The eight-person judging panel singled Mr Ó Cionnaith out for his “investigative work on how money is accounted for in the health service”. It said his efforts had consistently ensured health related issues made front page news.
Mr Ó Cionnaith praised the commitment of his colleagues for pursuing important stories which monitored how public funds were spent and wasted.
“This award should be seen as recognition of the type of journalism the Irish Examiner’s entire editorial team espouses.
“In this economic climate it’s also vital to keep a spotlight on the spending of taxpayers’ money within the health service — money which could often be better spent on badly needed improvements to frontline care,” he said.
Altogether 10 writers and broadcasters were recognised for their work by the judging panel chaired by Dr John Bowman.
The overall award for the Irish medical journalist of the year went to Gary Culliton of the Irish Medical Times. The panel said Mr Culliton had clearly outlined what challenges the Government would face and held it to account for the commitments it made while in opposition. He received a prize of €2,500.
On behalf of the event’s sponsors, GSK, its general manager in Ireland, Sally Storey, said the health industry needed the scrutiny it received from the press.
“The media have a critical role in our ‘better together’ vision, particularly in ensuring the public is informed and updated on all health-related issues.”