Keith feels vindicated after an apology over arrest allegations

Keith Woods with his apology letter from the Irish News following his court victory in a libel case.
Keith Woods with his apology letter from the Irish News following his court victory in a libel case.

A Belfast newspaper has apologised to a man for wrongly accusing him of being arrested and questioned in connection with the murder of Lurgan journalist Martin O’Hagan, who was killed near his home 14 years ago.

Portadown man Keith Woods said the accusations by the Irish News had been ‘distressing’ for him and his family.

Mr Woods is adamant he has not been arrested for any crime in 30 years and says he was upset by the claims he had been arrested in relation to Mr O’Hagan’s murder.

Mr O’Hagan, a well known journalist with the Sunday World, was gunned down by loyalist terrorists close to his Lurgan home in 2001.

Mr Woods said it had taken him ‘two years three months and 12 days but justice has been done’. Now a businessman, he sued the Irish News which had stated he had been lifted and questioned in relation to Mr O’Hagan’s murder. On Friday at Belfast High Court Mr Wood received an apology.

“I would like to thank all those people and the brothers and sisters in Jehovah’s Christian Brotherhood who stood by me and I would like to thank my legal team, John McBurney and his barrister. And most of all I would like to thank Jehovah God for looking after me and my wife and my son. Now we can move on and get on with my ministry,” said Mr Woods.