Daughters weep as inquest hears details of O’Hagan murder

The daughters of Sunday World journalist Martin O'Hagan have wept at his inquest this morning as their mother gave evidence about how he died.

The 51-year-old was shot dead by loyalist paramilitaries near his home in Lurgan five years ago while walking home with his wife.

The hardline Loyalist Volunteer Force, about whom Mr O'Hagan had written extensively, was blamed for the September 2001 killing.

Marie O'Hagan's statement this morning told of how the couple were walking home following a night out when she noticed a car slowing down.

She said she saw a man with a gun inside and her husband pushed her into a hedge.

She heard six or seven shots and was aware that he was falling. On opening his shirt, she saw two bullet holes in his chest.

A detective chief inspector said he believed Mr O'Hagan had been targeted by loyalists because he was a journalist and had written about loyalist drug dealing.

However, he said he didn't have evidence to bring charges.

The National Union of Journalists has claimed that police know the identity of the killers, but they are being protected because they are informers.

The coroner ruled today that Mr O'Hagan's cause of death was gunshot wounds to his chest and abdomen.

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