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Tuesday 24 October 2017

Tributes flood in as murdered reporter's mum dies

The late Bernie Guerin
The late Bernie Guerin

Clodagh Sheehy

Tributes have been paid to Bernie Guerin, mother of murdered 'Sunday Independent' journalist Veronica Guerin.

Mrs Guerin had been staying with her daughter Clare in Co Kerry. She died in Tralee hospital. She was 84.

Nora Owen, who was justice minister at the time of Veronica's death, expressed her deepest sympathy to the Guerin family.

"Bernie Guerin was an incredibly brave woman. She was amazing around the time of Veronica's death and very anxious that whatever needed to be done should be done.

Veronica was shot dead by the gang controlled by drug trafficker John Gilligan. He was never convicted in relation to the killing but was jailed for 17 years on drug charges.

After the murder, Bernie Guerin campaigned for money seized by the Criminal Assets Bureau, which was established in the wake of her daughter's death, to be used to help communities destroyed by drugs.


INM chief executive officer Vincent Crowley said last night: "Bernie was a strong woman, a quality which she demonstrated following the murder of her courageous daughter.

"Despite her great loss, she remained a great friend and supporter of the newspaper and took an active role in the annual 'Veronica Guerin Bursary' awarded by Independent News & Media and Dublin City University in her daughter's honour.

"I would like to extend my sympathy to her surviving children, Martin, Marie-Therese, Clare and Jimmy, as well as Veronica's husband Graham and their son Cathal. She will be greatly missed by her many friends in the newspaper," he added.

Willie Kealy, deputy editor of the 'Sunday Independent' and a colleague of Veronica's, paid tribute to the generous spirit of Bernie Guerin.

"Although she had not been in the best of health of late, it was still an enormous shock when we heard about her death," he said. "Bernie suffered the most appalling tragedy when her daughter and our friend and colleague, Veronica, was murdered for doing her job as a journalist.

"But she bore that blow with, as with much else in her life, strength of character and the courage that was typical of her.

"She was fiercely proud of Veronica and of all her children, and after Veronica's death she worked tirelessly to ensure that her daughter's legacy was not sullied and her work had not been in vain."

"We will miss her greatly."

Irish Independent

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