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Murdered journalist Veronica Guerin 'an example for today'

Published 26/06/2016

A plinth at the site of Veronica Guerin's murder
A plinth at the site of Veronica Guerin's murder

One of Ireland's senior churchmen has said Veronica Guerin's life remains an example for today.

At a special mass on the 20th anniversary of the journalist's murder, Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin called on people to follow in her footsteps.

"We remember Veronica Guerin 20 years after her murder," the Archbishop said.

"We remember her not as a news story of the past, but as an example for today.

"We have uncompromisingly to expose and condemn the horrible violence and corruption of those who are involved in the traffic of death and disregard for life which is the drugs trade."

Guerin was a leading crime journalist at the time of her death.

She was shot six times as she sat in her car on the Naas dual carriageway on June 26 1996 when two men drew alongside her on a motorbike.

Brian Meehan from Crumlin is serving a life sentence for her murder.

John Gilligan was acquitted of her murder.

He survived an assassination attempt shortly after being released from prison in 2014 for multimillion euro cannabis trafficking.

Archbishop Martin has spoken out in recent months at the escalation in gangland murders in the feud involving the Kinahan and Hutch families.

He used his homily at the anniversary mass to call on people to support the work of gardai against drug dealers.

"Those who are involved in this disgusting and despicable industry will still attempt to silence anyone who has the courage to call evil evil. We must not let them overcome," he said.

Archbishop Martin said Guerin remains someone who showed integrity and courage and has has been an inspiration.

He spoke of the need for a united society against drugs, criminality and gangsterism.

"The democracy which we cherish requires honesty and integrity and not just individual integrity," he said.

"The corrupt flourish in a society where complacency and turning a blind eye flourish.

"We vilify democracy when we lack the courage and perseverance to call evil evil.

"We vilify the men and women of integrity when we fail to remember and support what they stood for. We honour the men and women of integrity when we show our own mettle.

"I have said on many occasions in the face of the current bout of violence in Dublin that the men and women of violence have two weapons in their armoury: their guns and our silence."

The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) also paid tribute to Guerin this week, calling her an inspiration to reporters worldwide.

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