No conspiracy or State involvement in Veronica Guerin murder, brother says

No conspiracy or State involvement in Veronica Guerin murder, brother says
Veronica Guerin

There was no conspiracy or State involvement in the killing of murdered journalist Veronica Guerin, her councillor brother Jimmy Guerin has said.

Speaking at a special meeting of Fingal County Council, Mr Guerin was afforded an opportunity to speak in response to recent controversial comments by aspirant Presidential candidate, Gemma O'Doherty.

Ms O'Doherty was scheduled to address the meeting alongside other candidates, but withdrew with less than an hour's notice, council officials confirmed.

Ms O'Doherty recently claimed that Ms Guerin was murdered by the State but her comments were on Monday afternoon strongly rejected by Mr Guerin.

He said in the 22 years since her death, only two people have said John Gilligan did not kill her. “They are John Gilligan and Gemma O'Doherty,” he said.

In a five minute speech, Mr Guerin, an independent councillor, referred to numerous statements in the media in recent weeks by Ms O'Doherty saying he found them to be “hurtful, offensive and disgusting.”

He said he and his family have found her comments about his sister to be very distasteful, especially one which suggested the Guerin family did not wish to find out the truth about Veronica's murder.

At a meeting with members of Clare County Council in early September, Ms O'Doherty said: “Anyone who is interested in finding out the truth about a murdered relative would surely welcome anybody who is shining a light on that, so I cannot understand the reaction of Mr Guerin, but I will not be bullied by anybody.”

Councillor Guerin rejected criticisms made by Ms O'Doherty about his business dealings.

Concluding his remarks, Mr Guerin restated his belief that there was no state involvement in his sister's killing and he called on Ms O'Doherty to stop making such remarks.

"There was no conspiracy and I would ask she would let my sister rest in peace," Mr Guerin said to warm applause from his fellow councillors and from the public gallery.

Last week, Ms O’Doherty clashed with members of Clare County Council over her claims that there was State collusion in the murder of Veronica Guerin.

At a specially convened meeting of Clare County Council in Ennis to hear from presidential hopefuls, Ms O’Doherty said that “a very dangerous tweet” from Mr Guerin, had defamed her.

Asking Ms O’Doherty to account for her “State collusion” claims, Cllr Mary Howard (FG) read out Mr Guerin’s tweet in full, where he stated Ms O’Doherty’s “State collusion” comments concerning the murder of his sister were “offensive, disgusting and extremely hurtful”.

The Fingal meeting also has heard from other aspirant candidates Joan Freeman and Kevin Sharkey.

Update - 8.32pm: In response to Mr Guerin's comments, Ms O'Doherty said no one - including Mr Guerin - was going to silence her.

“Mr Guerin is not going to silence me. I made a stated belief at a public meeting a number of weeks ago. This has nothing to do with my presidential campaign,” she told the Irish Examiner.

“I cannot see how it could be offensive,” she added.

“I am focusing on my campaign which is about corruption, transparency and accountability and nobody will silence me, including Mr Guerin,” she said.

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