'Irish Independent' editor honoured at hometown reception
IRISH Independent editor Claire Grady was honoured in her hometown last night at a civic reception hosted by Westport Town Council.
Sixteen weeks to the day that Ms Grady took on the position of editor of Ireland's biggest-selling daily paper, she was back in Co Mayo amongst family, former colleagues and friends, to accept the highest accolade that can be bestowed by the council.
Ms Grady told the gathering that her passion for journalism could be traced back to working as an intern in her local paper – 'The Mayo News'.
"I got a job as a civil servant when I finished school, but always had a desire to study journalism," she said.
"So when I decided to leave work to pursue a course in journalism, it was a bit crazy for the time, but my parents supported me in every way," she added, paying tribute to her father Seamus, who was in attendance, and her late mother Bridie.
Ms Grady also thanked her brother Richard, her sister Dolores and many other family members who turned out to support her, along with former colleagues from the local media, the clergy and politicians, including Sport & Tourism Minister Michael Ring.
Ms Grady said Westport had grown and developed strongly over the past two decades.
There was a trip down memory lane for the editor when her old English teacher Vincent McDermott took to the podium and produced a script from 'The Playboy of The Western World', which Claire's class performed in 1980.
Speaking of her rise to the top job in the Irish Independent, Vincent and his wife Julie said it came as no surprise as she had played the protagonist of that drama – Christy Mahon – with great confidence and talent. He presented Ms Grady with a class photograph and an original booklet from that production.
Mr Ring described Claire as a very worthy recipient of a civic reception and a "wise choice" for the job by Independent News & Media.