Friday 30 September 2016

'Veronica Guerin was an ordinary person who achieved the extraordinary'

Special commemorative event on 20th anniversary of journalist's death

Published 23/06/2016 | 22:23

Lesley Buckley, INM Chairman, at the Veronica Guerin Anniversary in The Chester Beatty Library
Lesley Buckley, INM Chairman, at the Veronica Guerin Anniversary in The Chester Beatty Library
INM Editor in Chief Stephen Rea, Fergal Keane, Tanaiste Frances Fitzgerald and Irish Times Editor Kevin O’Sullivan at the Veronica Guerin Anniversary in The Chester Beatty Library
Miriam O’Callaghan, Jimmy Guerin, Tanaiste Frances Fitzgerald and INM Editor in Chief Stephen Rea at the Veronica Guerin Anniversary in The Chester Beatty Library
INM Chairman Lesley Buckley with Tanaiste Frances Fitzgerald and INM Editor in Chief Stephen Rea at the Veronica Guerin Anniversary in The Chester Beatty Library
Jimmy Guerin with Tanaiste Frances Fitzgerald at the Veronica Guerin Anniversary in The Chester Beatty Library
INM Chairman Lesley Buckley and Miriam O’Callaghan at the Veronica Guerin Anniversary in The Chester Beatty Library
INM Chairman Lesley Buckley with Tanaiste Frances Fitzgerald and INM Editor in Chief Stephen Rea at the Veronica Guerin Anniversary in The Chester Beatty Library

The nation owes Veronica Guerin an “enormous debt” for her sacrifice, President Michael D Higgins said in a special message at an event at Dublin Castle tonight.

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“She worked tirelessly, and with extreme courage, to expose a drugs trade that wrought so much misery on families and communities around the country,” he said.

“Veronica sacrificed her life in order that some of this country’s most powerful criminals would eventually be brought to justice, and as a society we owe her an enormous debt of gratitude.”

On the 20th anniversary of the assassination of the Sunday Independent journalist, a new bursary for young investigative journalists was announced at a special Press Freedom commemorative event at Dublin Castle, hosted by Independent News & Media.

Amongst guests attending the event hosted by Stephen Rae, Editor-in-Chief of INM and Cormac Bourke, Editor of The Sunday Independent, with RTE’s Miriam O’Callaghan as MC, were members of Veronica’s family.

Read more: Government must do much more to safeguard Veronica's legacy

Fergal Keane at the Veronica Guerin Anniversary in The Chester Beatty Library
Fergal Keane at the Veronica Guerin Anniversary in The Chester Beatty Library
Miriam O’Callaghan at the Veronica Guerin Anniversary in The Chester Beatty Library
Tanaiste Frances Fitzgerald TD at the Veronica Guerin Anniversary in The Chester Beatty Library
Brian Kennedy at the Veronica Guerin Anniversary in The Chester Beatty Library
Joseph O’Connor at the Veronica Guerin Anniversary in The Chester Beatty Library
Cathy Kelly and Paul Williams at the Veronica Guerin Anniversary in The Chester Beatty Library

The President was represented by his ADC, Commandant Louise Conlon, while Papal Nuncio, His Excellency, The Most Rev Charles John Brown and Tánaiste, Frances Fitzgerald were present together with Garda Commissioner Noirín O’Sullivan.

Leader of Fianna Fáil, Michéal Martin, former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, Labour leader Brendan Howlin and former Justice Minister Nora Owen - who handled the crisis in the fallout of Veronica’s death were amongst those in attendance.

Chairman of INM Leslie Buckley, members of the board and CEO Robert Pitt were present.

Sean Potts played the Uillean pipes in memory of Veronica.

Cathal Turley at the funeral of his mother Veronica Guerin
Cathal Turley at the funeral of his mother Veronica Guerin

And a song specially written for her by Christy Moore was sung by Brian Kennedy.

Leslie Buckley, Chairman, Independent News & Media said Veronica had wanted to pursue crime lords profiting from the misery of others and has left the newspaper group with a lasting legacy.

INM Group Editor in Chief Stephen Rae said Veronica Guerin was an ordinary person who achieved the extraordinary, through remarkable courage and determination.

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