View all newsletters
Sign up for our free email newsletters

Fighting for quality news media in the digital age.

Martin O’Hagan murder 10 years on: still no justice

By Dominic Ponsford

Ten years after the murder by paramilitaries of Northern Irish journalist Martin O’Hagan, Sunday World colleagues are sceptical about whether his killers will ever face justice.

O’Hagan was shot dead as he walked home from an evening out with his wife in Lurgan, Co Armagh, in September 2001. He was the first journalist killed by paramilitaries since the Northern Ireland Troubles erupted in 1969 and was murdered after exposing the actions of Loyalist gangsters.

The Sunday World has previously named the six-person Ulster Volunteer Force paramilitary team suspected of involvement in O’Hagan’s murder. One individual is currently facing charges as a result of the murder but they cannot by named for legal reasons.

A Sunday World insider told Press Gazette: ‘It’s been 10 years. The police and media knew who did it within weeks of the murder. It took almost eight years for anyone to be charged and 10 years later only one remains charged and we are not allowed to name him.

‘There is a great deal of disillusionment in the ability of the authorities to pursue this case. There is always the suspicion that the killers have in the past been acting as police informants or military intelligence agents.

‘That’s usually the explanation for people not being charged and cases being dropped.

‘We are not under any illusion that we are going to get justice for Martin O’Hagan. That won’t stop people demanding it though.”

Content from our partners
Publishing on the open web is broken, how generative AI could help fix it
Impress: Regulation, arbitration and complaints resolution
Papermule: Workflow automation for publishers

The Guardian today reported that the Sunday World has received 50 death threats in recent years.

Press Gazette’s source at the paper, who asked not to be named, said such threats have become commonplace.

Journalists on the paper – which has editions for Northern Ireland and the Republic – continue to regularly expose the activities of Loyalist and Republican paramilitary groups, gangsters and drug dealers.

Email pged@pressgazette.co.uk to point out mistakes, provide story tips or send in a letter for publication on our "Letters Page" blog

Select and enter your email address Weekly insight into the big strategic issues affecting the future of the news industry. Essential reading for media leaders every Thursday. Your morning brew of news about the world of news from Press Gazette and elsewhere in the media. Sent at around 10am UK time. Our weekly does of strategic insight about the future of news media aimed at US readers. A fortnightly update from the front-line of news and advertising. Aimed at marketers and those involved in the advertising industry.
  • Business owner/co-owner
  • CEO
  • COO
  • CFO
  • CTO
  • Chairperson
  • Non-Exec Director
  • Other C-Suite
  • Managing Director
  • President/Partner
  • Senior Executive/SVP or Corporate VP or equivalent
  • Director or equivalent
  • Group or Senior Manager
  • Head of Department/Function
  • Manager
  • Non-manager
  • Retired
  • Other
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
Thank you

Thanks for subscribing.

Websites in our network