Thursday 18 January 2018

Veronica Guerin 20th anniversary: Veronica's death taught us that the pursuit of justice must be relentless

Veronica Guerin was murdered on June 26, 1996. Photo: Brian Farrell
Veronica Guerin was murdered on June 26, 1996. Photo: Brian Farrell

Michael Carty

On this the twentieth anniversary of the murder of the journalist Veronica Guerin, perhaps it is appropriate to reflect on the immediate response of the Garda authorities and the dramatic changes that were implemented in policing in the aftermath of the brave journalist's death.

I never met Veronica, but I spoke with her a number of times on the telephone and found her focused, sharp and urbane.

At that time I was a police adviser with the United Nations in Zagreb, Croatia, where the situation was extremely volatile. Ireland, in comparison, had seemed such a peaceful and untroubled place. So the news of Veroncia's murder was shocking. The question on everyone's lips was: 'How did it come to this? Who is next?' For it seemed the balaclava men had thrown down a marker: 'We are in charge - do not meddle.'

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