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Thursday 7 December 2023 Dublin: 11°C

Two Journal Media projects shortlisted for Mary Raftery journalism prize

The Stardust podcast and the investigative series ‘A bridge too far’ are included on this year’s list.

TWO PROJECTS FROM Journal Media have been shortlisted for the prestigious Mary Raftery Prize, which is awarded annually to an individual reporter or a small team responsible for social affairs journalism on the island of Ireland.

Sean Murray, Nicky Ryan and Christine Bohan of are included for their work on the acclaimed ‘Stardust’ podcast, which tells the story of one of the worst tragedies in modern Irish history.

The podcast looks at what happens when a community never gets closure after a massive tragedy and how the Irish State got its handling of the fire so wrong. 

Maria Delaney and Ken Foxe of Noteworthy, Journal Media’s investigative journalism platform, are shortlisted for their collaboration on ‘A bridge too far’ – a series of articles examining the story of a controversial road scheme that divided an Irish city. 

Also shortlisted are:

‘Crechés: Behind Closed Doors’ – by the RTÉ Investigations Unit (Doireann O’Hara, Aoife Hegarty and Paul Maguire)

‘No Child 2020′ – from The Irish Times (Ruadhán Mac Cormaic, Fintan O’Toole, Kitty Holland, Conor Goodman)

‘The case of Majella Moynihan’ – RTÉ Documentary on One (Aoife Kelleher, Sarah Blake and Liam O’Brien)

‘Spotlight on Domestic Violence’ – from the Westmeath Independent (Geraldine Grennan)

‘Enough is Enough-No Excuses’ and ‘Open Your Eyes to STIs’ – by Beat 102 103 (Michelle Heffernan)

‘Homelessness’ – by Kitty Holland of The Irish Times. 

Mary Raftery wrote a weekly column for The Irish Times from 2003-2009, focusing on a wide range of items including child abuse, human rights, women’s rights and mental health.

She contributed articles to the paper until her death in 2012.

Prior to this, Raftery worked with RTÉ.

She is perhaps best known for producing States of Fear and Cardinal Secrets.

The former, which aired in April and May 1999, detailed the abuse suffered by children in reformatory and industrial schools between the 1930s and 1970s.

In 2002, Cardinal Secrets exposed cover-ups of clerical child abuse in Dublin.

Her work was instrumental in bringing about the State investigations into child abuse in institutions and the Catholic Church.

In September 2012 the Mary Raftery Journalism Fund, which funds the prize, was established in her memory.

The mission of the Fund is to promote good practice in investigative journalism and help fund high quality reporting that serves the public interest.

It is administered by the School of Communications, Dublin City University, which appoints an independent panel of judges, and is sponsored by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland.

The winner of the 2019 prize will be announced at an online event before the end of the year. 

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