Belfast Telegraph

Poignant night of awards for the Telegraph as Liam is honoured

The Belfast Telegraph scooped three top awards and our former political editor Liam Clarke was posthumously honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the CIPR Northern Ireland Media Awards on Friday.

In a ceremony at the MAC theatre in Belfast, our John Mulgrew won Business Journalist of the Year for the second year in a row.

Heather Byrne also repeated her success at last year's awards as she won Print Production Journalist of the Year, and Suzanne Breen won Feature Journalist of the Year.

Judges said John had produced an impressive series of exclusives that were relevant to the wider audience and in the public interest. They added that he was "a reporter with a nose for a story, a good digger and he is not deterred by the time it takes him to nail the story".

They said Heather "showed impeccable skill in producing news in a readable, easy to digest and punchy format".

They also highlighted Suzanne's interview with Eileen Paisley as a "masterclass in writing about one person while also giving insights into the characters of others", and added that her interviews with Whitecross and Kingsmills survivors "were cleverly set in the cosy ordinariness of their lives".

Additionally, Ivan Little won the Silver Award in the Feature Journalist of the Year category, health correspondent Victoria O'Hara won the Silver Award in the Specialist of the Year section, Declan Bogue won the Silver Award in the Sports Journalist of the Year category and our Family Life magazine won the Silver Award in the Supplement of the Year category.

Deputy editor Jonathan McCambridge brought the evening to an end as he delivered a tribute to Liam Clarke, who died in December after a short illness. Liam had been political editor at the Belfast Telegraph until his death and, just weeks before, had broken the story of the retirement of Peter Robinson.

Mr McCambridge said: "The death of Liam Clarke just after Christmas last year robbed Northern Ireland of a journalistic titan.

"His searing insights into the worlds of politics and terrorism, his craftsmanship as a writer and his courage in pursuing the stories that mattered most earned him the admiration of his peers and the respect of his readers."

Our sister paper the Sunday Life won five awards, including the highly coveted Newspaper of the Year award.

Chief reporter Ciaran Barnes won both Print Specialist of the Year and Newspaper Journalist of the Year.

Journalist Ali Gordon won the fiercely competitive Scoop of the Year category for her story about an American woman trying to lure Northern Irish schoolgirls to join ISIS. She also won the Newcomer of the Year category.

Mr McCambridge said: "It was great to see the Belfast Telegraph's team of journalists celebrate success at the CIPR awards on Friday night.

"All our awards recognise the diverse talent of our individual journalists, but also the team effort that goes into producing our newspaper everyday for our readers across Northern Ireland."

Belfast Telegraph

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