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Jessica Quinn. Photograph by John Kelly

Champion journalist takes top prize at media awards

Clare Champion journalist, Jessica Quinn, was the toast of the Local Ireland Media Awards last week, winning the award for the National Lottery Best Community Story of the year.
Jessica won the award for her story about Mná ag Gáire, the Ennis women’s community hub, and their work connecting women in the Ennis area.
The feature, which is entitled ‘Mná-some place of welcome for all’ was published in The Clare Champion in September of last year. It focussed on the work of the Mná ag Gáire group, including media training for local women, which allowed two friends to connect online for the first time in 50 years.
Speaking after winning the award, Jessica said she was delighted to have won and stress the importance of the local media in highlighting community efforts and local stories. She also thanked the Mná ag Gáire group in Ennis for sharing their experiences with her.
The National Lottery Best Community Story of the year was awarded jointly to Jessica and to Donal O’Keeffe from The Echo in Cork for his story, entitled ‘Ukrainians proud to help their new home Fermoy’.
In total there were sixteen awards presented on the night, including a special Lifetime Achievement Award to the former editor of the Western People, Terry Reilly, for his outstanding contribution to journalism and the community in Mayo. The ceremony was hosted by Lyric FM presenter and Eurovision guru, Marty Whelan.
“The awards reflect the professionalism, quality and skillset across the newsrooms of regional newspapers in Ireland who provide the highest quality local news and sports coverage in print and online every day and every week to our readers,” said Dan Linehan, President of Local Ireland and Head of Irish Times Regionals.
“We also appreciate the work of our judges, who, with their experience and personal skills, ensure that these awards are judged to the highest standard and that they are a benchmark for quality journalism in Ireland.
“Finally, we thank the National Lottery for their continued support for the Local Ireland Media Awards – this partnership allows us to recognise the work of journalists across the country working in local regions and servicing their communities.”
A number of Clare Champion journalists were shortlisted for awards including John Kelly for the Best Photograph Award for his photograph ‘Storm Approaches’ and Dan Danaher for Sports Journalist of the Year.

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