Source : Kyran O'Brien/DCU

Redacted Lives and Noteworthy prison service project win prestigious Mary Raftery Prize

The Prize is awarded annually to an individual or small team responsible for social affairs journalism.

By Diarmuid Pepper

PROJECTS BY THE Journal and Noteworthy have won the prestigious Mary Raftery Prize.

The Prize is awarded annually to an individual or small team responsible for social affairs journalism produced on the island of Ireland which combined the rigorous analysis and commitment to social justice that characterised Mary Raftery’s journalism.

Tonight’s ceremony in Dublin announced the winners for both 2022 and 2023.

The Journal’s podcast Redacted Lives, which was produced by Órla Ryan, Nicky Ryan and Sinéad O’Carroll, won the 2022 Prize.

The six-part documentary series tells the story of Ireland’s mother and baby home system, interviewing people who passed through these institutions as mothers or children about the ongoing impact this has on their lives.

Calling Time, a Noteworthy investigation which revealed how the human rights of children of prisoners were not being fulfilled, won the 2023 Prize – it was written by Alice Chambers and Maria Delaney.

Mary Raftery Memorial Lecture and Awards 28th March 2024 _70 From left to right: Collette Bennett (judge), Mark O'Brien (Head of DCU's School of Communications), Alice Chambers, Justin McCarthy (guest speaker), Nicky Ryan, Órla Ryan, and Hilary McGouran (judge).

Projects by RTÉ, the Dublin Inquirer and the Medical Independent were among those to have been nominated for the awards.

Another Noteworthy investigation – Hands on Deck: Modern Slavery in the Irish fishing industry – was also included in the 2022 shortlist.

Projects from The Journal and Noteworthy won the Mary Raftery Prize in 2021, 2020 and 2019.

The Prize consists of a medal and an award of €1,000.

It is funded by a bequest from the Mary Raftery Journalism Fund and is administered by the School of Communications, Dublin City University, which appoints an independent panel of judges composed of experienced and distinguished figures from journalism and civic society.

Mary Raftery, a renowned investigative journalist, is best known for her documentaries States of Fear and Cardinal Secrets which detailed the sexual and physical abuse suffered by children in reformatories, industrial schools and similar settings.

“The most important thing you can do is to give a voice to people who have been silenced,” Raftery once said of her work.

The Prize was set up in her name after she died from cancer in 2012 at the age of 54.

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