Lyra McKee riot accused Paul McIntyre refused bail due to ‘ideology’

A court has heard that Junior McDaid House in Londonderry is a ‘hub of Saoradh,’ which is linked to the New IRA.

Monday, 20th May 2019, 7:28 pm
Paul McIntyre leaving Londonderry Magistrates' Court after he was charged with riot, petrol bomb offences and arson of a hijacked vehicle, on the night Lyra McKee was killed in the Creggan area of the city
Paul McIntyre leaving Londonderry Magistrates' Court after he was charged with riot, petrol bomb offences and arson of a hijacked vehicle, on the night Lyra McKee was killed in the Creggan area of the city

An investigating PSNI officer made the comment as one of two men accused of rioting on the night Lyra McKee was shot dead, applied for bail.

Londonderry Magistrates’ Court heard that the proposed bail address for the defendant was in Newry, at the home of the national secretary of Saoradh, Stephen Murney.

Paul McIntyre, of Ballymagowan Park, Creggan, is charged with rioting, possessing and throwing petrol bombs and arson on April 18.

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The police officer opposed bail and said there are concerns 51-year-old McIntyre would commit further offences.

He outlined the defendant’s record and said that police suspected he would not abide by any court conditions.

The officer added that McIntyre has shown “a disregard for the PSNI”.

He further told the court that while there was a proposed bail address in Newry, McIntyre has “strong links to the Creggan area”.

The court was told that Murney, the man who it was proposed McIntyre resides with, had been seen outside Junior McDaid House and also recently seen in Creggan.

The police officer said that Junior McDaid House is “a hub of Saoradh” which is closely linked to the New IRA.

He also said that after police announced proposals for anonymity for witnesses, graffiti appeared in the Creggan area stating “informers will be executed”.

A previous court hearing was told the evidence in the case involves footage from MTV, who had been in the Saoradh offices earlier that day and in Creggan as the violence unfolded, and video footage from other media outlets and members of the public.

Defence solicitor, Derwin Harvey, said that McIntyre was affiliated to Saoradh and that was not a criminal offence.

He said Saoradh was a political party and not illegal.

Mr Harvey added that there is no suggestion Murney had offended while in Londonderry and said it would be “unfair” for the court to infer anything about Saoradh.

The solicitor said that the evidence in the case was ‘weak’ and rested on witness statements and MTV footage.

He added the that the witness statement referred to the hijacker as being 5ft 10ins while McIntyre was 5ft 2ins.

Mr Harvey said there was “no capability to interfere with the MTV footage and no desire to interfere with the witnesses” as they exonerated his client.

Mr Harvey said that a “substantial bail package” could be put in place to prevent further offences.

The solicitor also made reference to allegations his client was wearing a bracelet as MTV filmed earlier in the day and then during the rioting.

Mr Harvey said all that could be seen from the footage was “a sparkle” on his wrist.

District Judge Barney McElholm queried this and it was confirmed the bracelet could not be clearly seen.

Mr Harvey also said that there had been no attempt to hide the bracelet and in fact McIntyre had been wearing it when he was arrested.

Judge McElholm then asked why McIntyre had not given an explanation when asked about the bracelet.

The solicitor told the court that adverse inference could be taken at trial over the defendant’s refusal to answer questions, but not at this stage in the case.

Judge McElholm said the defendant has “a devotion to an ideology” and said he did not trust anyone who “slavishly is devoted to an ideology”.

Referring to the proposed bail address, the judge said there were good and bad points about it.

He said it was good that it is “as far away from here as is possible” but the bad point was that it is near the border.

As regards the resident of the property, Judge McElholm said: “I simply have no trust in people who will follow an ideology before they follow the law.”

The bail application was adjourned until May 30 to arrange an alternative address.