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Prime Time Investigates doc wins international TV award

Exposé on counterfeit cigarette trade in Ireland given Gold World Medal in investigative news programme category in New York.

A PROGRAMME WHICH was aired under the now off-air Prime Time Investigates series of shows has just won a major international award for TV reporting.

Prime Time Investigates – Ireland’s Illegal Cigarette Trade won a Gold World Medal in the News Programme: Best Investigative Report category at the New York International Television and Film Awards 2012 last night. In that show, reporter Paul Maguire spent months on the trail of criminal networks who smuggle millions of counterfeit cigarettes to Irish gangs every year. These cigarettes are often made of dubious substances in factories in the Far East and the illegal trade here means that millions of euro is lost to the Exchequer in taxes. The show was produced by David Doran and commissioned by Ken O’Shea.

That programme also won the Students’ Jury Special Prize Award at the Prix Italia awards last October.

Two other documentaries aired on RTÉ last year also won awards. Somalia – the Children’s Famine also won a Gold World Medal in the Best Television Social Issues/Current Events section. That programme chronicled the humanitarian crisis in Somalia in June of last year – in which at least 26,000 children died before international aid arrived. It was filmed as former President Mary Robinson visited the Horn of Africa country.

The final programme to be honoured was Children Are Our Flowers, a documentary filmed over five years in Belarus. It told the story of two sisters with disabilities who were abandoned to a mental institution but whose lives changed dramatically after meeting with two Irish humanitarian volunteers.

Those two docs were presented by Jim Fahy and produced by Orla Nix.

Two RTÉ programmes made the shortlist – the When Harvey Met Bob drama, starring Domhnall Gleeson as Bob Geldof at the time of Live Aid,, won a Bronze World Medal for Drama and Voices From the Grave was given a finalist certificate for History & Society.

RTÉ decides to axe Prime Time Investigates>

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