INM crime journalist wins major award for 'fantastic’ body of work

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INM has picked up another major prize at the NewsBrands Ireland Journalism Awards with the Sunday World’s Patrick O’Connell named Crime Journalist of the Year.

His entries included an exclusive heart-breaking interview with Bridget O’Donoghue, the mother of the late two-year-old Santina and the revelation that Irish ISIS bride Lisa Smith was on her way home.

He also tracked down Ronan Hughes in Tyholland, Co Monaghan, a convicted smuggler wanted in connection with the death of 39 migrants in England.

Judge Mick McCaffrey said: “Patrick, everyday he’s around the country door stepping people and face to face with some nasty characters.

Fionnán Sheahan

“His body of work was fantastic.”

It come after the Irish Independent won two other prizes on the first day of the awards on Tuesday for revelations that absent TDs were voting in the Dáil.

The exclusive story first revealing the scandal won Scoop of the Year for Ireland Editor Fionnán Sheahan and Political Correspondent Cormac McQuinn.

Their work on what became known as ‘Votegate’, with colleagues Kevin Doyle, Hugh O’Connell and Philip Ryan, also won the Investigative Journalism award for the Irish Independent political team.

The judges said it brought a huge lens on how we conduct our parliamentary affairs.
“When we talk about impact, this was a story with resignations, investigations and apologies,” said Aine Kerr, a member of the independent judging panel.

“This is good old-fashioned journalism,” said judge PJ Cunningham.

The Sunday Independent’s Wayne O’Connor was named News Reporter of the Year.
His work included a look at the impact of Cheltenham, nursing homes and local pubs on the spread of Covid-19 in Co Westmeath. He also wrote about payments totalling €8.4m to politicians from local authorities, even after they were elected to another office, and about the pressure GP clinics are under.

Irish Independent/Independent.ie Editor, Cormac Bourke, said: “Journalism must hold those in power to account. This is nowhere more true than in Dáil Éireann. Our journalists should be very proud of their work and their awards.”

Independent News and Media publisher Peter Vandermeersch said: “I have said many times that we believe in quality journalism in all our titles and I am very pleased that the high quality work of our journalists in the Irish Independent and the Sunday Independent has been recognised with such prestigious awards.”

The full list of winners are:

Headline of the Year: The Parting Glass, The Irish Mirror

Front Page of the Year: The Irish Examiner, Gay Byrne Tribute

Columnist of the Year (Popular): Linda Maher, Irish Daily Mail

Features Writer Popular: Maeve Quigley, Irish Daily Mail

Crime Journalist: Patrick O’Connell, The Sunday World

Website of the Year: The Irish Times

Best Use of Video: Enda O’Dowd, The Irish Times, The Liffey Swim

Showbiz Journalist of the Year: Ken Sweeney, the Irish Sun

Features Writer (Broadsheet): Conor Lally, The Irish Times

Critic of the Year: John Burns, the Sunday Times

Foreign Coverage: Marion McKeone, The Business Post

Young Journalist of the Year: Claire Scott, the Irish Mail on Sunday

Journalist of the Year: Irish Times, Lives Lost Team

Political Journalist of the Year: Miriam Lord, The Irish Times

Business Journalist of the Year: Lorcan Allen, Irish Farmers Journal

Magazine of the Year, The Irish Times Magazine

Investigative Journalism: Irish Independent Political Team (Cormac McQuinn, Fionnán Sheahan, Kevin Doyle, Philip Ryan and Hugh O’Connell)

Broadsheet Columnist of the Year: Fintan O’Toole, The Irish Times

Popular Sports Writer of the Year: Neil O’Riordan, The Irish Sun

Broadsheet Sports Writer of the Year: Johnny Watterson, The Irish Times

Scoop of the Year: Cormac McQuinn and Fionnán Sheahan, Irish Independent

Podcast of the Year: Inside Politics, The Irish Times

Campaigning Journalism: Irish Daily Star Vs Daniel Kinahan

Best Coverage of Covid-19: Lives Lost, The Irish Times

News Reporter of the Year: Wayne O’Connor, Sunday Independent

Online Editors

Source: Irish News