Men accused of rioting on night Lyra McKee died allowed back into Creggan

Two men accused of rioting on the night journalist Lyra McKee died are to be allowed back into the area where she was killed, a High Court judge ruled today.

By Staff Reporter
Tuesday, 21st December 2021, 3:45 pm
Updated Tuesday, 21st December 2021, 3:48 pm
High Court removes prohibitions on two defendants entering Creggan.
High Court removes prohibitions on two defendants entering Creggan.

Mr Justice Humphreys lifted bans on Patrick Gallagher, 29, and Jude McCrory, 24, entering Derry's Creggan estate.

Both defendants are on bail over their alleged involvement in the unrest which broke out on April 18, 2019.

Ms McKee, 29, was shot dead while she observed that night's street disorder.

Gallagher, of Pinetrees in Derry, and McCrory, from Magowan Park in the city, are jointly charged with rioting and throwing a petrol bomb.

Neither defendant is alleged to have actively participated in the attacks on police.

But based on interactions with an MTV documentary crew in the area, the prosecution claim they encouraged the troublemakers as part of a joint enterprise.

During an application to vary their bail terms, the court was shown clips of their discussions with presenter Reggie Yates.

According to Mr Justice Humphreys the footage revealed "two articulate young men who hold strong and perfectly legitimate political views in relation to the unification of the island".

He said it was "profoundly depressing" that some still believe violence is the way to achieve political objectives.

"It is apparent that these are young men who have a potentially positive role to play in their communities...particularly to those young children described as desensitised to violence," the judge added.

Removing prohibitions on the two defendants entering the Creggan, he cited evidence of McCrory's role in community development and tackling antisocial behaviour.

"He will be free to attend facilities in order to pursue these educational opportunities," Mr Justice Humphreys confirmed.

Gallagher further succeeded in having curfew and electronic tagging conditions lifted.

Both men remain barred from having any contact, and must continue to report to police in the city.