Statement by Minster Cowen on the murder of Martin O'Hagan
I was shocked to learn of the appalling murder of Martin O'Hagan last night in Lurgan. I want to express my deepest sympathy and that of the Government to Mr O'Hagan's wife and children at this terrible time.
This murder was a deeply shocking and cynical act. It was an attack on a dedicated and hardworking journalist and it also represented an assault on one of the fundamental principles of any democratic society - an independent and unfettered media. Those who have carried out this heinous act have absolutely nothing to offer the people of Northern Ireland except fear and silence.
I would also like to extend my sympathy to Mr O'Hagan's colleagues in the Sunday World and to all his fellow journalists in Northern Ireland.