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Ireland


-  Surface area: 70,280 sq. km.
-  Population: 3,803,000
-  Languages: English, Irish
-  Type of State: unitary republic
-  Head of State: Mary McAleese
-  Head of Government:
-  Bertie Ahern

Ireland - Annual report 2002

The acquittal of the person alleged to be behind the murder of journalist Veronica Guerin in 1996 probably marks the end of the affair.

New information on a journalist killed prior to 2001

On 15 March 2001 John Gilligan was acquitted of the murder of investigative journalist Veronica Guerin, who was gunned down in Dublin by two persons on a motorbike in June 1996. A drug baron suspected of having ordered the murder, John Gilligan, after a three year legal battle with the London authorities, was extradited from Great Britain where he was already serving a prison term. His trial opened on 3 October 2000. A specialist in investigations of the criminal world and drug dealers, journalist Veronica Guerin had published articles about organised crime in Dublin and had been threatened on several occasions. In November 1998 Paul Ward, seen as John Gilligan’s right-hand man, was sentenced to life imprisonment by a special criminal court in Dublin for having participated in the murder. Paul Ward had supplied the weapon and the motorbike used in the crime. On 29 July 1999 Brian Meehan, arrested in Holland in October 1997, was also found guilty of participating in the murder. John Gilligan, Paul Ward and Brian Meehan were fingered by a "repentant" Charles Bowden who, in exchange for immunity and state protection, turned state’s witness. According to him, the four of them were members of the same drug-dealing gang, and the journalist was just about to reveal the name of one of the "godfathers".



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see also
Introduction
Annual report 2002

Hard times for press freedom
Africa annual report 2002
Asia annual report 2002
Americas annual report 2002
Maghreb / Middle-East annual report 2002