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NUJ remembers spirit of Veronica Guerin

24 June 2016

The 20th anniversary of the death of Veronica Guerin has been marked at a meeting of the Irish Executive Council of the NUJ in Dublin. Veronica was murdered on the outskirts of Dublin on 26 June 1996.

Gerry Carson, IEC cathaoirleach (chair) told members that the spirit of Veronica Guerin remains an inspiration to journalists across the globe. He said:

“The spirit of Veronica Guerin, that determination and commitment to seeking the truth, has inspired journalists across the globe. Her legacy lives on and 20 years after her murder journalists continue to regard Veronica’s work as a touchstone. We know how painful the memory of Veronica’s murder is for her family and former colleagues and they are in our thoughts at this time.”

The Guerin Principles were adopted in October 1996 as a tribute to Veronica and agreed by the NUJ, the Association of Independent Radio Stations, the National Newspapers of Ireland (now NewsBrands Ireland) and the Provincial Newspapers Association of Ireland (now Local Ireland).

They stated:

  • The existence of a fair, free and independent media is essential to democracy.
  • The state must ensure that a constitutional and legislative environment exists to facilitate freedom of expression and free media.
  • Media organisations must continue to provide the resources necessary for investigative journalism.
  • Media organisations must ensure that workers are given the maximum protection in the pursuit of their duties.
  • Media workers resolve to resist any attempt at intimidation in whatever form and from whatever quarter.’

Séamus Dooley, Irish Secretary, said:

“Journalism has changed dramatically since Veronica’s death but the principles remain relevant.  Journalists still need to stand up to intimidation from those who hide behind death threats and those who seek to silence through threats of court action.

"Media organisations must meet their obligation to support journalists – staff and freelance, through the provision of adequate resources, including decent conditions of employment. Veronica Guerin understood well the perils of freelance contracts and the difficulties faced, in particular, by women journalists in a tough, competitive profession.

"The challenge for the industry is to honour her memory by continuing to apply the principles agreed in her memory.”  

Tags: , ireland, veronica guerin, anniversary, journalists killed