Veronica Guerin bridge mooted

by Ian Begley

A proposal to name the new flyover at Newlands Cross after Veronica Guerin has been backed by her brother, Councillor Jimmy Guerin, who is an independent councillor in Howth.
In November, Clondalkin Cllr Breeda Bonner (Lab) tabled a motion that the new bridge should be named in honour of the journalist who was shot and killed while queuing in traffic at the Nass Road. This was also backed by Clondalkin TD Robert Dowds (Lab).
It has now been agreed among local councillors that a public consultation should take place on the naming of this bridge instead, which is expected to happen next month. There will then be a voting process among councillors based on the suggestions they receive from the public.
In November, when the Newlands’ bridge officially opened, Deputy Dowds said: “I think it would be a very fitting tribute to Veronica Guerin if the new flyover was named in her honour. I think everyone remembers where they were when they heard that she had been murdered on the Naas Road, and considering the new flyover is now opening, I think that most people would agree that it should be named in her honour.”
However, Clondalkin Cllr Jonathan Graham (SF) told The Gazette that naming the bridge after Veronica Guerin would be “totally inappropriate”.
He said: “Many families and individuals have suffered at the hands of those involved in drug dealings so I think it’s inappropriate to name the bridge after Veronica Guerin – she’s not the only person who has died from the extension of criminality, that is drug dealing.
Local Cllr Trevor Gilligan (FF) also said he is not in favour of naming the bridge after Guerin.
“I don’t think I would be very supportive of that because you’re kind of pointing out the location of where someone was murdered as opposed to naming the bridge after someone who had a significant positive input in the area. I don’t think it would be a very positive to name the new bridge after her and I don’t think we should be rushing into naming the bridge either,” he said.
In contrast to these objections, Jimmy Guerin told The Gazette that he favours the proposal to name the bridge after his sister.
He said: “I was aware of the proposal and I certainly don’t have a problem with the bridge being named after her. I think there’s nothing wrong with reminding people of what happened, and I believe it’s important to remember all the work she has done.”
Guerin was shot dead by a member of a criminal gang on June 26, 1996, while she was stopped at traffic lights on the Naas Road.

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