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UL Journalism students launch Limerick Voice newspaper

A grieving mother whose daughter and two grandchildren were murdered in County Limerick six years ago gives an exclusive interview to Limerick Voice, which published its ninth edition yesterday (Thursday 08 December 2016).

It is the first time Abina Ring has spoken about the impact the murders of her daughter Sarah Hines and two children Reece (3) and baby Amy had on her and her family and the devastating consequences of domestic violence.

Limerick Voice is a 40-page local newspaper, produced by masters and fourth year undergraduate journalism students at the University of Limerick.

It was distributed across Limerick city and county with this weekend’s edition of t

Pictured at the launch are left/right, Breda Greahan, Online Editor, Sean Lynch, Social Media Manager, Professor Tom Lodge, Dean of AHSS faculty, University of Limerick, Michelle Hogan, Editor, John Keogh, Sports Editor, and Ciara Phelan, News Editor. Picture: Cathal Noonan True Media

he Limerick Leader.  It will also be distributed to more than 700 homes in the four regeneration areas.

Investigative journalism is to the fore in the 40-page newspaper, which features over 100 news and sports stories from the Limerick region and the designated regeneration areas. Articles include an investigation into the number of children and adolescents on mental health waiting lists in the mid-west and the worrying extent of absenteeism rates in Limerick primary schools.

Limerick Voice also celebrates the positivity of Limerick, with a look at what is planned under the ambitious 2030 development plan and a special report on the review into the regeneration project.

The online news website has been live since September, covering daily breaking news and sports stories. Limerick Voice has also been active across all social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Pictured at the launch are left/right, Dr. Fergal Quinn, Lecturer in Journalism, UL, Kathryn Hayes, Lecturer in Journalism, UL, Professor Tom Lodge, Dean of AHSS faculty, UL, Michelle Hogan, Editor, and Dr. Tadhg Ó hIfearnáin, Head of School, School of Culture & Communication, UL. Picture: Cathal Noonan True Media

Limerick Voice Editor Michelle Hogan said: “The aim of this project was to give a voice to the voiceless from regeneration areas, to children and young adults on mental health waiting lists, to the homeless families who will spend Christmas in B&B’s in Limerick.”

“We aim to highlight the unsung heroes of today, the strong individuals who have taken the opportunity to exclusively share their stories with Limerick Voice on a range of important issues emerging from Limerick which are fundamental to society at large,” she said.

Speaking at the launch of the Limerick Voice newspaper, Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, Professor Tom Lodge said Limerick Voice embodies the kind of educational experience which makes the Journalism programmes at UL so distinctive.   “This project promotes an ethical journalism that is socially engaged and committed in the best kinds of ways.  Students learn through working with people in the communities in which they live and in which they may in future find their livelihoods.   In these settings they can apply, adapt and modify the skills, and conceptions and professional codes that they absorb from the class-room, preparing them for the world of work.

UL School of Journalism subject leader Dr Fergal Quinn said: “Limerick Voice is a crucial part of the journalism course in UL and I’m very proud of the effort that has been put into it this year.

“The Limerick Voice is a core element of what we offer to our journalism students because it gives them an invaluable insight into what it takes to run a news website and produce a newspaper.”

UL Journalism lecturer Kathryn Hayes, who oversaw the project, praised the high quality content through the newspaper and the digital presence which has been noticeably expanded this year.

“The Limerick Voice newspaper and digital platforms have provided students with an excellent first-hand opportunity to gain vital skillsets that will be crucial when they enter the jobs market next year.”

“I am extremely proud of this year’s edition of Limerick Voice, which is the culmination of some incredibly hard work, enthusiasm and commitment by fourth year and MA journalism students.  It is a quality publication which contains over 100 stories, many of which illustrate skills that underpin best journalistic practice.”

Carmel Kirby, Director of Social Development with Limerick City and County Council said: “The stories coming from the regeneration areas highlight the positive work that is being carried out by the local authority.  We are on a journey together to make the communities involved better for everyone.  I’m delighted we have been able to assist the next generation of journalists gain a solid foundation in the subject.”

Limerick Voice is a core journalism module, which forms part of UL Engage projects, representing community collaboration between UL journalism students and Limerick City and County Council’s Regeneration project.

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