Former Shannonside journalist wins award

RTÉ Radio 1 and former Shannonside broadcaster Damien O’Reilly has been awarded a Star Prize broadcasting award from the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists (IFAJ) for his report ‘Foot-and-Mouth Disease’, which was broadcast on Radio1’s Saturday morning agricultural affairs programme, Countrywide. The report was awarded first place in the radio category of the awards.

RTÉ Radio 1 and former Shannonside broadcaster Damien O’Reilly has been awarded a Star Prize broadcasting award from the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists (IFAJ) for his report ‘Foot-and-Mouth Disease’, which was broadcast on Radio1’s Saturday morning agricultural affairs programme, Countrywide. The report was awarded first place in the radio category of the awards.

The report, which was broadcast on Countrywide on Saturday March 19 2011, marked 10 years since one of the largest Irish agricultural crises in history: foot-and-mouth disease.

IFAJ Star Prize judges commented that O’Reilly’s entry was “a good piece looking back on an issue that had an incredible impact on the area’s farmers.”

“It was a nice descriptive script, with good use of natural sound and strong interviews from people who remember the outbreak. Overall, it was a well-balanced and touching story.”

Before joining RTE in 1998, Damien worked with Shannonside Northern Sound Radio based in Cavan and Longford. During this time he earned the 1997 McNamee National Radio Award for coverage of gaelic games.

At RTE Damien, husband to Catriona McKiernan, has presented news, current affairs and sports programmes. He began in RTE Radio 1 presenting farm news every evening as part of the 5-7 live programme. He also presented Agriview, a weekly half-hour programme on farming and agribusiness matters. Damien would also be well known as a sports presenter on Morning Ireland and Sportscall. He also ocassionally presents Liveline.

Editor of Arts, Features, Drama and Independent Production for RTÉ Radio 1, Lorelei Harris, said: “We are absolutely delighted to win this huge international award. Countrywide is a very important programme in our schedule; reflecting, engaging and exploring as it does life for our many thousands of listeners who live outside major metropolitan centres.”

You can listen to the award-winning Countrywide item, Foot-and-Mouth Disease, on the RTÉ Radio Player: http://www.rte.ie/radio/radioplayer