It was a special evening for the Chronicle of Meath at the 7th Local Ireland Media Awards sponsored by the National Lottery held at the Bloomfield Hotel in Mullingar.
The the Chronicle won the “Best Use of Digital Media” award for its coverage of the live homecoming coverage of the winner of all Ireland winning Meath senior women’s football team 2021.
The the Chronicle received six nominations out of an overall nomination of 14 for Celtic Media Group titles.
The Westmeath Independent the commercial team won the prize for the best advertising campaign.
Paul Fitzpatrick won Columnist of the Year with his Cavanman newspaper in the Anglo-Celtic. Celt also won the award for best reporting on the tragic death of Eden Heaslip and her family’s work to bring bullying to light.
Sixteen awards celebrating excellence in local news publishing were presented at a gala dinner at the Bloomfield House hotel near Mullingar on Thursday evening.
The evening was hosted by renowned sports commentator and journalist Marty Morrissey and sponsored by the National Lottery.
Local Ireland Chairman Declan McGuire said: “Local Ireland represents newspapers and online news publishers across the country.
“We had a record number of entries this year, for our seventh prize.
“I would like to thank the National Lottery for sponsoring an event that reflects the valuable work our journalists do to support their communities.
“Along with the nominees and winners, the entire industry is to be congratulated on the quality of this year’s entries.”
Local Ireland Executive Director Bob Hughes said: “I would like to thank the judges for the care they took in assessing over 600 entries.
“It was great to have the opportunity for the industry to come together again to celebrate our first in-person event in three years.”
A special presentation was made in the evening to honor the career of Johnny O’Hanlon, former editor of The Anglo-Celt in Cavan and former director of Local Ireland.
The awards jury was chaired by entrepreneur and animator Áine Kerr. She was joined by author and broadcaster Dearbhail McDonald, Professor Emeritus at TUD Michael Foley, broadcaster and writer Valerie Cox, journalist and author PJ Cunningham, Dawn Wheatley from the DCU School of Communications, Kinetic Ireland chief executive Andrew Sinclair and photographer and former Irish Times Photo Editor Frank Miller.
The winners of the evening were:
Best Local Advertising – Connacht Tribune
Featured Journalist of the Year – Kieran Foley, Munster Express
Best Cinematography – John Kelly, Clare Champion
Best Use of Digital – The Big Story, The Southern Star
Best News Series – The Echo
Best Front Page – The Nationalist
Best Use of Photography – Wexford People
Best Advertising Campaign – Westmeath Independent
Sports Journalist of the Year – Catherine Power, Munster Express
Best use of social media – Meath Chronicle
Columnist of the Year – Paul Fitzpatrick, The Anglo-Celt
Best Innovation – Mediahuis Ireland Regionals
Best National Lottery Community Story – Ciara McCaughey, The Roscommon Herald
Best Reporting – The Anglo-Celt
Best Supplement – The Mayo News
Life Achievement – Johnny O’Hanlon