Four University of Limerick journalism students have won top regional awards for their investigative print and broadcasting reporting.
Limerick student, Robert McNamara, has won the Sunday Times Young Journalist of the Year Award 2014 for a report that revealed 59 asylum seekers have died in State care over the past 10 years and the Department of Justice does not know the cause of their deaths.
Offaly student, Kevin O’Brien, won the Irish Examiner Young Sports Journalist of the Year Award 2014 for a report that revealed seven county boards were fined €4,784 for missing drugs tests – these included the Clare hurling team, winners of the 2013 All-Ireland.
Shane O’Riordan, has won the Pádraig Kennelly Regional Journalist of the Year Award for an investigative story on our A&E hospital system. He secured an interview with University of Limerick consultant geriatrician, Professor Michael Watts, who is warning that the impending “tsunami” of our ageing population could collapse the nationwide A&E services if they are not radically reformed.
Mayo student, Cormac Dowling, has won the Limerick Live95 FM Broadcast Journalism Award 2014 for a report he did on the controversial topic of hare coursing. His radio documentary, For the Love of Dog, was recorded at the JP McManus Irish Cup Final in Patrickswell, County Limerick.
Head of Journalism at the University of Limerick, Mary Dundon, congratulated the students on winning such prestigious awards:
“It is great to see our students being recognised by such reputable media organisations for their excellent research and interviewing skills that have revealed issues of important public interest.”
Frank Fitzgibbon, Ireland Editor of the Sunday Times, said:
“We are delighted to be associated with these awards which recognises the type of serious journalism that deserves to be brought to the widest possible audience. Investigative journalism takes time and costs money, but if it leads to positive action then the results will make the investment worthwhile. UL is to be congratulated for promoting a scheme which encourages students to go beyond opinion and, instead, engage in research and dig deep for facts that create the basis for informed commentary.”