On this day in 1996, investigative journalist Veronica Guerin was murdered for exposing criminal gangs

On this day in 1996, investigative journalist Veronica Guerin was murdered for exposing criminal gangs

TODAY MARKS 24 years since the death of Veronica Guerin, an investigative journalist hailed for exposing the reality of the Irish criminal underworld.

Ms Guerin was highly regarded as being one of the most determined investigative reporters, rising to prominence for her articles exposing the identities of members of multiple criminal gangs in Dublin.

Her articles, which appeared in The Sunday Business Post, The Sunday Independent and The Sunday Tribune, resulted in her receiving death threats and intimidation by the gangs which she exposed, but Ms Guerin carried on regardless.

Determined to pursue her story, she famously rallied against a 24-hour-Garda escort which was assigned to her as she said it hampered her work, despite receiving two warning shots into her home and a masked man showing up on her doorstep, shooting her in the leg.

Dismissing these warnings, Ms Guerin went on to confront notorious drug kingpin John Gilligan, who in turn threatened to kidnap her and attack her son if she wrote anything about him-- he would later be jailed for ordering her murder.

(Source: Irish Independent)

On 26 June, 1996, Ms Guerin was driving on the outskirts of Dublin when she stopped at a red traffic light.

Unknown to her, she had been followed by a motorcycle for some time, and as her her car came to a stop one of the two men on the vehicle shot her six times before speeding away.

Her murder shocked and outraged the nation, being described as "an attack on democracy" by An Taoiseach John Bruton, who attended her funeral which was broadcast across the country.

A biographical film detailing her life, career and death was released in 2003, for which Cate Blanchett, who played the journalist, was nominated for a Golden Globe Award.

Veronica Guerin is buried in Dardistown, Dublin, with her gravestone depicting written tributes from her friends and family in the form of a newspaper article.

File:Guerin gravestone.jpg (Image: Cograng / Wikipedia)

In 2018, on the 22nd anniversary of her death, Ms Guerin's brother Jimmy Guerin, admitted "it doesn't get any easier as the years go by".

The aftermath of Veronica Guerin's murder saw several new laws being established as well as the formation of the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) which has assisted in the arrests of countless criminal gang members since.