Moloney wins ESB Journalist of the Year award


The Northern editor of the Sunday Tribune, Ed Moloney, has been named Journalist of the Year in the annual ESB national media awards, which were presented in Dublin yesterday.

Mr Moloney last week won a long-running legal battle when the High Court in Belfast quashed a decision by a lower court ordering him to hand over interview notes to the RUC.

The judging panel's citation said that Mr Moloney's reporting of the story over a long period of years had at different times made him unpopular with most of the parties to the Northern conflict. He had faced the possibility of a jail sentence for refusing to hand over his notes to the authorities.

The citation said he was receiving the award "for the consistently high standard of his reporting and analysis, and for his courage in defending the highest journalistic standards".

For winning the Journalist of the Year award - the main prize in the annual awards - Mr Moloney received £2,000.

Frank McDonald, Environment Correspondent of The Irish Times, won the Print Campaigning Issues category for "his prophetic warning about the consequences of the overdevelopment of Courtown, Co Wexford, and for his trenchant criticism of the expansion of Dublin Airport".

The citation noted that after more than two decades in journalism, he "has never lost his sense of outrage, which is central to campaigning journalism". Mr McDonald is currently on sabbatical leave writing a book on the future of Dublin.

Alison O'Connor of The Irish Times, who is currently sponsored by the ESB on the Journalistes en Europe programme in Paris, won the Print Social Issues category for going "behind the story of abuse to examine Father Sean Fortune's personality and relationship with the local community, revealing the character and behaviour of a man who sought to hide behind the cloth."

The PrintSport category award went to Tom Humphries of The Irish Times for "his ability to pick up any sporting situation and present an intimate picture of the situation or the personality ".

The citation said that his analysis of the controversy over drugs in Irish swimming might initially have been against a strong run of public opinion, but was justified in the end.

The full list of awards is:

Overall Awards

Journalist of the Year - Ed Moloney, Sunday Tribune (£2,000); Print

Journalist of the Year - Barry O'Kelly, The Star (£1,000); Radio

Journalist of the Year - Paul Maguire and Grace Cappock, LM/FM (£1,000); TV

Journalist of the Year - Ann Daly/Ronan Tynan, Esperanza Productions (£1,000).


News and Current Affairs - Jody Corcoran, Sunday Independent; Features - Catherine Cleary, Sunday Tribune; Analysis and Comment - Brian Dowling, Irish Independent; Sport - Tom Humphries, The Irish Times; Provincial Press - Jim Gray, Sligo Champion; Young Journalist - Richard Oakley, Sunday Tribune; Campaigning - Frank McDonald, The Irish Times; Social Issues - Alison O'Connor, The Irish Times; Arts - Bruce Arnold, Magill; Business and finance - Matt Cooper, Sun- day Tribune.


TV news and current affairs - Kieran FitzGerald and Steve Carson, RTE; TV Sport - Dave Hannigan/Colm O'Callaghan, RTE; TV campaigning and social issues - Julian Vignoles/Margaret Gleeson, RTE; TV features and documentaries - David McCullagh, RTE.


Radio news and current affairs - Emer Woodfull, RTE; Radio features and documentaries - Pat Kenny, Fergal Keane and Nita Byrne, RTE; Radio campaigning and social issues - Roisin Boyd, Pat Coyle, RTE; Radio sport - Greg Allen, RTE; Local radio - Joe Nash, New 95FM Limerick.

Each of the print, television and radio categories carried prizes of £500, apart from the Young Journalist award, which carried a prize of £1,000.