Colleagues of journalist Martin O’Hagan, the Northern Irish journalist who was shot dead seven years ago, have vowed to continue the fight to bring his killers to justice.
At a meeting last night ahead of this weekend’s NUJ Annual Delegates’ Meeting in Belfast, Jim McDowell, Northern Ireland editor of O’Hagan’s paper, the tabloid Sunday World, said the paper was ‘doing everything we have to do to track down Martin’s killers”, including working with the Police Service of Northern Ireland and paramilitary groups.
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A plaque showing NUJ activist O’Hagan carrying a banner on a union event was re-commemorated at the event in Belfast’s Linnen Hall Library, where friends and colleagues told stories of working with him.
O’Hagan was killed in Lurgan, County Armagh aged 51 in September 2001. He was the first journalist to die since the troubles began in 1969.
An inquest in December 2006 heard that O’Hagan was investigating drug dealing among a loyalist paramilitary gang. No one has ever been charged in connection with his death.
McDowell said the paper had received various death threats from hostile groups but said this would not deter his fight.
‘I would like them to know that it doesn’t stop with Martin’s death. We are getting the death threats but we will continue to do our job,” he said.
“Nothing will stop us and that is essentially the legacy of Martin O’Hagan that we are proud to continue.”