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Last Updated: Wednesday, 9 July, 2003, 12:25 GMT 13:25 UK
Blanchett 'fascinated' by Guerin
Cate Blanchett
Blanchett said she felt "responsibility" towards Ms Guerin's family
Actress Cate Blanchett has said she became "fascinated" with the story of murdered Irish journalist Veronica Guerin, who she plays in a new film.

Blanchett, speaking at a news conference ahead of the release of Veronica Guerin in Ireland next week, also said she felt "enormous responsibility" towards the family of the campaigning reporter.

Ms Guerin, who wrote for Ireland's Sunday Independent, was murdered in 1996 after writing a series of exposes on Dublin's drugs dealers and crime bosses. She was shot by a gunman on a motorcycle as she sat in her car at traffic lights.

Two men were later jailed for her murder.

A third man accused of ordering the murder, John Gilligan, was acquitted but was sentenced to 28 years in jail on drugs charges.

The film, which is directed by Phone Booth's Joel Schumacher, recounts Ms Guerin's ground-breaking coverage that led to a long overdue police crackdown on Dublin's underworld.

Using police informants and other sources, she highlighted Dublin's soaring heroin trade and revealed the lifestyles of gangland bosses, who she described with codenames such as The General and The Coach.

Veronica Guerin
Ms Guerin wrote about the dark side of Dublin's society

Even before her death Ms Guerin had been beaten up by one drug dealer, and shot in the leg by another masked man who broke into her house.

Gilligan is currently appealing against his sentence in Dublin's high court.

Blanchett said: "It's very powerful - especially with Gilligan back on the stand, it's not gone away," she said.

The film, produced by Top Gun producer Jerry Bruckheimer, will be released in the US and the UK in the autumn.




WATCH AND LISTEN
The BBC's James Helm
"Veronica Guerin's killing sparked public revulsion and tough new laws clamping down on the drugs gangs"



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