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TheJournal.ie wins three Justice Media Awards for excellence in legal journalism

News editor Sinéad O’Carroll, political correspondent Christina Finn, and reporter Sean Murray all won prizes for their articles.

Justice Media Awards All of this year's winners. Source: Jason Clarke

THREE THEJOURNAL.IE REPORTERS were named winners at the 2019 Justice Media Awards yesterday, which are the longest-running media awards in the country and reward excellence in legal journalism.

The merit awards were won by news editor Sinéad O’Carroll, political correspondent Christina Finn, and reporter Sean Murray. 

In the print/online journalism (daily) category, Sinéad O’Carroll won a merit award for her article:

This was an examination of how the head of a major tribunal came to believe some witnesses more than others, and the judges said of O’Carroll:

This journalist has well established her credentials in analysing tribunals, both historic and contemporary. She continues her award-winning work on this topic with an excellent exploration of what Judge Peter Charleton himself described as the“dreadful struggle” of uncovering the truth during the Disclosures Tribunal process.

Justice Media Awards Law Society Director General, Ken Murphy, Christina Finn and President of the Law Society of Ireland, Patrick Dorgan. Source: Jason Clarke

In the human rights/social justice reporting category, Christina Finn won a merit award for her article:

This was an exposé of slow progress in reforming mental health law and its impact on human rights, and the judges said:

Five years after publishing a Mary Raftery Journalism fund-backed investigation into mental health law in Ireland, this reporter returns to the topic to reveal that just one of 165 recommended changes had been made to the Mental Health Act 2001. This is an excellent, detailed examination of the laws, their impacts on those seeking mental health treatment and the very real effect of political inaction on human rights.

Justice Media Awards Law Society Director General, Ken Murphy, Sean Murray and President of the Law Society of Ireland, Patrick Dorgan. Source: Jason Clarke

Reporter Sean Murray received a merit award in the newcomer of the year category, with the judges in particular singling out his Disclosures Tribunal reporting.

Just two years into his journalism career, this reporter has shown confidence and tenacity in particular in his coverage of the Disclosures Tribunal. He has demonstrated a strong interest and capacity for reporting on legal issues and we hope to see much more of his work at the Justice Media Awards.

In total, 35 awards and merits were presented to the deserving winners yesterday, with the top prize being awarded to BBC Northern Ireland for their Spotlight investigation When is Sex Rape?.

“We believe it is hugely important to recognise and reward excellence in legal journalism,” said President of the Law Society of Ireland Patrick Dorgan.

“Journalism that promotes a greater public understanding of the law, the legal system and specific legal issues is of immeasurable value and this year’s awards recognise some fine examples.” 

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