Awards 2014

  • Agricultural Journalism Award
  • PPI’s – 4 bronze and 1 silver
    • PPI Award for News Bulletins
    • PPI Award for best news story
    • PPI Award for best Current Affairs show – Morning Focus
    • PPI Award for Sports Broadcaster of the year – Syl O’Connor
    • PPI Award for Speech Broadcaster of the Year – John Cooke
  • Justice Media Award – Morning Focus
  • New York Radio Award



Now in its 14th year, It is the most sought after accolade in the Irish Broadcasting Industry. The PPI radio awards were held in the Lyrath Estate in Kilkenny on Friday night last October 3rd, with the great and the good of Irish broadcasting represented on the night from the entire Island of Ireland, in total over 700 people attended the glitzy event which recognises the high quality of programming in radio. The ceremony was presided over by comedian Barry Murphy of après match fame.


It proved to be a hugely successful night for Clare FM, with six nominations, the Station walked away with five awards on the night.

  • News Story: Brewing up a storm – Bronze
  • News Bulletins: Clare FM News team – Bronze
  • Current Affairs Programme: Morning Focus -Bronze
  • Sports Broadcaster of the year: Syl O’Connor – Bronze
  • Speech Broadcaster of the year: John Cooke – Silver

It was one of the biggest awards haul for any of the Local Stations.

Commenting on the Stations success, General Manager Susan Murphy said

“It was a tremendous night for Clare FM and for the Banner County. It is hard to describe the pride you feel when your Station is projected on to the screen, these are hard fought for awards, as you are up against every Station in the Island of Ireland, the competition is absolutely fierce and sometimes it’s whisker between getting a nomination and being left out. So it’s very gratifying that we managed to get ahead of the big boys with the big budgets in the majority of the categories. You are judged by your peers, with three judges allocated to each category and you never know who the judges are in any category. There were over 80 judges assigned to judge this year and over 600 entries in total. We couldn’t do any of this without the listeners who trust us to tell their stories and all of the various organisations we work with throughout the year. We could not be prouder of the team and the Station”

The station has received much success at the PPI’s over the years having won Gold, silver and bronze in the Local Station category as well as gold, silver and bronze for programming and news. This comes on the back of the Stations anniversary celebrations as they celebrate 25 years of broadcasting to the Banner County.




The top prize in the Agricultural Journalism Awards 2014 was awarded to Clare FM News for the station’s coverage of the fodder crisis that seriously affected the livelihood of thousands of farmers last year.

Deputy News Editor Gavin Grace was presented with the Overall Award, “The Bull” bronze trophy by Miriam Atkins, Chairman, Guild of Agricultural Journalists, at an awards ceremony in the Castleknock Hotel, Dublin, attended by representatives of all sectors of the farming and food industry.

From a huge number of entries covering TV, radio, press, online, technical, targeted and photographic categories, the Clare Fm entry was adjudged the winner for the comprehensive information and advisory service they provided across their news, current affairs and farming programmes to keep farmers and their families up to date on the crisis and the supports available to them at a time when many of them were struggling to survive.

“It was a perfect example of a local media organisation taking on a very important community service role at a time of national crisis” said Martin Heraghty, Chairman of the panel of judges.

Organised by the Guild of Agricultural Journalists of Ireland, in association with AIB, the awards are presented every two years for work of outstanding merit in eight categories. The Overall Winner is chosen from the category winners.
Clare FM’s entry on the Fodder Crisis featured extracst from News Bulletins, Morning Focus with John Cooke and the weekly Farm Focus Show. Commenting on the award, Deputy News Editor Gavin Grace said it recognised almost a year’s work in which Clare FM liaised with farming organisations including Teagasc, the IFA, the ICSA and the ICMSA to “keep farmers abreast of the latest developments from the wet summer of 2012, to the late spring of the following year which led to a near-unparalleled shortage of fodder on Irish farms and a crisis which is still being felt by many in the industry”. He added that “While farmers throughout Ireland were rocked to the core, this difficult time also showed the resilience so often associated with the trade, along with the great community spirit in Clare which was evident throughout the long-running crisis and shone through in the story told by Clare FM.



Ken Murphy, Director General of the Law Society, John Cooke, and John Shaw, President of the Law Society
Ken Murphy, Director General of the Law Society, John Cooke, and John Shaw, President of the Law Society

Coverage of a high profile court case held in a pub has lead Clare fm to further awards success!

The station’s Head of News and Current Affairs John Cooke was honoured at the Justice Media Awards for his reporting on the air rage case involving the niece of fashion designer Ralph Lauren in January of this year.

