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VERONICA GUERIN

The Veronica Guerin Story
Veronica Guerin was born in the working class community of Artane on Dublin's Northside on July 5, 1959. She was the second-youngest in a family of three girls and two boys. Her father Christopher ran his own accountancy firm in the city, while her mother, Bernadette, ran the family. 

Jimmy, the youngest in the Guerin family, was very close to his big sister, a gregarious, tomboyish girl who helped her little brother with his homework and fixed him up with his first girlfriend. "There wasn't really that thing of an older sibling because Veronica was only a year older,” Jimmy Guerin recalls. "Veronica was more of a friend, and she was great in many ways. She was good fun.” 

Jimmy Guerin remembers someone who, even then, was sure of herself and her ability. "When she set out to do something, she became the best at it. She started playing basketball and she was European basketballer of the year. She played soccer for the Republic of Ireland and was a top scorer with the team. She had that ability to succeed at what she did.” 

After graduating, Veronica worked for a brief time at her father Christopher's accountancy firm. In 1982, she was appointed to the governing body of the National Institute of Higher Education, and the following year was appointed by the Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister) to work as an assistant to the Fianna Fail delegation to the New Ireland Forum negotiations. Later, she set up her own public relations company. In 1985, she married Graham Turley and the couple had a son, Cathal, in 1990. Family life was happy and stable but increasingly Veronica was being drawn towards the world of journalism. "I think she eventually found something that she was happy with,” Jimmy Guerin says. 

Before she started writing for the Sunday Independent, Veronica Guerin had already carved out a reputation as a courageous and groundbreaking investigative journalist. As a writer with the Sunday Business Post and the Sunday Tribune newspapers, she had scored a number of major scoops including an interview with a controversial Irish bishop who had disappeared to South America and an exclusive inside report on the multi-million-dollar Beit art robbery. Inevitably, Guerin's tenacity and increasingly high profile attracted the attention of the country's topselling newspaper, The Sunday Independent. 

In January 1994, her first story was published in the Sunday Independent. Willie Kealy, Guerin's news editor at the newspaper, recalls that Guerin initially worked many beats— both features and hard news—but increasingly she began to work on crime stories. "The fact that she specialized in crime was more by accident than design,” Kealy says. "But it was what she turned out to be best at and what she enjoyed most. It was also an area that had not been covered very well in Irish journalism; it was covered in a very formulaic way. Veronica was different. She bucked the system, shook it, and exposed the untouchable criminal underworld that the government couldn't or wouldn't touch.” 

Guerin was a maverick investigator with an instinctive nose for a good story. Every Sunday, her articles on the Dublin crime scene and the city's spiraling heroin problem attracted more and more readers. Guerin had, in a relatively short time, become one of Ireland's most recognized and famous journalists, a celebrity of sorts who pursued the bad guys with relentless determination. 

Veronica Guerin's investigative technique was certainly unusual in a time when most Irish journalists got their stories by telephone or through press conferences. She was a foot soldier, someone who worked on the ground and got the details firsthand as she met her informants faceto- face. She fostered key contacts in both the Irish police force, the Gardai, and in Dublin's criminal underworld. It was there she met John Traynor and through him, h

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