Lyra McKee murder trial shown MTV footage of attacks on police

The trial of three men accused of the murder of Lyra McKee has been shown footage of petrol bomb attacks on police on the night the journalist was killed.

Ms McKee, 29, died after being struck in the head by a bullet as she stood close to police vehicles while observing rioting in the Creggan area of Londonderry on the night of April 18 2019.

The New IRA claimed responsibility for the author’s murder.

On Friday, the trial at Laganside Courthouse in Belfast was shown further documentary footage filmed by MTV prior to the shooting, which, the prosecution claims shows the three men accused of Ms McKee’s murder taking part in earlier attacks on police.

TV presenter Reggie Yates and the MTV crew were in Derry filming a documentary on republicans opposed to the Northern Ireland peace process on the day of the shooting.

Lyra Mckee death court case
Jordan Devine arrives at Laganside Court where he and two other men have been charged with the murder of Belfast journalist Lyra McKee (Liam McBurney/PA)

Peter Cavanagh, 35, of Mary Street, Derry; Jordan Gareth Devine, 23, of Bishop Street, Derry; and Paul McIntyre, 56, of Kells Walk, Derry, are charged with Ms McKee’s murder.

The three also face a number of other charges, including riotous assembly, possession of a firearm and ammunition with intent, as well as possession of, and throwing of, petrol bombs.

McIntyre is additionally charged with membership of a proscribed organisation.

Violence had flared in Derry on the evening Ms McKee was killed after police entered the Creggan area to conduct searches.

Lyra Mckee death court case
Paul McIntyre arrives at Laganside Court (Liam McBurney/PA)

He said the prosecution contend that Cavanagh, McIntyre and Devine were among the group who took part in the “sustained attack” on police.

The court was shown footage of large crowds of young people in the area with Mr Yates commenting in the clip: “I think the only reason there aren’t more petrol bombs coming is because the boys have run out.”

He added: “There are literally kids out here watching it, getting off on it, excited by it and, you could argue, inspired by it.

“This is so normal to these kids here that you have got parents bringing their children out to watch, teenage girls eating their dinner while they watch this.”

Later, Mr McDowell played another MTV clip which showed a woman approaching the cameraman and telling him that the disorder had been set up for the camera.

Mr Yates then decided to withdraw his camera crew from the area.

He is heard in the footage saying: “We have seen a lot and you could argue that we’ve seen enough.

“If people are saying we are inciting it maybe we should pull it down….I think it is time to call it a night.”

Lyra Mckee death court case
Peter Cavanagh arrives at Laganside Court (Liam McBurney/PA)

They are: Joseph Patrick Barr, 36, of Sandringham Drive, Derry; Jude Forest Coffey, 26, of Gartan Square, Derry; William Patrick Elliott, 57, of Ballymagowan Gardens, Derry; Joseph Anthony Campbell, 23, of Gosheden Cottages, Derry; Patrick Anthony Gallagher, 32, of John Field Place, Derry; Christopher Joseph Gillen, 43, of Balbane Pass, Derry; and Kieran George McCool, 55, of Ballymagowan Gardens, Derry.

The trial was later shown a clip of the MTV crew beginning to leave the area in which Mr Yates is heard saying: “This feels like it could go in so in many different directions.”

Coffey (also known as Jude McCrory), who was accompanying the presenter, is heard to say “I hope you don’t miss any more camera opportunities”.

Several members of Ms McKee’s family attended the court on Friday.

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