`Irish Times' journalists win European awards


Irish Times writers have won two major prizes and two commendations in the annual European Journalism awards.

At a ceremony in Dublin last night the Tanaiste, Ms Harney, presented European Correspondent Patrick Smyth with the National Newspapers award, and website reporter Michael McAleer with the Young European Journalist award. Special commendations went to Foreign Editor Paul Gillespie and Paris Correspondent Lara Marlowe.

Patrick Smyth's prize was awarded for his "comprehensive dissection" of the Amsterdam Treaty, and the judges praised him for "tackling this Herculean task with vigour and clarity". Michael McAleer's reports from Copenhagen were "flowing and peppered with graphic allusion".

The Liam Hourican European Journalist of the Year award went to RTE's Prime Time producer Paul Loughlin and reporter Brendan O'Brien, who also won the National Radio/TV category. This was awarded for a report on the fishing industry which "proved convincingly that EU regulations were being flouted to the detriment of the Irish fishing industry".

Special commendations in this category went to RTE European Correspondent Tommie Gorman and This Week presenter Kevin Rafter.

The Local Newspapers award went to Declan Varley, of the Tuam Herald, the Local Broadcasting award went to Seamus Martin, of Tipp FM, and the Magazines award went to Dara Doyle, of Business and Finance.

The competition, organised by the Irish Section of the Association of European Journalists and sponsored by the European Commission and European Parliament, is open to journalists whose work on a European theme appears in the print or broadcast media.

The judges were the former President and European Commissioner, Dr Patrick Hillery; Mr Jack Davis, president of the Regional Newspapers Association of Ireland; Dr Miriam Hederman, Chancellor of the University of Limerick; Mr Robin Walsh, former controller, BBC Northern Ireland; and Mr David Lennon, former managing editor, Financial Times syndication. The judges' panel was chaired by the academic and broadcaster, Prof Brian Farrell.