Monday 23 April 2018

Veronica Guerin's bravery takes my breath away to this very day

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Veronica Guerin
Veronica Guerin

Robert Dowds

Along with most Irish people, I remember exactly where I was when I heard that Veronica Guerin had been callously murdered by gangland criminals.

I was on my way home from work when a bulletin came on the radio with the tragic news.

Veronica Guerin was an incredibly brave and strong woman who took incredible risks to expose the death and destruction that gangland thugs were doling out in communities across Ireland. She continued to expose gangsters and murderous drug lords after receiving death threats against her and her family. That she had the courage to do that takes my breath away to this day.

When a resident in Clondalkin contacted me over a year ago with a suggestion that we should name the new N7 flyover in her honour, I immediately thought it would be a very fitting and poignant tribute, as long as her family approved, which they did. By naming the flyover in her honour, which is just yards from where she was murdered, it would send a message that Irish society will never forget the bravery of a woman who stood up to those who profited from destroying communities and ruining families.

I also realised that the flyover will be here long after my generation has passed on, and I thought that if it was named in her honour, Irish children born in 40 or 50 years' time will ask: "Who was Veronica Guerin?" It would be a lasting reminder and lesson to future generations that there was once an incredibly brave Irish woman who gave her life in the cause of standing up to thugs and criminals.

I am deeply sorry and also very sad that the family of Veronica Guerin have now decided to withdraw their support for this proposal. However, I completely respect their wishes. As a politician who admires this journalist deeply, I will continue to ensure her memory lives on.

Her bravery should be an inspiration to future generations who seek to put a stop to murderers and drug dealers.

We as a society should never, ever forget her bravery.

Robert Dowds is a Labour TD for Dublin Mid West

Irish Independent

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