Belfast Telegraph

Friday 1 August 2014

Northern Ireland veteran court reporter honoured

Ivan McMichael is one of 60 people from Northern Ireland on the honours list

Northern Ireland's top court reporter will be made an MBE for services to journalism, it has been revealed.

In a career spanning 50 years Ivan McMichael has covered all the major cases at the High Court in Belfast.

He was among 60 people from Northern Ireland recognised in the New Year Honours List.

He said: "I have been thinking why me instead of colleagues who achieved so much more, and some of whom are household names.

"I have concluded that perhaps the award is recognition, even compensation, for having served the equivalent of several life sentences in the High Court - and me an innocent man."

Starting when he was 16 at the Tyrone Constitution in his native Omagh, Mr McMichael, now 68, went on to work for the Belfast Telegraph and the Sunday Express as their Northern Ireland representative before freelancing in magistrates' courts and the High Court. His material was published worldwide with the Northern Ireland conflict at its height.

Memorable cases included the libel battle between Co Down boxing promoter Barney Eastwood and fighter Barry McGuigan in which Mr Eastwood won major damages.  

Another was the appeal by Paul Hill, one of the four men released over the Guildford pub bombing.

He was brought to Belfast to stand trial for the murder of soldier Brian Shaw following his release and Mr McMichael covered the appeal.

The veteran journalist is married to Ann with whom he has two children, Kate aged 25 and Richard aged 23. Another son, Patrick, 40, lives in South Carolina. He is a keen golfer and spent many summers covering Augusta for the local papers while visiting his son.

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