city is charged with Ms McKee's murder, riot, possessing a firearm with intent and membership of a proscribed organisation in April 2019, when the 29-year-old author and journalist was killed.

She had been observing a riot in the Creggan area when a gunman was seen to crouch down and fire several shots from a pistol.

Previous courts have heard it is the Crown case that McIntyre was identified by several police officers as being at the scene and was observed walking beside the gunman, crouching down beside him and picking up four cartridge cases from the gun before leaving the scene with the gunman.

Two other Derry men, Peter Gearóid Cavanagh (33) of Elmwood Terrace and Jordan Devine (21) of Synge Court are also charged with her murder.

In relation to the riot offence, prosecuting counsel David Russell told the court that McIntyre is the only person charged with that, describing how police came under attack by a crowd throwing missiles.

He added that McIntyre was alleged spotted passing items to youths who then threw them at riot police.

The lawyer told the court that McIntyre is "subject to exclusion zones" keeping out of certain parts of Derry, particularly the Creggan area where Lyra was gunned down.

He submitted that given the risk of further offences and that the alleged killer is "still politically active", his bail should not be varied.

He further argued there was an increased risk given that in the coming weeks, there is both an Apprentice Boys march and the anniversary of internment.

Initially, defence solicitor Paddy McGurk argued that the exclusion zone should be lifted to allow McIntyre to live at an address in the Kells Walk area of the Bogside, highlighting that the accused had been on bail "living in the spare room" of his daughter’s small home.

Mr Russell told the court this was the first time that address had been mentioned, but having consulted Google maps, there was no need to lift any restriction as that address was not in any of the exclusion zones.

Commenting that "it’s taken all that time to get back to where we started from", Judge Patrick Lynch QC said he would change the address on the bail order, but added in conditions that McIntyre "is not to be involved in or present at any public march or demonstration", has a curfew and is electronically tagged.