Irish Examiner’s double scoop in media awards

THE Irish Examiner emerged as one of the big winners at this year’s ESB National Media Awards when it received two of the main prizes at a lavish ceremony in Dublin yesterday.

The newspaper’s business correspondent Conor Keane won the award for Business News, while news reporter Michael Brennan was named as Young Journalist of the Year 2004.

Conor Keane received the award for Business News Journalist of the Year in recognition of his expose of Bank of Ireland’s role in providing financial support for a UK company, Remnant Media, involved in the multi-million euro acquisition of a range of pornographic magazine titles.

The judges commended Mr Keane for his article published in this newspaper last March, which led to a “concrete result” for the journalist as he had forced a leading financial institution into “an embarrassing U-turn.”

Conor, 44, a native of Listowel, Co Kerry and son of the late writer, John B Keane, is also a former Property Journalist of the Year.

The guest of honour, Communications Minister Noel Dempsey presented the prize of Young Journalist of the Year to Irish Examiner reporter, Michael Brennan.

Michael, 24, from Milltown, Co Galway, won the award for his exclusive report on how a Kerry rowing club was given a €300,000 grant in breach of departmental guidelines after a request by local minister, John O’Donoghue. It is the fourth time in five years the Irish Examiner has scooped the prize for Young Journalist of the Year.

Irish Examiner journalists were also nominated in several other categories: Hugh Farrelly (sport); Caroline O’Doherty, Michael O’Farrell and Helen O’Callaghan (all features).

Congratulating the two winners and other nominees, Irish Examiner editor Tim Vaughan said the awards represented a fabulous achievement for both journalists as well as the newspaper in general.

“It demonstrates that the Irish Examiner has one of the best editorial products on the market. The nomination of six of our journalists highlights the depth and breadth of talent within the paper across all sectors: news, features, business and sport,” said Mr Vaughan.

The overall award of Journalist of the Year went to RTÉ’s Prime Time

Investigates series for what the judges described as a “superb body of work over the course of the year.”

The series producer, Eddie Doyle, accepted the specially commissioned piece of sculpture and cheque for €5,000 on behalf of the team.

The Special Judges’ Award, which recognises an outstanding contribution to Irish journalism, was presented to Vinnie Doyle, the long-serving editor of the Irish Independent, while the Scoop of the Year award went to Ireland on Sunday journalist, Deirdre Tynan, for an article which exposed deficiencies in the electronic voting computer system.

RTÉ’s Washington Correspondent, Carole Coleman won the Political/Current Affairs Journalist of the Year award for an interview with US president George W Bush in summer. Other winners included: Rónán Mac Con Iomaire of Nuacht TG4, (Irish Language Journalist of the Year); T J Flynn of The Clare Champion, (Arts); Mary Carr of Ireland on Sunday, (Features); Paul O’Loughlin and Rita O’Reilly of RTÉ, (TV Documentary) and Karen Coleman of Newstalk 106, (Radio Documentary).

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