Sunday Independent writers honoured at awards ceremony
Sunday Independent writers Jody Corcoran, Niamh Horan and Neil Francis scooped major accolades in last week's NewsBrands Ireland Journalism Awards.
The ceremony honoured and celebrated the best original work of reporters, analysts and commentators in print and digital media.
Deputy editor and political analyst Corcoran was named political journalist of the year for his unerringly accurate and remarkably prescient analysis in the months before the general election.
The judges' citation said it all: "Six months before the election, when many others were certain that a coalition between Fine Gael and Fianna Fail was on the cards, Jody analysed the opinion polls and wrote: 'At this remove from polling day, I now believe the most likely outcome will be a Fine Gael minority government supported by Fianna Fail in a slightly more formal arrangement'."
Capping a remarkable performance by the Sunday Independent political team, Horan's sensational interview with Labour's Alan Kelly won political story of the year.
The judges' citation stated: "Looking back on the election campaign, there is one story and one quote from that story stands out from the crowd. 'Power is a drug… it suits me'."
And once again Sunday Independent sport, which has an enviable record for award-winning writing, also picked up a major award - with Francis awarded sports writer of the year. The judging panel said: "His weekly column is a must for those wanting his views that are based on years of expertise. It is colourful, thoughtful and probing."
Several other Sunday Independent journalists received award nominations including Elle Gordon and Maeve Sheehan. Earlier this year, Sheehan was honoured at the prestigious Justice Media Awards along with group business editor Dearbhail McDonald.
Campbell Spray was nominated in the broadsheet features section while Mark O'Regan, Donal Lynch and Andrea Smith were shortlisted in the show business categories. Claire McCormack was nominated for the young journalist of the year award.
Adrian Weckler was nominated for business story and Gene Kerrigan was shortlisted for columnist of the year.
Dermot Griffin, CEO of the National Lottery, said: "The National Lottery is very happy to support the 2016 NewsBrands Ireland Journalism Awards and we are proud to be associated with this wonderful showcase of original Irish journalism."
INM won 11 awards in total, including a nod for Jason O'Brien for the best foreign coverage. The Herald scooped best front page for the Regency Hotel attack. The Sunday World landed five awards and the Irish Independent won two. Journalist of the year was won by Michael Clifford, of the Irish Examiner.