Portrait of Guerin killer 'insensitive'

There has been an outcry over the decision by the Royal Hibernian Academy in Dublin to show a painting of Brian Meehan, who is serving a life sentence for the 1996 murder of journalist Veronica Guerin.

Meehan, a major player in the notorious Gilligan drugs gang responsible for her death, had his portrait painted by a reputable artist who has worked with prisoners picked apparently at random as subjects.

The painting is on sale for €3,000 (£2,170). The artist, Mick O’Dea, defended his work, saying it was not about power or glorification.

Veronica’s brother, Jimmy Guerin, now a journalist with the Sunday Independent, has protested against the insensitivity of displaying his sister’s killer. Talk show Liveline on RTE Radio I has been inundated with complaints, including one from a retired police officer who was one of the first on the scene following the assassination.

By Des Cryan in Dublin

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