Lyra McKee murder trial delayed amid legal arguments

Three men charged with the murder of queer journalist Lyra McKee in 2019 are due to begin their trial at the Crown Court in Belfast.

Journalists holding a banner honouring Lyra McKee prior to her murder trial.

The trial for three men charged with the murder of queer journalist Lyra McKee in 2019 was originally scheduled to begin on Monday, April 29, but was delayed amid legal arguments. As the case began, it emerged that there were issues surrounding admissibility and discovery of evidence and the hearing at the Crown Court in Belfast was adjourned to today, Tuesday, April 30.

However, it remains unclear if the trial was able to commence, and it is reported that it could take some time for the legal matters to be addressed.

McKee passed away at the age of 29 after being struck by a bullet in a residential area in Northern Ireland on April 18, 2019. She was reporting at the scene of a riot happening in the Creggan area of Derry.

Following her injury, officers administered first aid and transported her to hospital, but McKee tragically died from her injuries.

McKee was believed to be killed by a dissident republican gunman in an extremist group called the New IRA. Five years later, three Derry men have been charged with her murder.

Those charged include Peter Cavanagh, 35, Jordan Gareth Devine, 23, and Paul McIntyre, 56. Each man faces additional charges, including possession of a firearm and ammunition with intent, as well as possession and throwing of a petrol bomb.

Lyra McKee’s close friends, family, and partner are expected to attend the trial and proceedings.

Seven other men are set to appear in court connected to the riot that occurred at the time of McKee’s death including Joseph Patrick Barr, 36, Jude Forest Coffey, 26, William Patrick Elliott, 57, Joseph Anthony Campbell, 23, Patrick Anthony Gallagher, 32, Christopher Joseph Gillen, 43, and Kieran George McCool, 55. They are facing charges for rioting and throwing a petrol bomb.


Lyra McKee was born in Belfast in 1990. She worked as an investigative reporter who wrote for numerous newspapers, magazines and websites. The journalist was deeply committed to writing about the Troubles and seeking justice for crimes forgotten since the Good Friday Agreement.

McKee’s writing was described as “determined, tenacious, intelligent, and honest,” and some of her work was published in a memorial book. She was named Sky News Young Journalist of the Year in 2006, was featured as one of Forbes’ 30 under 30, and was recognised as a rising literary star by The Irish Times. 

Last year, the One Young World Summit named its 2023 Journalist of the Year Award the ‘Lyra McKee Award for Bravery’ to recognise outstanding young journalists who strive to accelerate social impact.

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