Jenny Lauren was brought before Killaloe district court sitting in the Brian Boru pub and later pleaded guilty to charges under the Air Navigation and Transport Act before Ennis district court in a case that drew media attention from around the world.

The Justice Media Awards are run by the Law Society of Ireland to recognise high standards in legal journalism and this is Clare FM’s sixth year of success in the prestigious national competition.

What the judges said: 

“This case was an example of the quirky side of the Irish court system, featuring a high-profile defendant, a forced landing at Shannon Airport – and a court sitting in the function room of the Brian Boru on the Hill bar, in Killaloe, Co Clare.

“Beyond the hype lay a serious breach of air transport laws. John Cooke delivered the facts of the case and set the unusual scene for listeners in Clare – and nationally. Covering the case from start to finish, he succinctly summarised the detail in his radio reports with strong legal content and brought to life the lighter aspects of the case.”



New York Award for Clare FM!

The story of a homeless man who died on the streets of Ennis last year has led Clare’s local radio station to international awards success.

Clare FM’s John Cooke interviewing the late Josef Pavelka as his friend Piotr Baram and Volunteers Josephine O’Brien and Anthony McDonagh look on. Above photograph by Ray Conway – Frameworks Media
Clare FM’s John Cooke interviewing the late Josef Pavelka as his friend Piotr Baram and Volunteers Josephine O’Brien and Anthony McDonagh look on. Above photograph by Ray Conway – Frameworks Media [email protected]

Clare FM was among the winners honoured by the New York Festivals Radio Awards at a ceremony in Manhattan last night (Monday June 23rd, 2014), for an entry entitled “Life and Death on the Streets” which featured the plight of Josef Pavelka who died in May of 2013. The 52 year old Czech national received widespread media attention when it was revealed in court that he had been sleeping in public toilets in Ennis. Coverage of his story on Clare FM’s Flagship Current Affairs Programme Morning Focus with John Cooke lead local agencies to find emergency accommodation in Galway, but soon after that Mr Pavelka returned to the streets of Ennis and was back before the courts for public order and other minor offences. The unemployed construction worker suffered with chronic alcohol problems and, speaking exclusively to John Cooke with help on translations from his Polish friend and fellow homeless man Piotr Baram, he explained that he had no family at home in the Czech Republic and wished to stay in Ennis. He died in a laneway off O’Connell Street just three weeks after the interview.


Named as a winner in the Best Ongoing News Story Category, at the New York Radio Awards, Clare FM’s entry told a story of despair as listener’s learned of Mr. Pavelka’s poor circumstances and alcohol addiction, though hope was offered in temporary accommodation arranged after his case was highlighted, and through the compassion shown by so many in the town of Ennis, despite criticism from some. Though Josef’s plight was to end where this story began, it prompted calls for political change on homelessness and an admission from government that lessons should be learned from his life and death on the streets.

Accepting his prize at a gala ceremony off Fifth Avenue in Manhattan last night, Clare FM’s Head of News and Current Affairs John Cooke thanked the organisers and Judges for recognising the hard work and dedication of a local radio news team covering the important stories that need to be told in post recession Ireland. Paying tribute to those who work with the homeless and vulnerable in County Clare, Mr Cooke expressed the hope that Josef Pavelka’s story would not be repeated in Ennis or elsewhere in the country.


World-wide since 1982, New York Festival’s International Radio Program competition honors the most innovative work in radio broadcasting, and is judged online by award-winning directors, producers, reporters and various other radio industry experts from across the globe. Stations from 32 countries entered this year’s competition and, according to the organisers, RTÉ Networks Ireland led this year’s competition with 23 Finalists followed by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Other stories in the spotlight at the awards ceremony included the Boston Marathon Bombing(WGBH USA), Typhoon Haiyan (ABS-CBN Corporation Philippines) The Death Of Nelson Mandela (BBC World Service United Kingdom)

This is Clare FM’s third time to be honoured at the New York Radio Awards, with a previous win for News Coverage in 2008 and in the documentary section in 2004. Clare FM has been named as a winner in the PPI Local Radio Station of the Year Category four times in the past five years, while Morning Focus with John Cooke has also had recent success in the Irish Medical Media Awards and Justice Media Awards. Commenting on the latest award for the Station. Clare FM’s General Manager Susan Murphy said “It’s a real privilege and honour to have Clare FM recognised on the International stage, John and the Clare FM News team worked tirelessly on this story and brought it to National attention. It highlights the important role that Local Radio plays in the consciousness of us all, we are extremely proud of this particular recognition by our peers from around the world”