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TheJournal.ie's Stardust wins best Radio Documentary at Celtic Media Festival

Our six-part documentary podcast picked up a Torc Award in a virtual ceremony this evening.

STARDUST, THE SIX-part podcast made by TheJournal.ie about the 1981 disaster in Dublin, has won best Radio Documentary at this year’s Celtic Media Festival.

In doing so, TheJournal.ie became the first podcast winner in the festival’s history.

The festival was originally due to take place in Quimper in France from 4-6 June, but was held virtually due to ongoing restrictions related to the Covid-19 pandemic.

BBC Two’s Two Doors Down was named best comedy, while RTÉ’s Prime Time documentary on the Irish greyhound industry took the award for best current affairs.

TG4’s Finné Sophia Murphy won for best factual series, and RTÉ Radio 1 was named Radio Station of the Year.

The podcast was the first longform narrative podcast made by TheJournal.ie and also won a gold medal at the prestigious New York Festivals Radio Awards in April.

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 great to get the nod for this award in a very competitive category,” Sean Murray said of tonight’s win..

“I grew up in Dublin and like many people, I knew about the tragedy of the Stardust 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’ve been living through some awful times recently, and I wish all the very best to the families ahead of the upcoming inquests.”

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

“Projects like Stardust require investment and a strong commitment to journalism. We believe that covering stories like this, giving a voice to marginalised communities where tragedy has struck, is especially important right now.

“We are delighted to secure this prestigious award as recognition of the team’s efforts and of the company’s support of quality journalism.”

  • 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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