Belfast Telegraph

Martin O'Hagan 'needs new probe'

By Staff Reporter

A fresh call for an independent investigation into the murder of a Northern Ireland journalist was issued yesterday on the 16th anniversary of his death.

Martin O'Hagan, who was a Sunday World reporter, was shot dead on September 28, 2001 in Lurgan.

No-one has ever been convicted of his killing.

Yesterday the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) issued a renewed call for an independent, external investigation into Mr O'Hagan's murder by loyalist paramilitaries.

The union is also seeking a review by an international panel of experts into how police investigated the killing.

Seamus Dooley, the NUJ's Irish secretary, said the failure to bring Mr O'Hagan's killers to justice and allegations that those linked to the murder were protected because of potential links to the police "cast a long shadow over the criminal justice system and policing in Northern Ireland".

He said the union would write to Prime Minister Teresa May and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar seeking support for an international inquiry.

Mr Dooley added: "Today our thoughts are with Martin's family, colleagues, comrades and friends.

"Sixteen years after his brutal murder the killers of Martin O'Hagan have not been brought to justice.

"It has long been suspected that those who ordered his killing were paid police informants linked to the Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF).

"We need an independent, international panel to investigate the murder and the failed police investigation.

"The O'Hagan murder and subsequent investigation raises fundamental questions about the relationship between the police and loyalist paramilitaries.

"It is not sufficient to dismiss this killing as an unsolved murder.

"We need to know why the murder remains unsolved and has effectively been deemed unsolvable.

"We had a review by the Police Ombudsman of Northern Ireland in 2013 but we cannot accept that the file should be closed."

Mr O'Hagan was the first journalist killed in the line of work in the history of the Troubles.

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