Irish Times journalists recognised at Justice Media Awards

President of Law Society said many entries focused on giving a voice to victims of crime

Members of the Irish Times Women’s Podcast team, Suzanne Brennan, Róisín Ingle and Jennifer Ryan, who along with  Kathy Sheridan were recognised in the Radio and Podcast category. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Members of the Irish Times Women’s Podcast team, Suzanne Brennan, Róisín Ingle and Jennifer Ryan, who along with Kathy Sheridan were recognised in the Radio and Podcast category. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

 

Journalists with The Irish Times were among those honoured by the Law Society of Ireland at the annual Justice Media Awards on Thursday .

The awards are held to recognise reporting and coverage of the law and the legal system, and 200 entries from more than 130 journalists across 12 categories were received this year.

The Irish Times Women’s Podcast episode: Sealing the Records: Maeve O’Rourke & Mary Harney, was awarded a merit award.

Róisín Ingle, Kathy Sheridan, Jennifer Ryan and Suzanne Brennan were recognised in the Radio and Podcast category for highlighting the “complex legal situation” surrounding the Mother and Baby Homes records being sealed.

The audio piece “made the law accessible and explained difficult pieces of legislation” coherently and sensitively, the judges said.

Irish Times Courts Correspondent Mary Carolan picked up a merit award for her article on the 50-year legal career of the retiring president of the High Court. The profile was not only a “thoroughly enjoyable read” but also an “excellent and interesting analysis” documenting Mr Justice Peter Kelly’s long career.

Crime Correspondent Conor Gallagher’s article George Nkencho shooting: Racial tensions in Dublin’s suburbs, which was written in the wake of the fatal shooting of Mr Nkencho in west Dublin by a member of An Garda Síochána, was recognised in the Human Rights/ Social Justice Reporting category. “Focusing on community relations, this skilled journalist provided much needed additional context and delivered a considered background piece,” the judges said.

Where is George Gibney?

In the category of International Justice Reporting, Irish Times journalist Sally Hayden received a merit award for her “detailed and comprehensive” longread: Kony’s children: The former child soldiers of Uganda. The judges said it was clear Ms Hayden devoted “extensive time and effort” to bring the international criminal case into the Irish public conscience.

This year’s overall winners were Mark Horgan and Ciarán Cassidy for their Second Captains and BBC Sounds podcast series Where is George Gibney? The 10-part audio series looks at the case of the former Irish Olympic swimming coach, who avoided trial in Ireland in 1994 on 27 accounts of alleged rape and sexual abuse against young male and female swimmers. The judges noted it is “not every year that a piece of journalism acts as a catalyst for a case to be reinvestigated”.

President of the Law Society of Ireland James Cahill, said it is “critically important” to recognise journalism that promotes a greater understanding of the law, the legal system and specific legal issues. This year saw many entries focus on giving a voice to the victims of crime and allowing them to tell their story in their own words, Mr Cahill noted.