The winners in this year’s Local Ireland Media Awards have been announced.

Sixteen awards celebrating excellence in local news publishing were presented at a gala dinner in the Bloomfield House Hotel near Mullingar last night.

The evening was hosted by celebrity sports commentator and journalist Marty Morrissey and sponsored by the National Lottery.

President of Local Ireland Declan McGuire said:

“Local Ireland represents newspapers and online news publishers right across the country. We had a record number of entries this year, which were for our seventh awards. I want to thank the National Lottery for their sponsorship of an event that reflects the valuable work that our journalists do in support of their communities. Along with the nominees and winners, the whole sector should be congratulated on the quality of this year’s entries.”

Executive Director of Local Ireland Bob Hughes said:

“I want to thank the judges for the care they have taken in assessing more than 600 entries. It was great to have an opportunity for the sector to come together again to celebrate at our first in-person event in three years.”

A special presentation was made on the night to honour the career of Johnny O’Hanlon, former editor of The Anglo-Celt in Cavan and a former Director of Local Ireland.

The judging panel for the awards was chaired by entrepreneur and broadcaster Áine Kerr. She was joined by author and broadcaster Dearbhail McDonald, Emeritus Professor at TUD Michael Foley, broadcaster and writer Valerie Cox, journalist and author PJ Cunningham, Dawn Wheatley of DCU School of Communications, Managing Director of Kinetic Ireland Andrew Sinclair and photographer and former Irish Times Picture Editor Frank Miller.

Award winners on the night were:

Best Local Advertisement – Connacht Tribune

Feature Journalist of the Year – Kieran Foley, Munster Express

Best Photograph – John Kelly, Clare Champion

Best Use of Digital – The Big Story, The Southern Star

Best News Series – The Echo

Best Front Page – The Nationalist

Best Use of Photography – Wexford People

Best Advertising Campaign – Westmeath Independent

Sports Journalist of the Year – Catherine Power, Munster Express

Best Use of Social Media – Meath Chronicle

Columnist of the Year – Paul Fitzpatrick, The Anglo-Celt

Best Innovation – Mediahuis Ireland Regionals

National Lottery Best Community Story – Ciara McCaughey, The Roscommon Herald

Best News Story – The Anglo-Celt

Best Supplement – The Mayo News

Lifetime Achievement – Johnny O’Hanlon


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