Sunday 30 September 2001

NUJ tributes to Martin O’Hagan

The National Union of Journalists has called on all media organisations throughout the island of Ireland and the UK to observe a one-minute silent tribute to murdered colleague Martin O'Hagan at 2pm tomorrow, Monday October 1st.

Martin O'Hagan was murdered on Friday night in front of his wife near his home in Lurgan. The Sunday World journalist was Secretary of Belfast and District branch and had attended a branch meeting earlier that day.

NUJ General Secretary John Foster has called on all media organisations to facilitate the tribute to Mr O'Hagan. Mr Foster also called on media organisations to open books of condolences at their offices this week to facilitate members of the public and workers to express condolences to the O'Hagan family and to express their outrage at the murder.

Those who wish to e-mail messages of sympathy may do so by sending messages to

Yesterday NEC member Kevin Cooper and Irish Organiser Seamus Dooley visited the O'Hagan family to express the union's sympathy to Martin's wife Marie and to their three daughters, Tina, Cara and Niamh. They also visited the Sunday World newsroom in Belfast where they expressed sympathy to the journalists, staff and senior management at the company. Afterwards Mr Cooper said:

Journalists throughout the world are shocked by the murder of Martin and we conveyed to the family and Sunday World journalists the sympathy of the NUJ. The protection of journalists covering Northern Ireland is of paramount importance if we are to ensure that the public has a full range of opinion. Too often people blame the media when they perform their professional function of informing society. Martin was courageous journalist who refused to be silenced and he would expect his colleagues to continue his work as a journalist of integrity and commitment.

The NUJ representation at the funeral will be led by Mr Foster, General Secretary, Rory McLeod, President, NUJ, Mary Maher, Cathaoirleach, IEC and National Executive Council members including Kevin Cooper and Brendan Wright.

The Belfast and District branch members will be led by Mr Peter O'Rourke, Chairman.

Contacts for further information:

  • Seamus Dooley, Irish Organiser: 00 353 87 2236364 / 00 44 2890533500.
  • Kevin Cooper, NEC member: 028-90777299/077-1204475.
  • Eoin Ronayne: 00353 872520603.
Martin O'Hagan, killed on 28 September 2001
Martin O'Hagan attending the trade union event to mark May Day 2001. Photo © 2001 Kevin Cooper
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