David Ryan, president, Local Ireland

Superb journalism and strong advertising win again

Local Ireland/National Lottery 5th Annual Media Awards

“This has been a year like no other. The Covid-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc across the globe. The unprecedented levels of fatalities, sickness and business disruption have not been recorded in living memory.

"Yet despite all this misery, we continue to function, and our country has rallied to face the challenges. Most would agree that our government is working hard to alleviate the worst effects of the pandemic and the recent budget gives some confidence on the way forward to restoring life to what it had been pre-pandemic,” stated David Ryan, president, Local Ireland, following the recent Local Ireland/National Lottery fifth annual media awards.

The Anglo-Celt was a finalist in three categories. The newspaper was shortlisted for News Story of the Year for its coverage of the abduction and attack of Quinn Industrial Holdings (QIH) director Kevin Lunney and the subseqent garda investigation.

Celt reporter Sean McMahon was also a finalist in the Feature Story of the Year category for his piece 'At a crosswords on the Border' in relation to the threat posed by Brexit to the Border region.

Photographer Lorraine Teevan also made the cut for the Photographer of the Year for her photo 'In Step' of sean nós dancers Emily and Charlie O'Reilly from Mullahoran at a trad event in Swanlinbar.

Linda O'Reilly, Editor of The Anglo-Celt, presents Lorraine Teevan with her award for being runner up in the Photographer of the Year category in the Local Ireland media awards. Photo: Sean McMahon Photo by LORRAINE TEEVAN
Brother and sister duo Charlie & Emily O’Reilly from Mullahoran feature in Lorraine Teevan's photograph, which saw her as a finalist in the Local Ireland Media Awards, Photographer of the Year section. Photo by LORRAINE TEEVAN

Mr Ryan said that throughout the pandemic, local newspapers played a vital role in reporting accurate, trusted news to their readers in every community in the country.

“Our titles provided comprehensive news on every aspect of life during the highly stressful spring and summer months through print, online and social media. Every community knew what was going on in their area and could rely on the reportage in their title, a service that our newspapers have provided for generations.

“Despite the pandemic, we had a tremendous response to this year’s awards scheme and entries in all categories were ahead of last year. The judging panel was delighted with the quality of the entries and, indeed, struggled in many categories to agree on the short list of three entries. However, agree they did, and it is very pleasing to see the level of excellent quality entries continue to rise."

This year’s panel was chaired by noted journalist and academic, Dr Jane Suiter, director of the Institute for Future Media (FuJo) and Associate Professor in the School of Communications, DCU. Other judges included Michael Foley, Professor Emeritus, TU Dublin, PJ Cunningham, journalist and author; Valerie Cox, broadcaster and former RTÉ reporter; Frank Miller, former Irish Times pictures editor, Dr Dawn Wheatley, School of Communications, DCU and Andrew Sinclair, former deputy managing director, OMD.

This awards scheme would not have been possible without the valued sponsorship of the National Lottery. We have enjoyed a wonderful working relationship over the last three years and look forward to working together in the future. Local newspapers and National Lottery are a great fit. We both serve every community in the 26 counties and the money provided through the Good Causes programme has left a lasting legacy in our communities.

I wish to thank all those who participated in this year’s awards scheme and congratulate the winners and the short listed entries,” concluded Mr Ryan.

Check out video highlights from the winners and finalists.