Irish Times journalists scoop top prize at Justice Media Awards

The winning entry was selected from a total of 277 pieces

An Irish Times exploration of the workings of Ireland’s district court system has claimed the top prize at this year’s Justice Media Awards.

Inside the District Courts was co-written by Legal Affairs Correspondent Mary Carolan and Public Affairs Editor Simon Carswell.

The judges at the awards, run by the Law Society of Ireland, said the work “offered unique insights and access to the judiciary”.

“To gain this access, it is clear trust had been established and the reputation of the journalists precedes them,” they said.


The winning entry was selected from a total of 277 pieces and also claimed top prize in the print/online journalism daily category. There were 15 categories in total.

Isabel Hayes won the court reporting category for her piece “Munster Abuse Trial: It was the quietest house...There was nothing”, which was published by The Irish Times. The judges described it as “a harrowing and disturbing long read” but said it was crucial it was written.

Declan Brennan, also writing for the The Irish Times, received a merit award for his piece “My name is Aisling”, which followed a woman’s battle to name the man who raped her when she was a child.

“Legal journalism wears many hats,” said Law Society president Michelle Ní Longáin. “Whether it is highlighting gaps in legislation, increasing legal literacy or amplifying the voices of victims, the Law Society is proud to support and champion legal journalism.”

Mark Hilliard

Mark Hilliard

Mark Hilliard is a reporter with The Irish Times