Media release 20 September 2002

NUJ welcomes police assurance on O’Hagan murder investigation

The National Union of Journalists has been assured by the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) that every effort is being made to track down the killers of Sunday World journalist Martin O'Hagan. The assurance comes just one week before the first anniversary of the death of Mr O'Hagan who was Secretary of the Belfast and District Branch of the Union.

At a meeting in Portadown today (Friday, 20 September 2002) senior representatives of the murder investigation team led by Chief Superintendent Jonathan McIvor assured an NUJ delegation that the investigation has been given "the highest priority" by the PSNI. Chief Superintendent McIvor stressed that all necessary resources have been put at the disposal of the team. He confirmed that eight people had been arrested for questioning as part of the investigation. However, Chief Superintendent McIvor said there remains insufficient evidence to bring charges against any individual in relation to any aspect of the case. He renewed the PSNI appeal for public co-operation with the investigation.

Seamus Dooley, Irish Secretary, welcomed Chief Superintendent McIvor's assurance that the investigation remains a priority. We explained the serious concerns of NUJ members at the lack of real progress in the investigation. We are relieved to learn that the Martin O'Hagan investigation remains a priority and that the necessary personnel and resources continue to be invested in this case.

Mr Dooley said that the first anniversary will be a difficult period for Mr O'Hagan's family and friends. The NUJ's thoughts remain with the O'Hagan family at this time.

The NUJ delegation was led by Seamus Dooley who was accompanied by Kevin Cooper, Chair, Belfast & District Branch, Michael Fisher, Chair, Northern Ireland Broadcasting Branch and Peter Barnacle, Legal Office, NUJ.

Issued by:

Seamus Dooley, Irish Secretary, NUJ, 9th Floor, Liberty Hall, Dublin 1; tel 00 353 1 8053258

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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