Guerin names witness as sister's killer

28 November 2004
By Barry O'Kelly Crime Correspondent

The brother of murdered journalist Veronica Guerin now believes her killer was Charlie Bowden, a supergrass on the Garda witness protection programme.

In a new book, Justice Denied, Jimmy Guerin writes that there is overwhelming evidence that Bowden was the hitman who shot his sister. He claims Bowden manipulated the gardai at an early stage in the criminal investigation.

“I believe from day one we were sold a pup by Bowden,” Guerin said this weekend.

“Now the man who murdered Veronica is set up for life.”

Guerin said the Hollywood film, Veronica Guerin, had wrongly identified the killer as the veteran Dublin criminal, Patrick ‘Dutchy' Holland. “I accept that the portrayal of Dutchy was inaccurate,” he said.

Guerin, who sat through four trials related to the murder, recently interviewed Holland in Portlaoise Prison as part of his research for the book. Holland is serving 12 years for cannabis dealing. Guerin conceded that his support for the Bowden hitman theory represented a u-turn. In November 1997, when Holland was jailed, Guerin told the Irish Mirror: “At least now I know the man who pulled the trigger will spend a long, long time behind bars.”

Last week, he said: “That was based on what the guards told me. It was before the three trials when the true picture emerged. I changed my mind about Bowden quite a while ago.”

Bowden testified in three trials in the Special Criminal Court. One defence lawyer, John McCrudden QC, described Bowden as an inveterate liar, and said: “This is the man we say shot Veronica Guerin.”

Many statements made by Bowden about the murder of Guerin and his arrangement with the gardai have been contradicted by other sources, including phone records.

Justice Denied, which is published by Blackwater Press, seeks to expose miscarriages of justice.

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