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Brother of Veronica Guerin: Gemma O'Doherty's comments on her murder were 'disgusting'

Speaking to TheJournal.ie, O’Doherty said she believed the State was involved in the killing.

Brian Meehan, a member of crime boss John Gilligan's gang, was convicted of murdering Guerin.
Brian Meehan, a member of crime boss John Gilligan's gang, was convicted of murdering Guerin.
Image: Eamonn Farrell/RollingNews.ie

THE BROTHER OF murdered journalist Veronica Guerin has said he found comments made by journalist Gemma O’Doherty about his sister’s killing ‘disrespectful’.

In a video taken at a meeting in Waterford recently, O’Doherty, who announced this month she is seeking a nomination for the upcoming presidential election, can be heard speaking about the journalist’s murder in 1996.

She said: “I think Veronica, you know, she was heavily involved with criminals and very dangerous individuals. I believe Veronica was murdered by the State because she was getting far too close to some of the State’s very dirtiest secrets.”

Brian Meehan, a member of crime boss John Gilligan’s gang, was convicted of murdering Guerin and sentenced to life imprisonment in 1997. Gilligan was tried for the murder but was acquitted in 2001.

Today, Jimmy Guerin said he found O’Doherty’s remarks “offensive, disgusting and extremely hurtful”. He branded it a “cheap attempt for publicity”. 

Guerin, who is an independent councillor serving the Howth–Malahide area, told TheJournal.ie that someone alerted him to the video footage online this week. 

“I found it totally unbelievable and bizarre,” he said. He also said he thought it was “disrespectful to Veronica” and if O’Doherty has any evidence she should bring it to people who can investigate it. 

“I would find it very difficult if she presented in front of Fingal County Council [as a presidential candidate], but that might be the place where I’d raise issues with her that she seems to be so knowledgeable about.”

TheJournal.ie contacted Gemma O’Doherty about Guerin’s criticism of her remarks. 

She clarified that she “was not saying a member of An Garda Síochána shot her”.  However she believes Guerin was working to expose collusion between gardaí and criminals and that this had put her life in danger.

She referenced an article of Guerin’s about a deal between the State and a criminal confidant of the late Martin Cahill – The General – for the return of the garda file on the Fr Niall Molloy murder. O’Doherty pointed out that the night before the article which revealed this deal was published, shots were fired at Guerin’s home. 

O’Doherty claimed her own life “was put in danger” because of her investigations into corruption. 

Although she said she could not prove her claims in relation to the journalist’s murder, she said a number of her sources told her Guerin had been “warned off” the story about the Fr Molloy case. 

The presidential campaign

O’Doherty said she will be speaking to councils in Kerry, Cork, Roscommon, Galway, Offaly, Fingal and Waterford over the next two weeks as she continues to seek nomination for the presidential election.  

“I cannot believe the groundswell of support that I have from the public every day – the number of emails and messages from people offering me help and wanting to get involved in the campaign. It’s just staggering, and that’s not because it’s me, it’s because they are desperate for change,” she said.

She said councils should, in the interest of democracy, try to “choose candidates who stand for different things” to come before the Irish electorate.

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