Northern Ireland news

Union lends support to arrested journalists

NUJ members protest outside the High Court in Belfast Picture by Hugh Russell.

Members of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) have pledged support for journalists Barry McCaffrey and Trevor Birney, arrested last week by Durham police in connection with alleged theft of Police Ombudsman documents.

The pair appeared at Belfast High Court yesterday morning for an application for judicial review into the protection of journalistic material taken during the search and arrest operation.

NUJ assistant general secretary, Séamus Dooley was among a number of union members who held a brief gathering at the court prior to the hearing.

"Investigative journalism is not for the faint hearted. It is not the function of journalism to make life easy for those in positions of power or authority," said Mr Dooley.

"It would be reasonable to expect that the documentary might have had a response to the revelations, carefully and courageously laid out in 'No Stone Unturned', a response predicated on the need to finally bring to justice the killers of Adrian Rogan, Malcolm Jenkinson, Barney Green, Daniel McCreanor, Patrick O'Hare and Eamon Byrne.

"What is not reasonable, what is despicable is that the authority's instinct was not to act upon the revelations contained in the film, but to act against those who made the documentary", Mr Dooley added.

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