Sunday 21 January 2018

Veronica’s Graham is to marry again in a quiet ceremony


THE widower of murdered Sunday Independent journalist Veronica Guerin is to marry his partner in a quiet family ceremony in July.

Graham Turley announced that he will wed his partner of 12 years, Suzanne Tormey, as he spoke of how his son Cathal is keen to travel before he decides whether to follow his mother’s footsteps into journalism.

Speaking from his home in Cloghran, north Dublin, Mr Turley said the day would be extra special to him because he had received the blessing of Veronica’s mother Bernie Guerin.

“We keep in contact on a weekly basis, we have a great relationship with our two families, which is great,” he said.

The couple, who have three children — Cathal (20), from Graham’s marriage to Veronica, Stacey (21), a daughter of Suzanne, and Saoirse (11), who the couple had together — met at a motorcycle club before their friendship turned to love following Veronica’s murder.

Veronica was killed on June 26, 1996, when one of two men on a motorcycle shot her at close range as she waited in her car at traffic lights on the Naas Road in Dublin.

“At first, finding love again is the last thing on your mind but as they always say time is a great healer,” he said.

“One of the first things we did after I popped the question was to call to Bernie’s home and tell her the good news. She was delighted for the two of us and she gets on very well with Suzanne.”

Mr Turley got down on bended knee in front of Suzanne, who works with Falcon Tour Operator, on night out with friends for a pre-Christmas dinner in Dublin’s Shanahan’s on the Green.

“The kids had been shopping around Dublin all day and were waiting to get the nod to come up. They were absolutely delighted. They had been asking us when we were going to do it for quite some time and it was only right that we make it official.”

Cathal, who is studying Arts in UCD, has a flair for the English language, according to his father, which will serve him well if he decides to follow in his mother’s footsteps. “He has a real way with words and there’s a huge amount of Veronica in him,” Mr Turley smiled. “No matter where we are you could leave him having a conversation with someone and whether it’s about the economy or sport he’ll get on brilliantly with them.

“If journalism is the career he wants to choose then I certainly wouldn’t steer him away from it. Whatever makes the kids happy.”

Of the other two children, Stacey is training to be a hairdresser at the David Marshall Academy, while Saoirse has just returned from America where her dance school, the Atomic Stage Dance School, won two awards.

Speaking of Veronica’s legacy, Mr Turley said: “She always said Ireland would be 20 years behind New York and she certainly got it right. I don’t think she would have had any idea though of how bad it was going to get.

“Every week criminals are taking each other out. There is no respect for life and €100,000 is nothing to them because they just blow it up their nose. I don’t know where it’s going to end.”

The couple will get married in July and their hope is to travel Route 66 on their Harley Davidson for their honeymoon in memory of a close friend who has recently passed away.

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