NUJ media release

Thursday, September 25, 2003

NUJ Concern at Lack of Progress in O’Hagan Murder Probe

The National Union of Journalists has called for additional resources to be made available for the police investigation into the murder of journalists and NUJ activist Martin O'Hagan. The union has also expressed concern at the lack of progress in the investigation.

Mr O'Hagan was murdered on September 28th 2001.

In a statement marking the anniversary of the brutal murder NUJ General Secretary Jeremy Dear said, "the union is deeply disappointed that those responsible for the murder of Mr O'Hagan have not been apprehended".

Earlier this year an NUJ delegation met PSNI Chief Constable Hugh Orde. The Chief Constable assured the delegation that the PSNI is actively investigating the murder of Martin O'Hagan. He said all suspects in the case had been interviewed but there has been no breakthrough in the investigation.

Mr Dear said "he did not doubt the personal commitment of the Chief Constable to the investigation".

The fact is that the PSNI has not been able to detect those responsible for the cold-blooded murder of Martin O'Hagan. Mr Dear said "It is important that the necessary resources should be made available so that the Chief Constable can accelerate this investigation and the investigation into the death of other workers".

Mr Dear added "that it was important that those who were murdered during the Troubles should not be forgotten and that those responsible for killing workers such as Mr O'Hagan should be brought to justice".

Irish Secretary Séamus Dooley said "that the past year had been marked by Loyalist threats against journalists, including Mr O'Hagan's colleagues at the Sunday World and by the intimidation of journalists at the Andersonstown News Group".

Mr Dooley said: "Journalists will not be intimidated by threats, from whatever quarter and NUJ members will not be prevented from doing their work by those who resort to violence".

The Cathaoirleach (Chair) of the Irish Executive Council Mary Maher said "that the trade union movement throughout the island of Ireland was supportive of the Good Friday Agreement". She hoped that all parties would re-commit to the peace process and that no more families would suffer the loss felt by the O'Hagan family.

In marking the anniversary of Martin O'Hagan, she said "trade unionists would remember his contribution not just to journalism but to the struggle for justice by ordinary working class communities in Northern Ireland".

For further information please contact:

  • Séamus Dooley, Irish Secretary, NUJ at 1-8053258 or 087-2236364;
  • Jeremy Dear, General Secretary, NUJ at 0044-207-843-3709; or
  • Tim Gopsill, NUJ at 0044-207-843-3701
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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