Local journalism celebrates as 12 media titles scoop awards at 4th Local Ireland Annual Media Awards

Uncovering a scam to influence a significant planning decision, getting behind the devastation of the drugs culture in rural Ireland and thrilling readers with the delights of sport in our communities were just some of the entries that topped the awards in the Local Ireland 4th Annual Media Awards presented at a Gala Dinner in Athlone on Thursday 23rd May. The event was sponsored by the National Lottery.

Celtic Media Group (CMG) topped the winners list in 3 categories. These included Best Sports Story, Paul Fitzpatrick, Anglo Celt; Connaught Telegraph’s, Alison Laredo’s  Best Photograph and Meath Chronicle for Best Digital Content.

Clare Champion and Southern Star followed with each winning 2 categories. Clare Champion’s Jessica Quinn won the Best News Story Category and Carol Byrne won the National Lottery Best Community Story category. While Southern Star’s Siobhan Cronin won the Feature Story of the Year category and this title also won Best Local Advertisement.

Other winners included; Connacht Tribune for Best Advertisement Campaign, Evening Echo for Best Supplement; Kerryman for Best Front Page; Mayo News Anton McNulty and Edwin McGreal for Best News Series and Tuam Herald for Best Use of Photography.

The Lifetime achievement was awarded to Joe Gleeson, former Managing Director Limerick Leader, Past President IMPA and long-time member of the Regional Newspaper and Printers Association of Ireland.

The awards, open to all 43 member titles and their staff, including journalists, photographers and advertising executives, attracted over 520 hundred entries and were presented by David Ryan, President Local Ireland and Managing Director Nenagh Guardian Publishing and Printing Co., and Dermot Griffin, CEO, National Lottery. The MC for the evening was Marty Morrissey, RTE Sports Broadcaster.

The judging panel comprised of Chairman Kate Shanahan, Head of Journalism and Communications TU – Dublin; Michael Foley, Prof. Emeritus, DIT; PJ Cunningham, Journalist, Editor and Author; Valerie Cox, Broadcaster, Journalist; Frank Miller, Photojournalist; Andrew Sinclair, Deputy Managing Director, OMD; Brian Maher, CEO Adaptive &Co.

Speaking on sponsoring the Local Ireland Media Awards, Dermot Griffin, Chief Executive at the National Lottery said: “This partnership with Local Ireland is such a natural fit for the National Lottery. Like local newspapers, the National Lottery is embedded in communities all over Ireland through almost 6,000 retailers. Local media is essential to keeping communities connected and continues to play a major role in both shaping and reflecting the people it serves. Local newspapers always have been and remain a vital vehicle to remind our players that by playing National Lottery games they are also supporting projects all over the country through our Good Causes fund.”

In his address, David Ryan, President, Local Ireland said, “These awards are in recognition of the many talents that combine to produce our titles in both print and digital format every week. We have outstanding journalists, photographers, designers and advertising executives the length and breadth of the country and we are delighted to properly recognise their contributions to our industry.