European Federation of Journalists

UK: EFJ and NUJ renew appeal for O’Hagan investigation

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined today the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) in the UK and Ireland renewed call for an independent investigation into the murder of Sunday World journalist and union activist Martin O’Hagan.

In a joint statement marking the anniversary of Martin’s murder on 28 September 2001, Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary and Séamus Dooley, NUJ assistant general secretary called for the appointment of an external investigator to carry out an independent inquiry into the murder and the subsequent failure of the police to secure conviction for the murder.

The statement said:

“The NUJ remains gravely concerned at the failure to apprehend those responsible for the murder of Martin O’Hagan. The cold blooded killing of a courageous investigative journalist should be investigated by an independent body. The failure to adequately investigate the murder serves to undermine confidence in the rule of law. There are so many unanswered questions about the murder of Martin that the case should be urgently reviewed. There has long been a belief that those responsible for Martin’s killing may be protected because of their role as police informers. This issue must be independently investigated.

“The family, colleagues and friends of Martin continue to mourn a journalist of integrity and bravery. It is not good enough that his killing should simply be regard as an ‘unsolved murder’. There is an onus on the UK government, as part of its commitment to global press freedom, to show pollical leadership on this issue. We call on the Irish government, as co-guarantors of the Good Friday Agreement, to support our demand.”

Martin O’Hagan was murdered by the LVF on 28 September 2001 while returning to his home with his wife Marie.

On 26 August 2019, the EFJ submitted an alert to the Council of Europe Platform for the Protection of Journalism about the continued impunity for murder of journalist Martin O’Hagan in 2001.

Picture credit: NUJ.