clashes outside derry court
Image caption There were clashes between supporters of Mr McIntyre and police officers

Scuffles broke out outside a courthouse in Londonderry as a man appeared inside charged with the murder of journalist Lyra McKee.

Paul McIntyre, 52, from Derry has been charged with murder, possession of a firearm and membership of a proscribed organisation, the IRA.

Ms McKee, who was 29, was observing rioting in Derry’s Creggan estate when she was shot on 18 April 2019.

Protesters scuffled with police as Mr McIntyre was brought into court.

Supporters held a number of placards claiming he was a “political hostage” and a “British scapegoat”.

They scuffled with up to 40 police officers as they refused to move from the court’s entrance, cheering loudly as Mr McIntyre was driven into the court buildings.

‘Speak out for Lyra’

Inside the Bishop Street building, the court heard that evidence in the case included footage from music television channel MTV, as an MTV crew had been in the city filming that day, as well as mobile footage from members of the public.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Paul McIntyre raised his arms as he was brought into Londonderry Magistrates’ Court

Mr McIntryre’s defence solicitor, Derwin Harvey, said his client faced allegations that he was seen “picking up casings” that had come from a gun after it was fired by another male who Mr McIntyre was standing behind.

He added that there was “scant” evidence against his client, adding that the case rested on a “snapshot” of low-quality mobile phone footage.

Mr McIntyre spoke only to confirm his name and address.

District Judge Barney McElholm said: “A woman with her entire life ahead of her, a very promising life, was murdered needlessly and pointlessly, like all the other murders in this country.

“It is very important that the murderers of Lyra McKee are brought to justice if this can be done, but we need to get the right people.”

Ms McKee’s family and friends watched the hearing in the public gallery wearing t-shirts which said: “Speak out for Lyra.”

The judge said that protesters’ behaviour, blocking the court’s entrance and “threatening journalists”, was doing Paul McIntyre “no favours whatsoever”.

An application for bail was adjourned, and Mr McIntyre was remanded in custody until 27 February.

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