Sunday 18 March 2018

Name 'Veronica' bridge after the SF/IRA victims

On anniversary of her murder, Jimmy Guerin exposes hypocrisy of republicans

Veronica Guerin
Veronica Guerin

Jimmy Guerin

Someone said to me last week that next year would be the 20th anniversary of Veronica's death. They spoke about its significance and suggested something should be done to commemorate her murder. As they spoke I was thinking that this person, who was full of good intentions, was unbeknownst to himself slightly insensitive. Does it matter if it is 20, 17 or as it is, 19 years last Friday since Veronica was assassinated for going about her work as a Sunday Independent journalist?

The years do not make it easier, the loss becomes no less as time goes by. But things do happen and Veronica, who is a champion to many, becomes less of a person in some people's eyes, more of a commodity - and if you allowed it, a political football, which is hard to take.

The inquiry into the affairs of paedophile Brendan Smyth last week reminded me of Veronica. Her story about the Smyth files lying in the Attorney General's office played its part in bringing down the Albert Reynolds-led Fianna Fail/Labour coalition. She also played her part in exposing Brendan Smyth and the huge cover-up carried on by the Catholic Church. Veronica worked hard for victims of child abuse and victims of the drug lords.

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