Intrepid Guerin Inspires Youngsters
By Liam Collins
Veronica Guerin, the 15th anniversary of whose death occurred last week, has inspired a growing number of journalists and young people in Bulgaria.
Last week, Eimear Friel of the Irish Embassy in Bulgaria, and Lyuben Milev, head of the Blagoevgrad municipal council's legal and information department, presented the 'Veronica Guerin Award' at a ceremony in the town south of Sofia.
At the award ceremony a letter was read out from Veronica's mother, Bernie Guerin, paying tribute to the organisers and the award winners.
"I know how Veronica would have been so happy to know that after 15 years her work is remember by the people of Bulgaria."
Also present at the ceremony, which is now in its fifth year, was Dr Sonya Toteva, director of the State Psychiatric Hospital for Drug and Alcohol Addiction.
It was noted at the ceremony that Veronica's work has inspired a growing number of 'Veronica Guerin' clubs in schools, which aim to raise awareness of the dangers of drugs and promote healthy living. A number of students from the clubs attended the award ceremony and held a discussion afterwards.
The electronic media award went to investigative journalists involved in the television programme Criminal Code, which dealt with human trafficking and prostitution. The print media award went to Nevena Troyanska for her book TIM -- the Team that Conquered Bulgaria. Zahary Belchev, a reporter from Standard Daily, was awarded an honourary diploma for his contribution to reporting on drug-related topics.
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