Wreath laid to honour Guerin


A WREATH was laid yesterday by members of the International Federation of Journalists, the NUJ and Amnesty International in memory of Veronica Guerin who was murdered 16 years ago.

The wreath-laying at the Veronica Guerin memorial in Dublin Castle marked World Press Freedom Day which occurs today.

It was attended by Jim Boumelha, Beth Costa and Stephen Pearce – the president, general secretary and deputy general secretary respectively of the International Federation of Journalists.

The federation will be holding its world congress in Dublin Castle in June next year with 300 journalists likely to attend.

Mr Boumelha said 1,000 journalists have been killed or have died in violent circumstances over the last decade.

The majority of them do not die in war zones, but in countries that are at peace and many have been forgotten about, he said.

Guerin was murdered on June 26th, 1996, having exposed in the Sunday Independent the criminal doings of Dublin’s gangland.

NUJ Irish secretary Séamus Dooley said the presence of members of the federation yesterday was a “fitting tribute to the memory of those who died for seeking the truth”.

Amnesty International Ireland executive director Colm O’Gorman condemned the continuing imprisonment of journalists:

“Journalists imprisoned the world over by governments scared of their crimes being exposed must be released,” he said.

“In particular, the Chinese authorities must release imprisoned journalist Shi Tao, sentenced to 10 years for exposing their efforts to manipulate coverage of pro-democracy activists.”