O’Doherty up for Irish Digital Media Award for Blogger of the Year

IrishCentral’s own Cahir O’Doherty has been shortlisted in the Blogger of the Year category in the Irish Digital Media Awards. Cahir has come off an amazing year in 2014, where he gave thoughtful, incisive coverage to many of the biggest issues in Ireland and in Irish America.

2014 afforded Cahir the unique opportunity to write and report on important stories developing in Ireland without any of the restrictions or constraints of the media there. Writing on such huge stories as the ‘Pantigate’ controversy, the Tuam babies scandal and the inclusion of LGBT people in the New York St. Patrick’s Day parade, Cahir has given a distinctive, strong voice to the nascent re-designed IrishCentral.

Over the past year there are three stories which Cahir wrote about at some length and was able to speak with a degree of authority. Cahir was able to help IrishCentral take a measure of ownership over these stories by providing a unique perspective on Irish and Irish American stories as an American-based writer. Two of these stories were responsible for endless column inches in Ireland and another was caused a huge controversy in New York and America more widely. The first story broke in January with the ‘Pantigate’ controversy. After her appearance on The Saturday Night Show and the subsequent pay out by RTÉ to John Waters and the Iona Institute, many in the Irish media were rightfully fearful of speaking out about what happened for fear of reprisals through law suits. Due to the draconian libel laws in place in Ireland, it took a journalist outside of that jurisdiction to report truthfully on the story, and that is what Cahir did. As an ‘outside’ Cahir was well positioned to write openly about the injustices of the libel laws and how it hamstrung people like Panti who are working to make Ireland a more equal place.

This narrative thread continued through the year to include the Tuam baby scandal. One of the most shocking revelations to ever come out of Ireland, the Tuam scandal is a shameful reminder of Ireland’s past. While the story was broken by Sunday World, IrishCentral was on the ground covering the story from then on. Cahir travelled to Tuam to get a fuller understanding of the horror of what had happened there and his articles were widely read and shared – many articles receiving over 30,000 direct shares from the site. Cahir was able to use IrishCentral to bring this story to an American audience and to help mount pressure on the Irish government to properly investigate the burial site.

The third story which Cahir wrote about was the ongoing battle between LGBT groups and the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in New York. Cahir offered a unique perspective on the issue as a gay Irishman living in New York. He was able to articulate a reasoned response to possible objections to allowing LGBT groups from marching in the parade. Cahir followed the story from its very inception the whole way through to its positive resolution, tracking every development and offering excellent commentary and reporting throughout.

Cahir faces stiff competition in the Blogger of the Year category from the likes of Headstrong.org, Brave Media and more. If you’d like to see Cahir rewarded for his fantastic work this past year, you can vote for him here: www.surveymonkey.com/s/WYSCXRT

The Awards will take place on 20 February at the Hilton Doubletree in Donnybrook, Dublin. Best of luck Cahir!