A police officer has told a court that he believed Junior McDaid House at Chamberlain Street in the William Street area of Londonderry was both the hub and voice of the New IRA.
The detective constable made the comment during a bail application by one of the two men charged with offences linked to the murder by the New IRA of 29-year-old journalist Lyra McKee, who was shot dead during rioting in the Creggan area of the city on April 18.
The applicant, Paul McIntyre, 51, a taxi driver from Ballymagowan Park in the Creggan, is charged with riotous assembly, possessing and making petrol bombs and with the arson of a tipper truck on May 18.
At the bail application the police officer said that a bail address offered by the applicant was the home address in Newry of Stephen Murney, whom he said was the national secretary of Saoradh, the political group linked to the New IRA.
He said he opposed bail on the basis that the murder investigation was at an early stage and he believed if released the applicant would interfere with witnesses. He said given the applicant's previous twenty-eight criminal convictions, several of them for public order offences, the defendant would re-offend if released.
The police witness said the applicant had previously been charged with encouraging or assisting rioting arising from an incident in Rossville Street in May 2018 when police officers investigating a sudden death came under a sustained attack.
He said at the time of that incident and at the time of Ms McKee's murder the applicant was on court bail conditions which stated he must not enter within 500 metres of an ongoing police operation.
The detective constable said that Stephen Murney, the national secretary of Saoradh, was a frequent visitor to Junior McDaid House and he described the proposed bail address in Newry where Mr Murney lived with his partner and their new born child as unsuitable.
Cross examined by defence solicitor Derwin Harvey, the officer agreed that Mr Murney had only one criminal conviction dating back to 2012 for which he had been fined £200.
Mr Harvey said the case against the applicant was circumstantial. There was no fingerprint evidence, no forensic evidence, no firearms residue evidence and no CCTV evidence. He said the height of the police case against his client was an unidentifiable glimmer or sparkle from his right wrist recorded on CCTV during the rioting in the Creggan.
Mr Harvey said on the day of the murder the applicant was earlier filmed by an MTV camera crew at an event in Junior McDaid house. At that event he wore a bracelet on his right wrist.
The defence solicitor said membership of Saoradh was not illegal. He said the applicant was willing to accept any court imposed bail conditions to live in Newry with Mr Murney.
He said without taking away from the terrible events of April 18, the case against his client was extremely weak. He said only two witnesses had come forward, both of whom described the applicant as being between 5 ft 8 ins and 5 ft 10ins in height whereas the applicant was 5 ft 2 ins in height.
The detective constable told District Judge Barney McElholm that following the applicant's arrest, the applicant made a no comment interview.
Mr McElholm said he did not understand why people did not answer questions put to them by the police, although it was their legal right not to do so. He said Saoradh displayed a slavish devotion to an ideology and the District Judge said he did not trust anybody, no matter who they were, who displayed such a slavish devotion.
He said he accepted Saoradh was legal, as was the English Defence League and what he described as all sorts of other strange organisations.
"I simply have no trust in people who will follow an ideology before they follow the law", he said.
The District Judge said he did not think it was in the public interest to release the applicant nor did he think the proposed bail address in Newry was suitable.
He then granted an application by Mr Harvey to adjourn the bail application until May 30 and the applicant was remanded in continuing custody until then.