Accused will spend two nights with his partner and child in County Donegal town

Lyra McKee was shot while observing rioting in Londonderry in 2019

One of the two men charged with the murder of journalist Lyra McKee has been granted a variation in his bail conditions to allow him to travel to County Donegal.

The accused will spend two nights with his partner and their two year-old child in Bundoran.

Miss McKee was shot dead by a New I.R.A. gunman while she observed rioting in the Creggan area of Londonderry on April 18, 2019.

At the Magistrate's Court in Derry on Friday, solicitor Paddy MacDermott, who represents 21 year-old Jordan Devine, from Synge Court in the Ballymagroarty area of the city, said the applicant hoped to travel to Bundoran on Friday and return on Sunday.

Mr. MacDermott said the P.S.N.I., while not opposing the weekend break for the applicant, were insisting on the applicant observing a nine pm to seven am curfew while in Bundoran.

"My client believes that to be disproportionate", he told Deputy District Judge Liam McStay.

A Detective Inspector who is a member of the murder investigation team said the applicant faced eight charges linked to the death of the 29 year-old journalist, including one of murder, and she added that two more charges had recently been added.

"We believe the nine pm to seven am curfew which will be monitored by an Garda Siochana, will let us have some type of control when he is in Bundoran.

"We want to continue to monitor him due to the seriousness of the offences he is facing.

"He booked this weekend in Bundoran before asking for a variation in his bail conditions and having spoken to the family of Lyra McKee it is very difficult for them to take that in.

"We have to show we have some type of control when he is in Bundoran and I submit that letting him go in the first place is lenient on our behalf", the Detective Inspector said.

Applying for an 11 pm to seven am bail variation, Mr. MacDermott said the applicant has been on bail for the last 11 months without any difficulties.

"He is under very strict bail conditions and he has shown over the last 11 months that he can stick to them", he said.

The Deputy District Judge said the P.S.N.I. had "shown a generosity of spirit in agreeing to the weekend break given the fact he faces the most gravest of charges.

The court understands the desire to monitor and control given the gravity of the allegations he faces".

Mr. McStay then granted the bail variation application to include a 10 pm to seven am curfew.

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