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Journal Media won four awards at yesterday's Justice Media Awards

Reporters Gráinne Ní Aodha, Sean Murray, Paul O’Donoghue and Cianan Brennan picked up prizes for their articles.

Paul O'Donoghue, Cianan Brennan, Gráinne Ní Aodha and Sean Murray at yesterday's Justice Media Awards.
Paul O'Donoghue, Cianan Brennan, Gráinne Ní Aodha and Sean Murray at yesterday's Justice Media Awards.
Image: Lensmen

JOURNAL MEDIA PICKED up four awards at yesterday’s Justice Media Awards, the longest-running media awards in the country, which recognise and reward excellence in legal journalism.

Reporters Gráinne Ní Aodha, Sean Murray and Cianan Brennan from TheJournal.ie and Paul O’Donoghue for his work in Fora picked up prizes for their articles, which varied from reports relating to the legal rights of the unborn child to issues around the Public Services Card.

Gráinne Ní Aodha won the Newcomer of the Year Award for her work over the past year.

In particular, Ní Aodha was commended for her work covering the recent Supreme Court case which looked into which rights the unborn child had aside from the right to life granted by the Eighth Amendment.

The matter was one that needed to be resolved ahead of the May referendum, in which the country voted overwhelmingly to remove the Eighth Amendment from the Irish  Constitution.

From the judges’ ruling:

“Highly detailed, concise reporting and a strong sense of balance characterise this reporter’s work over the past year.

In particular, her coverage of the complex, high-profile and hugely significant case on the rights of the unborn, coming as it did at a critical time before the referendum on the 8th amendment, demonstrates a skill and insight that is highly commendable at such an early stage in her career.

Merit

TheJournal.ie reporters Sean Murray and Cianan Brennan both picked up merit awards for their work over the past year.

Murray won a merit award in the court reporting (print/online) category for his articles covering the Disclosures Tribunal.

The article singled out for focus was a report on the evidence given by the partner of garda whistleblower Keith Harrison to the Tribunal last September.

With the headline, Contradictions, ‘coercions’ and a private life made public: Keith Harrison’s partner at the Disclosures Tribunal, the judges said it was reporting from one “intriguing aspect of the ongoing Disclosures Tribunal” and was:

“Another excellent example of reporting from the Disclosures Tribunal, this time focussed on the evidence given by the partner of Garda Keith Harrison, Marisa Simms.

Characterised by clear writing, excellent context and colour, this report is an important piece of the on-going Tribunal puzzle.

Cianan Brennan picked up a merit in the human rights/social justice reporting category for his ongoing reporting on issues surrounding the Public Services Card.

The judges called it a “particularly comprehensive series of articles relating to the Public Services Card and its privacy implications for adopted citizens”.

“Taking very complex legal and social matters and making them accessible, this is a fine example of in-depth, public service reporting with a strong focus on the data privacy questions involved in the rollout of the Public Services Card.

The inclusion of a Facebook Live discussion panel on the topic highlights the innovation possible in online reporting.

Finally, Paul O’Donoghue picked up a merit in the international justice reporting category for his article in Fora about the dispute between Fyffes and its Honduran workers.

With the headline, Inside the row between Fyffes and its Honduran workers, the judges called the article an “in-depth investigation into allegations of employee rights abuses against Fyffes fruit company”.

“This is an excellently researched and written piece on the allegations of abuse made against Fyffes by dozens of its Honduran workers,” the judges said.

Speaking to individual workers about their experiences, balanced with the response from the company, the judges commend the reporter’s highly relevant and impactful work.

In total, 36 awards and merits were presented to winners across 12 categories.

The overall award was won by RTÉ’s Paul Murphy and Doireann O’Hara for their work Law and Disorder, which looked into Ireland’s district courts.

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About the author:

Cormac Fitzgerald

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