Shane Paul O’Doherty has written an open letter to Pope Francis after the Roman Catholic Church recognised the martyrdom of Italian judge Rosario Livatino, who was gunned down in September 1990 by the Sicilian Mafia, paving the way for his beatification.

Mr O’Doherty wants to see similar recognition for leading legal figures murdered by the IRA during the Troubles, including barrister Edgar Graham, Lord Justice Maurice Gibson and Judges Martin McBirney, Rory Conaghan and William Staunton.

If an Italian judge murdered by the Mafia is to be beatified as a martyr, why aren’t the judges and family members who were murdered by the IRA in Northern Ireland also to be beatified as martyrs, even when some of them were leaving a Catholic church directly after attending Mass?

Shane Paul O’Doherty