Three Northern Ireland Journalists under Paramilitary Threat - Claim

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THREE Northern Ireland journalists are under paramilitary threat, it has been claimed.

Kevin Cooper, chairman of the National Union of Journalists' Belfast branch, said he was still waiting to speak to Secretary of State John Reid about the danger six months after the murder of Sunday World reporter Martin O'Hagan.

The meeting of the UK branch of the Press watchdog Reporters Sans Frontieres - Reporters Without Borders - also heard allegations that a man suspected of involvement in the shooting was being protected because of his links with the Special Branch.

Mr O'Hagan, 51, was gunned down close to his home in Lurgan as he walked back from the pub with his wife on September 28, 2001, by the Red Hand Defenders.

Mr Cooper said: "It's not the first husband that was killed, its not the first father that was killed, not the first trade unionist that was killed and not even the first journalist that was killed.

"What makes this murder special and the reason we should be concerned about it is that he was killed for being a journalist. …