Awards

RTÉ Wins Four Justice Media Awards

12 June 2012: RTÉ has won four awards at the Law Society of Ireland's Justice Media Awards 2012 in the categories of Television News; Television Features and Documentaries; National Radio and Court Reporting.


RTÉ News reporter Caitríona Perry was named as overall winner in the Television News category for her"'Six One News" report "The Gates To Nowhere". The judges praised her report, noting that this "outstanding report revealed that the Government had quietly shelved its plans for the proposed National Children's Detention Facility. The decision was discovered by this journalist using old-fashioned journalistic research - by trawling through Dáil debates.. Caitríona Perry is to be commended for the delivery of such a hard-hitting report on an issue of such significant legal and social importance."

The winners of the Television Features And Documentaries category were Ian Kehoe (Assistant Editor of the Sunday Business Post and formerly RTÉ reporter) and John Corcoran (producer) for their RTÉ Prime Time report:"The Indebted". The report investigated the legal dispute between Anglo Irish Bank (now IRBC) and the Quinn family in the largest Commercial Court case involving an Irish company and broke the story of how Sean Quinn was facing a €2.2 billion court judgement. The judging panel strongly applauded the piece and said: "the journalistic skill of the reporter in breaking down immense amounts of facts into easily digestible information drew high praise, as did the programme's engaging production style."


RTÉ News Legal Correspondent Orla O'Donnell was awarded a merit certificate in the Broadcast Media Court Reporting category for her "News at One" radio report 'Commercial Court judge slams failure to investigate and prosecute white-collar crime' which looked at the judgement of Mr Peter Kelly of the Commercial Court in relation to an investigation into the former Anglo Irish Bank. The judges said that "Orla O'Donnell continues to set the highest standards in her approach to court reporting.. Orla's excellent analysis and attention to detail in this report are to be commended."

In the National Radio category, Morning Ireland reporter Cian McCormack was awarded a merit certificate for his report, titled: 'Suicide and the Coroner's Court'. The judges praised "the choice of the reporter's topic, his ability to get an interview with the coroner, and his success in revealing the 'human side' of the Coroner's Court at grassroots level."

What the judges said in full on each entry:

Caitriona Perry, RTÉ News Reporter for her Six One News report "The Gates to Nowhere"
Television News category - Overall Winner

"This outstanding report revealed that the Government had quietly shelved its plans for the proposed National Children's Detention Facility. The decision was discovered by this journalist using old-fashioned journalistic research - by trawling through Dáil debates.

The scandal of the continued detention of young boys in St Patrick's Institution was highlighted by means of disturbing testimony from former detainees whom the reporter tracked down. This report subsequently led to a decision by the Minister for Children that the practice of detention of children in St Patrick's Institution would end.

Caitriona Perry is to be commended for the delivery of such a hard-hitting report on an issue of such significant legal and social importance."


Ian Kehoe (formerly RTÉ reporter, now Assistant Editor of the Sunday Business Post) and John Corcoran (producer) for their Prime Time report "The Indebted".
Television Features & Documentaries category - Overall Winners

"This stand-out entry investigated the legal dispute between Anglo Irish Bank (now IRBC) and the Quinn family in the largest Commercial Court case involving an Irish company. Despite the huge legal complexities of the case that meandered between six international jurisdictions and a multitude of cases, this highly engaging and fast-tempoed programme zipped along, utilising a highly innovative detective-style motif, reminiscent of the great detective movies of the '60s and '70s.

Given the potential cost to the taxpayer, this programme investigated the various legal actions between the two sides, ranging from the battle for Quinn Insurance to an international asset chase for a €500 million property portfolio. It drew from confidential legal documents and broke new ground, revealing how the Quinn group was engaged in talks with the tax authorities for a global settlement - and broke the story about how Sean Quinn was facing a €2.2 billion court judgement. Needless to say, the programme's findings were discussed at length in the Dáil.

The judging panel was effusive in its praise for this programme's wonderful attention to detail. The journalistic skill of the reporter in breaking down immense amounts of facts into easily digestible information drew high praise, as did the programme's engaging production style."

Orla O'Donnell, RTÉ News Legal Correspondent for her "News at One" radio report: 'Commercial Court judge slams failure to investigate and prosecute white-collar crime'.
Broadcast Media Court Reporting category - Merit Certificate

"Orla O'Donnell continues to set the highest standards in her approach to court reporting. Her entry this year focused on the judgment of Mr Justice Peter Kelly of the Commercial Court in relation to an application by the Director of Corporate Enforcement for a six-month extension to his investigation into the former Anglo Irish Bank. Judge Kelly criticised the slow pace of the investigation and expressed his dismay at the apparent lack of action into several other high-profile cases involving white-collar crime. The judge's decision in this case led to lawyers for the DPP being present at every subsequent application by the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement for time extensions. Orla excellent analysis and attention to detail in this report are to be commended."


Cian McCormack, Morning Ireland reporter, for his report titled: "Suicide and the coroner's court".
National Radio category - Merit Certificate

"This worthy report - something of a scoop for this journalist - focused on the issue of suicide and how it is dealt with in the Coroner's Court, specifically in Co Tipperary. Cian McCormack shows that solicitor and County Coroner, Paul Morris, has been making great efforts to make changes to how his inquests are run, so that bereaved families are treated sensitively and with compassion. The judging panel praised the choice of the reporter's topic, his ability to get an interview with the coroner, and his success in revealing the 'human side' of the Coroner's Court at grassroots level. This journalist raises questions about how suicide deaths are recorded, the constraints placed on coroners when recording a verdict of 'death by suicide beyond reasonable doubt' and other sensitive issues relating to suicide."

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