A Ballyhaunis journalism student was celebrating last week after being announced the winner of the inaugural Vincent Doyle Award for Investigative Journalism.
Craig Hughes (21) received the award in the University of Limerick for an investigation into how coroners are recording suicide verdicts throughout the country. He uncovered evidence that suicide verdicts are being under-recorded by a reluctance of some coroners to return such verdicts. The story was originally published in the Sunday Independent.
The Vincent Doyle Award for Investigative Journalism has been inaugurated to honour the memory of the late Irish Independent editor Vinny Doyle and aims to reward a young journalism graduate who has achieved excellence in the field of investigative journalism.
“I never knew Vinny Doyle, but it would be impossible not to know of his legacy. I am delighted to receive such a prestigious award in his honour. I would like to thank Tom Felle, head of Journalism at UL, for his guidance as well as Liam Collins, news editor of the Sunday Independent, for his support and trust,” said Mr Hughes, who is son of Robert and Stella Hughes, Hazelhill, Ballyhaunis.
The winner was announced at the ceremony by Eddie Cunningham, Deputy Editor, Irish Independent, and was presented by the late editor’s wife, Gertie.
Mr Hughes is due to graduate from UL this year along with 21 other journalism students who will be the first students to to graduate with the new BA in Journalism and New Media course available at UL.
Head of the Journalism Section of UL Tom Felle said: “Vinny was a true newspaper man, an editor who had ink in his veins. He excelled at delivering the ‘scoop’ and indeed some of the most important and significant news stories of the last 20 years were exclusives broken by the Indo. It is particularly poignant that today’s award honours excellence in the field of investigative journalism, a trait that Vinny valued highly, and I know Craig is honoured to be the first recipient,” said Mr Felle.
Both An Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Junior Minister Michael Ring have extended their congratulations to Mr Hughes.
Vinnie Doyle, who died in 2010, served as editor of the Irish Independent from 1981 to 2005, making him one of the longest serving editors in the Irish newspaper industry.
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