One of Northern Ireland’s most well-known solicitors is in a critical condition in hospital with coronavirus, his law firm has said.
Niall Murphy, 43, has been involved in many high-profile criminal trials and civil court cases, often representing victims of the Troubles.
The married father-of-three from Belfast is a partner in KRW Law.
Kevin Winters, on behalf of KRW Law, told the PA News Agency: "Last week our partner and colleague Niall Murphy was admitted to hospital where he is battling Covid-19.
“His condition remains critical but stable.
“We have invited people to send him and his family messages of support on Monday (30/3/20).
“All of us hope and pray that Niall’s well-known battling qualities will see him through what is a very difficult time for him and his family.
Mr Winters added: "He would want everyone to keep themselves and their families and NHS staff safe by following advice to stay home and avoid the spread of this awful virus.
“In particular as a GAA (Gaelic Athletic Association) mentor he would want young people to stay indoors and use social media to keep in touch with friends and family.”
One of Mr Murphy's recent clients was journalist Trevor Birney, who along with fellow reporter Barry McCaffrey was arrested over whistleblower material that appeared in a documentary on a Troubles massacre. The case against them was ultimately dropped.
Mr Birney tweeted: “Niall Murphy has Covid-19. He supported my family who know him simply as ‘uncle Murph’ — he’s a true gentleman as well as a tenacious and brilliant lawyer. He needs your support as he faces the toughest battle of his life.”
Mr Murphy is a member of the board of directors for campaign group Relatives for Justice.
In a post on Saturday night, the group said: “Niall Murphy is a husband, father, son, brother, friend, lawyer, sportsman, Irishman and an inspiration.
“He is also a valued member of the board of directors of Relatives for Justice. He has fought for and alongside many families seeking truth, justice and acknowledgement.
“He is 43. He is currently fighting for his life against Covid-19 and is in an induced coma and on a ventilator in hospital.
“His work friends and colleagues are asking everyone who knows him or of him to send a message of support to him and his family on Monday 30th March at any point during that day.”