Irish Times reporter Kitty Holland has been named National Journalist of the Year for her work in breaking the story about the death of Savita Halappanavar.
Holland’s story about Ms Halappanavar’s death in Galway University Hospital late last year led to nationwide protests and eventually to a review of Irish abortion laws.
Michael Brophy, chairman of the National Newspapers of Ireland (NNI) judging panel, praised Holland's bravery in breaking the story, saying "great stories have great consequences".
“They hit the news stands with impact, which spellbinds the audience. The reader then quickly realises that things in the future will not be the same as they were in the past.
“This year, we witnessed one of those stories. A story which gripped the nation when it appeared and which set the national agenda for a long time afterwards.
“Today, we are all the richer, as a society, that it was published.”
The Irish Times picked up six journalism awards at today’s ceremony.
Columnist Fintan O'Toole was named Critic of the Year, while Eoin Butler scooped the Feature Writer of the Year accolade.
The Irish Times supplement on young Irish writing, Fighting Words, won the award for best educational supplement.
Paul Howard’s alter-ego Ross O’Carroll Kelly won the Columnist of the Year award for his outpourings in The Irish Times.
Holland also won the award for News Reporter of the Year, again for her work on the Halappanavar story.
The Scoop of the Year award went to Paul Williams of the Irish Independent for the infamous Anglo Tapes.
As well as announcing the category winners at the Four Seasons Hotel in Ballsbridge, the NNI presented a posthumous award for Outstanding Contribution to Public Debate to cancer victim Donal Walsh.
The heroic Kerry teenager, who died earlier this year, spoke out about the heartache of suicide while in the final months of his own illness.
Accepting the award on her son’s behalf, his mother, Elma Walsh said: “I know for a fact he would be so proud. He had a photo of the Sunday Independent piece he wrote on his phone so he could be reminded of what he wrote and also the cheque he received.”
Full list of winners
Regional Journalist of the Year: Anthony Hennigan, Western People
News Reporter of the Year: Kitty Holland, The Irish Times
National Journalist of the Year: Kitty Holland, The Irish Times
Crime & Security Reporter of the Year: Mick McCaffrey, Sunday World
Scoop of the Year: Paul Williams, Irish Independent (The Anglo Tapes)
Critic of the Year: Fintan O’Toole, The Irish Times
Political Journalist of the Year: Fiach Kelly, Irish Independent
Business & Economics Journalist of the Year: Ian Kehoe, The Sunday Business Post
Columnist of the Year: Paul Howard, The Irish Times
Feature Writer of the Year: Eoin Butler, The Irish Times & Irish Independent
Young Journalist of the Year: Elaine Loughlin, Irish Daily Mail
Newspapers in Education Supplement/Initiative: The Irish Times - Young Irish Writing
Sports Reporter of the Year: Roy Curtis, Sunday World
Sports Columnist of the Year: Neil Francis, Sunday Independent
Showbiz Journalist of the Year: Barry Egan, Sunday Independent
Best Design & Presentation: Sunday World
Foreign Coverage: Jason O’Brien, Irish Independent
The Digital Award: Independent.ie team, with Paul Williams, Fionnan Sheahan, Tom Lyons - The Anglo Tapes
News Analysis: Michael O’Farrell, Irish Mail on Sunday
Campaign of the Year: David Walsh, The Sunday Times - The Lance Armstrong Doping Scandal
Best Headline of the Year: Western People for “Deja Vodoo”