PETER O’Connell has been appointed as editor of The Clare Champion and will take up the position on Thursday next, May 31.
Mr O’Connell succeeds Austin Hobbs, who has held the position since 2006 and will remain on in the newsroom.
Mr O’Connell is married with two daughters and lives in his native Kilmurry McMahon. He is a past pupil of Drumdigus National School and Kilrush CBS.
His media career began with Midlands Radio in 1996, while he worked at Clare FM from 1999 to 2002, before joining The Clare Champion. In his 16 years as a reporter with The Champion, he has covered both news and sport.
Four years ago, Mr O’Connell found himself at the centre of a significant story himself. He and the then Clare hurling manager Davy Fitzgerald clashed publicly in Cusack Park, with the Sixmilebridge man angered by some opinion pieces that had been written by Mr O’Connell.
This week, Mr O’Connell said the newspaper will not shy away from confronting issues and will not be uncritical of power.
“If there are questions to be asked, across the spectrum in Clare, as a newspaper we must ask those questions. We will be fair, we will be balanced but I don’t see us as a newspaper that is going to fly the Clare flag unquestioningly. We have to present something that people can really feel is balanced and informed.”
He added, “There are so many sources of news and information now, that people don’t know what to believe. As I see it, we have an experienced group of professional journalists in our newsroom and I want The Clare Champion to set the news agenda for the county.”