‘Irish Times’ lands four honours at Justice Media awards

Reporters win awards for court reporting and coverage of legal issues

Journalists at The Irish Times picked up four honours on Thursday at the annual Justice Media awards, which are run by the Law Society of Ireland.

The media awards are held to recognise reporting and coverage of the legal system and 236 entries were received this year with 36 awards presented across 12 categories.

The overall award went to RTÉ Investigates, for a programme titled "Law and Disorder" by Paul Murphy and Doireann O'Hara, which examined the workings and shortcomings of the District Court system.

Irish Times journalist Rosita Boland was the category winner for daily print/online journalism, for a feature piece on a day at a District Court in Virginia, Co Cavan.

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The judging panel described the piece as an “excellent contribution to the public’s understanding of this vital cog in Ireland’s justice system”, in what was one of the most contested categories.

Irish Times Courts Correspondent Mary Carolan won the court reporting print/online award for an article on the wards of court system. The article examined Ireland's wardship system, where people are deemed by the courts to be incapable of managing their own assets.

The judging panel said the article was an “emotional, evocative piece,” and commended Ms Carolan for “her focus on the human aspect of wardship and her careful handling of the complexity of the cases”.

Irish Times reporter Conor Gallagher picked up two merit awards, one for his coverage of the sentencing of former Irish Times sports journalist Tom Humphries, and another for a piece which revealed the underrepresentation of women on juries in criminal trials.

Speaking at the awards, president of the Law Society Michael Quinlan said it was "more important than ever to recognise and reward excellence in legal journalism".

“Some of the most high profile and controversial news stories over the past year have been directly related to the law,” he said. Mr Quinlan said the role of the media was crucial in helping the public understand the often complex legal system, and the law in general.

RTÉ News received an award for carrying the first television broadcast of Supreme Court proceedings last October.

The other category award winners were Mark Tighe Sunday Times (print/online Sunday), Gráinne Ní Aodha TheJournal.ie (newcomer of the year), Dan Danaher Clare Champion (print/online journalism local), John Burke and Colm O'Mongain of RTÉ's This Week (radio national), Jane Mulcahy UCC 98.3FM (radio/podcast local), Frank Greaney of Newstalk (court reporting broadcast), Sharon Lynch TV3 News (human rights/social justice reporting), Catherine Fegan Irish Daily Mail (international justice reporting), and Niall Murray Irish Examiner (best headline).

Jack Power

Jack Power

Jack Power is a reporter with The Irish Times