Documentary on Polish man’s case wins Law Society media award

‘Irish Times’ recognised for three pieces of journalism

Ken Murphy, Mark Tighe and Simon Murphy at the Law Society media awards.

Ken Murphy, Mark Tighe and Simon Murphy at the Law Society media awards.


The Irish Times has been recognised for three pieces of journalism covering the Irish legal system at the 25th annual Law Society Justice Media Awards.

Merit certificates were presented to Arthur Beesley for his article “Legal reform in action”; Alison O’Riordan for her coverage of the Mark Nash trial; and Conor Gallagher for his article “Why forensic evidence may not be as certain as we like to think it is”.

The main award in the daily newspaper category went to Fiachra Ó Cionnaith and Daniel McConnell of the Irish Examiner for their work on “Saving Grace – the story of ‘Service User 42’”, an examination of abuse at a children’s respite home.

Established in 1992, the awards focus on the role of the media in making the legal system accessible and understandable to the public.

The overall award was won by Frank Shouldice and Liam O’Brien of RTE Radio for their documentary The Case That Never Was, looking at Polish man Bogdan Chain and his complex legal case against an Irish recruitment company, which progressed to the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg. It also took the national radio award.

Speaking before the event, the Law Society’s director general, Ken Murphy, said the awards were “ultimately to improve the public’s understanding of the legal process”.“The law assumes that everyone knows the law but it’s only through the media that anyone can get any insight into the rule of law and how it underpins society.”

In other categories, Dearbhail McDonald won the Sunday Newspaper award for an article on medical negligence in the Sunday Independent and Ann Murphy from the Evening Echo in Cork took the regional award for a report on drug-user criminalisation.

Mark Tighe of the Sunday Times was given the court reporting print award for his article on the Ian Bailey trial, focusing on evidence not presented to the jury.

The broadcast court reporting award was won by Vivienne Traynor of RTE News for her coverage of an elderly woman prosecuted for having an illegal satellite dish and Christina Finn of The Journal took the digital court reporting award for her article “My daughter is my life”, focusing on a mother’s efforts to have her child returned from care.

Ray Kennedy of RTE won the television news category with his series “The battle for Gorse Hill - five days in March”. Television features and documentaries was won by Conor Ryan and John Cunningham of RTE Investigates for “Standards in Public Office”.

Local radio was won by Jerry O’Sullivan and Miriam McGillycuddy for their show “The legal lowdown” on Kerry Today; in digital/online news, Ellen Coyne of The Times - Ireland Edition won for “The criminalisation of the purchase of sex”; and in digital/online features, Will Goodbody of RTE won for his analysis of the “Safe Harbour” case.