Medics applaud as lawyer leaves intensive care

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Solicitor Niall Murphy
Image caption,
The married father-of-three has worked on a number of high-profile Troubles legacy cases

A prominent Belfast solicitor who had been critically ill with Covid-19 has been applauded by healthcare staff as he was released from intensive care.

Niall Murphy, 43, had been on a ventilator in hospital after contracting the virus last month.

The married father-of-three has worked on a number of high-profile Troubles legacy cases.

Hospital staff clapped and cheered as he was wheeled out of intensive care on Friday.

Footage of the moment was posted on Twitter and shared by Sinn Féin MLA Gerry Kelly.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter

Mr Murphy is a partner at the Belfast law firm KRW Law.

The firm's founder, Kevin Winters, hailed his colleague's release from intensive care as "inspirational".

"Hearing news of his transfer out of ICU has been seismic for Niall’s family," Mr Winters told the PA news agency.

“The timing of the move coming as it did on Good Friday is both life-affirming and poignant.

“Watching the video of Niall being clapped and cheered by all the medical staff as he leaves ICU is truly inspirational and a defiantly iconic moment during this hellish crisis.”

Mr Murphy has worked with Kevin Winters since 2001 and has represented a number of Troubles victims in cases where there were allegations of state collusion in loyalist killings.

His clients have included families who lost loved ones in the Loughinisland and Ormeau Road Bookmakers shootings and the McGurks Bar bombing in 1971.

Mr Murphy also represented journalist Trevor Birney.

He was arrested with fellow journalist Barry McCaffrey in August 2018 over the suspected theft of confidential documents from the Northern Ireland Police Ombudsman's office.

The investigative journalists had been involved in a documentary film, No Stone Unturned.

Mr Murphy is also an Irish language campaigner and a Gaelic games enthusiast.