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TheJournal.ie's Stardust wins gold at New York Festivals Radio awards

The longform six-part documentary podcast got the nod last night at the prestigious awards.

STARDUST, THE SIX-part podcast made by TheJournal.ie about the 1981 disaster in Dublin, has won a gold medal at the prestigious New York Festivals Radio Awards.

TheJournal.ie won the gold medal in the category of Best Narrative/Documentary Podcast, where it was nominated alongside podcasts from Bloomberg, ESPN, Sky News and The Washington Post, among others. The BBC and ESPN won the gold medals in the category last year.

The podcast was the first longform narrative podcast made by TheJournal.ie, complementing the trusted journalism which has been produced by the newsroom over the past decade. It got a huge reaction in Ireland, becoming a ‘must-listen’ podcast among listeners and spreading by word of mouth. It was described by The Guardian as ‘devastating and important’ and it reached #1 in the Apple podcast charts, where it has a 5-star rating.

The show was made by Sean Murray, who created and narrated the podcast, producer Nicky Ryan and executive producer Christine Bohan.

The Stardust disaster is one of the most significant stories in modern Irish history, not only because of the scale of the loss of life but also what is seen as the botched attempt by the State to deliver justice. Forty-eight young people, most of them teenagers, were killed at the Stardust disco in Dublin in the early hours of the morning on 14 February 1981, and over 200 more were wounded.

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.

“It’s absolutely fantastic to get the nod and win this award for the work we put into this podcast,” said Sean Murray. “I grew up in Dublin and like many people, I knew about the tragedy but not the full story. I wanted to tell this story to a new generation, in a way that hadn’t been done before, and putting the people who lived through it at the very centre of it.

“We’d like to thank the New York Festivals Radio Awards jury and our colleagues who helped to make this podcast.

“I especially want to thank the people who spoke to us for this podcast. Being invited to the homes of survivors and their families to listen to what they had to say was a humbling experience and I’m extremely grateful for their time and willingness to share their stories. With the upcoming new inquests into the fire due to take place soon, I wish them all the very best going forward.”

Adrian Acosta, CEO of Journal Media, said: “We are proud as a company to enable and produce journalism of this calibre.

“Projects like Stardust require investment, expertise and exceptional commitment across the board. We are delighted to secure this prestigious award as recognition of the team’s efforts and of the company’s support of quality journalism.”

The annual New York Festivals Radio Awards recognise audio content across all platforms from radio stations, networks, and independent producers from around the world.

  • Search for us on your podcast app of choice by typing in ‘Stardust’ or ‘TheJournal.ie’.
  • You can also find us on your podcast app of choice by clicking the link below…

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Christine Bohan

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