Dublin City University has today named a prominent lecture theatre after journalist Veronica Guerin.
The Veronica Guerin Lecture Theatre was formally named at a special ceremony on the university’s Glasnevin campus. The event forms part of the DCU Women in Leadership initiative, Project 50:50, which represents a commitment by the university to name 50% of its major buildings and lecture theatres after inspiring females.
In welcoming guests to the event, Professor Brian MacCraith, DCU President said:
“The naming of the Veronica Guerin Lecture Theatre is a fitting memorial to her life and work. Veronica was not only one of Ireland’s most fearless and dedicated journalists, she was also a trailblazer for equality who became the country’s leading crime correspondent, in a male-dominated field.
By naming our buildings and lecture theatres after pioneering women like Veronica, we believe that we can inspire future generations of students, particularly young women, to excel and break down barriers to equality.”
Speaking on behalf of the Guerin family at the event, Jimmy Guerin, Veronica’s brother, said that the Women in Leadership initiative at DCU reflected the type of person that Veronica was; someone talented and ambitious and hard-working and brave.
“Talent must be fostered and encouraged and Veronica’s Sunday Independent colleagues, Ann Harris and her editor, the late Aengus Fanning, believed in Veronica’s potential and they gave her confidence and supported her.
With their help, Veronica became not the finest female journalist, but the finest journalist this country has ever seen. We are very proud of her and very grateful to DCU for their efforts in ensuring young people today still have role models, like Veronica, to inspire courage and dedication.”
Reflecting on a career that spanned accountancy, public relations, politics and journalism, Jimmy Guerin said that Veronica also found time to serve as a board member at DCU for ten years, a role she was proud of.
“Her association with such a fine institution and her interaction with all those she encountered at this university contributed greatly to the person Veronica became. The naming of this theatre is, in a way, Veronica returning to a place she loved”, Mr Guerin said.
DCU has a long-standing relationship with Veronica Guerin and the Guerin family, with Veronica serving on the NIHE/ DCU governing body from 1982 - 1992. In 2007, DCU’s School of Communications and Independent News & Media established a memorial scholarship in memory of the investigative journalist who was murdered in Dublin in 1996. The Veronica Guerin Ireland Funds Fellowship, funded by the Ireland funds, was also established in 2017 and enables DCU journalism graduates to participate in the News21 programme delivered at Arizona State University’s journalism school in Phoenix.
Bursary recipients were also announced at the event.
● Alix Renaud received the Veronica Guerin Memorial Scholarship, funded by Independent News and Media. Alix, a DCU journalism student, receives €8,000 which is intended to meet the cost of her programme fees.
● Rachel Farrell was awarded the Veronica Guerin Ireland Funds Fellowship, funded by the Ireland Funds. This bursary of €10,000 means Rachel will travel to Arizona next week where she will be part of a major news reporting investigation over the next three months. This is the third year DCU will have journalism graduates on the News21 programme, which won major awards for its reporting in 2017 and 2018.
Contributors at the event included Cormac Bourke, Editor of the Sunday Independent, Prof Eithne Guilfoyle, Vice-President Academic Affairs & Chair of DCU Women in Leadership Steering Committee and Prof Kevin Rafter, Head of DCU’s School of Communications. Guests included members of the Guerin family; Independent News and Media staff; DCU staff and Alumni.