Top prize for 'Irish Times' legal editor


IRISH TIMES legal editor Carol Coulter has taken the top prize in this year’s Law Society of Ireland Justice Media Awards.

Ms Coulter was placed first in the awards’ daily newspapers category. She was also the overall winner for 2012 for her five-part series on the legal system in Ireland.

Irish Times chief reporter Carl O’Brien was awarded a certificate of merit for his series on 21st-century baby surrogacy.

The Justice Media Awards, now in their 20th year, are presented for work that helps inform and educate the public on the role of law in society.

Dyane Connor of TV3 news took the award for broadcast media court reporting for her work on the Shane Geoghegan trial, while Louise Byrne of 98FM news took the award for local radio for her report “21st-century rule – Ireland’s new Criminal Courts of Justice”.

The television news award went to Caitríona Perry of RTÉ News for her Six One News report on the shelving of plans to build a national children’s detention facility. Reporter Ian Kehoe and producer John Corcoran won the TV documentary category for their RTÉ Prime Time on Anglo Irish Bank and the Quinn family.

The award for Sunday newspapers went to Mark Tighe of the Sunday Times. The regional newspaper winner was David Looby of the Wexford Echo. The print media court reporting award went to Declan Brennan of the Sunday Independent.

The judges described Ms Coulter’s series, The Legal System, as “informed and informative” and “balanced”. They said: “This series of articles represents the best of journalism in the legal sphere.

“The writer and newspaper is to be congratulated for devoting the time, energy and space in bringing these important and highly significant legal issues to the attention of its readers.”