School of Communications Scholarships


Deadline for applications: Noon, Monday, May 31, 2021

Dublin City University's School of Communications has announced details of the 2021 and 2022 Veronica Guerin Memorial Scholarship. The bursary is awarded in memory of investigative journalist Veronica Guerin who was murdered on June 26, 1996, and who served on the governing body of NIHE/DCU from 1982 to 1992.

The scholarship is for €8,000 and is intended to meet the fees of a prospective or current student on the MA in Journalism programme at DCU's School of Communications who wishes to specialize in investigative journalism in the 2020-2021 or 2021-2022 academic year. The scholarship was initiated in 2007 and is funded by Independent News & Media.

Applicants should provide an outline of their proposed major journalism project or dissertation on a topic or in a format relevant to the memory of Veronica Guerin. This, for example, might be a series of five investigative features, a single long-form feature, a radio documentary or an academic study on the practice of investigative journalism.

The panel of assessors, including representatives of INM and DCU's School of Communications, will make its selection on the overall quality of applications, taking account of:

  1. The rationale and clarity of the proposal;
  2. Its proposed methodology;
  3. The investigation/research plan, including possible sources;
  4. Academic and/or professional performance to date;
  5. For proposals in journalism formats, the suggested place of publication.

Candidates may refer to journalism or research they have done that is relevant to their proposal. Applications are invited from individuals who are or wish to be registered on DCU's MA in Journalism programme (Course code DC600) in the academic year 2020-2021 or 2021-2022. Please indicate which year your application is for. Programme entry requirements are available on the DCU website.

Applications should include: 

  1. A concise curriculum vitae; 
  2. A statement of motivation and suitability for the scholarship (maximum 250 words); 
  3. A descriptor of the investigative journalism project or academic dissertation to be undertaken as part of DCU's MA in Journalism programme (maximum 500 words).

Applications should be emailed to Paul McNamara, chairperson, MA in Journalism programme, assistant professor of journalism, School of Communications, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Glasnevin campus, Dublin City University, Dublin 9 by noon on Monday, May 31, 2021 at the following address: 

Canvassing will disqualify.

Veronica Guerin Memorial Scholarship – Background

Veronica Guerin

Veronica Guerin.

This scholarship was established by the School of Communications and Independent News & Media in memory of investigative journalist Veronica Guerin who was murdered in Dublin in 1996.

Veronica (5 July 1958 – 26 June 1996) worked with the Sunday Business Post and the Sunday Tribune newspapers before joining the Sunday Independent in 1994. She was a member of the governing body of NIHE/DCU from 1982 to 1992.

In 2000, Veronica was named as one of the International Press Institute’s 50 World Press Freedom Heroes of the previous 50 years. The award citation noted that she was:

“famous not only for her fearless reporting about the murderers and drug lords of Dublin’s criminal underworld but for her commitment to defending the public’s right to know. As a result of her work, she received numerous death threats, was attacked numerous times and ultimately killed.

Guerin knew that her life was put at grave risk by her prize-winning reports on leading underworld figures, whom she identified by nicknames because of Ireland’s libel laws. In October 1994, gunshots shattered the windows of her home north of Dublin. On January 30, 1995, the day after she published an article profiling ‘The Monk,’ a man suspected of masterminding the largest robbery in Ireland’s history, Guerin was shot in the thigh by an unidentified assailant who attacked her in her home. Undaunted, she vowed to continue her investigations upon her release from the hospital. ‘I vow that the eyes of justice, the eyes of this journalist will not be shut again,’ she said. ‘No hand can deter me from my battle for the truth.’ Her employer, Independent Newspapers, installed an expensive security system to protect her.

On September 13, 1995, she was attacked again, this time by a convicted criminal, John Gilligan, who viciously beat her when she sought to interview him. According to Guerin, Gilligan called her the next day and said, ‘If you write a word about me, I will find your boy and kidnap him and rape him. I am going to kill you if you write a word about me.’ Following this incident, the police provided her with a 24-hour escort, but she quickly dispensed with this protection because she said it hampered her style.

Guerin was killed on June 26, 1996, when one of two men on a motorcycle fired six rounds from a pistol at close range as she waited in her car at a traffic light just outside Dublin. She was 37 and married with a 6-year-old son, Cathal.”

The scholarship is intended to meet the cost of fees of a student on DCU’s MA in Journalism programme. Recipients have included: Joanna Kiernan (2007); Ciara Niamh Griffin (2010); Deborah Naylor (2011); Brian Byrne (2012); Claire McCormack (2013); Claire Scott (2014); Catherine Sanz (2015); Conor Molumby (2016).