Caroline O'Doherty and Conall Ó Fátharta received merit certificates for producing particularly fine articles about legal and justice issues, while Niall Murray won the award for the best headline.
The top prize was awarded to Paul Murphy and Doireann O'Hara from RTÉ Investigates for their television feature, Law and Disorder, described by the judges as “an exceptionally in-depth examination” of the District Court across Ireland.
“The Justice Media Awards are the pride of the Law Society and we believe it is more important than ever to recognise and reward excellence in legal journalism,” said Law Society president, Michael Quinlan.
Ms O'Doherty received a merit certificate under the daily print/online journalism category for her analysis of the continuing concerns over fraudulent and exaggerated personal injury claims and the impact the dedicated Court of Appeal may be having on the level of awards. Her series of articles appeared under the headline: 'Backlash to Whiplash: fraudsters hit hard in 'compo culture'.
“An excellent, comprehensive set of articles displaying nuance and balance and written from a fresh point of view. This special report on one of the key news stories of the past 12 months is an excellent contribution to the public discourse on legal issues surrounding insurance and fraud,” the judges said.
Mr Ó Fátharta received a merit certificate under the human rights/social justice reporting category for his articles that appeared under the headline 'Finally righting a wrong – the fight for Magdalene women wrongly denied redress'.
Judges said the journalist produced an excellent series of articles on one of the State's darkest chapters – the Magdalene Laundries, and the problematic redress scheme: “This reporter has for several years been to the fore in bringing public awareness to the State's treatment of Irish women held in the Magdalene Laundries. In particular, his investigation and coverage of issues around the redress scheme is of enormous national significance. These articles on the Ombudsman's highly critical report on the scheme mark a seminal point in this dark age.”
Mr Murray received the award for his headline 'Leo Burdock tried to batter Black and Tans'. The judges said it is a “tongue-in-cheek, irreverent yet accurate headline which describes a famous fish-and-chip shop owner's wartime activities as detailed in his application for a military pension.”