May 30th, 2016
NewsNorthern Ireland

UUP boss calls for new probe into Martin O'Hagan murder

Northern IrelandBy Sunday World
Martin O'Hagan, who was murdered by the LVF
Martin O'Hagan, who was murdered by the LVF

A top politician whose career pedigree is steeped in campaigning journalism and broadcasting today joins the Sunday World in calling for a new police murder probe into the LVF slaying of our reporter, Martin O’Hagan.

Leading Stormont MLA is Mike Nesbitt is a veteran of BBC and UTV broadcasting, and now the leader of the Ulster Unionist Party. 

He and his wife Linda Bryans at one time also co-wrote a column for the Sunday World.

Now the UUP boss has joined with us to call for a fresh police investigation into Martin’s murder. 

The reasons are simple and straight forward. 

There has, rightly, been a worldwide tsunami of disgust, abhorrence, and condemnation of the crazed and bloodthirsty beheading of brave American journalist James Foley in Syria. 

There has also been an outpouring of grief and sympathy for the fate of this courageous reporter and his suffering but still proud family back in the USA. 

This newspaper, and Mike Nesbitt, concur completely with all of these sentiments. 

                                                                                                                             UUP leader Mike Nesbitt   

We also agree that the jihadists who murdered Mr Foley – and particularly the bloodlust-filled British born beheader known as one of ‘The Beatles’ – should be hunted down and brought to justice. 

Our reporter Martin, then aged 51, a loving husband and father-of-three daughters, was also executed in public on Friday September 28, 2001.

He was shot dead by an LVF killer gang, with a gunman pumping seven bullets into our colleague’s unprotected back as he tried to save his wife, Marie, from the fusillade of bullets. 

We have consistently named and shamed those involved in Martin’s murder. 

We do so again today. The two main assassins were Lurgan L VF gangsters Robin ‘Billy’ King, the coward who pulled the trigger and his brother, Drew ‘The Piper’ King, who drove the drive-by killer car. 

And yet THIRTEEN YEARS on next month, NO ONE, not a single person, has been convicted of the heinous crime.

An execution in public, we would submit, carried out by fanatical terrorists and 

drugs dealers on our own home soil – is on the same scale of inhumanity as James Foley’s execution in North Syria. 

That is why, today, we are publicly appealing to new PSNI Chief Constable George Hamilton to order a new probe into the killing of our colleague. 

The main perpetrators of that atrocity are still walking, bare-faced, the streets of this small country – not skulking behind black balaclavas in the blood-soaked desert sands of the Middle East. 

Now, Mike Nesbitt, a fellow journalist who plied his trade in the profession of both James Foley and Martin O’Hagan, and who is now leader of the Ulster Unionist Party, joins us in our fresh plea. 

“I fully support the Sunday World’s call for a fresh investigation into Martin’s murder,” he told us last night. 


“This was the brutal, cold-blooded murder of a man walking the streets of his home town, totally defenceless, against a cowardly act from behind. 


“He was as powerless as James Foley, beheaded by a jihadist.

“The murders are two of a kind. 

“Martin’s murder was an attack on a branch of democracy and it is a bloody stain on our society that 13 years have passed without the guilty being brought to book.

“You can be sure there can be no lack of effort or resources devoted to identifying the man who murdered James Foley. 

“The same commitment is due to catch the people who murdered Martin O’Hagan.”

The Sunday World says ‘thank you’ to Mike Nesbitt. 

Now we await other political party leaders in Ulster following his lead and joining our call for a fresh police probe into the murder of the brutal slaying of another journalist, James Foley, continues to dominate the headlines worldwide.