Four talented Galway journalists among winners at Smedias

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Ellen O'Donoghue and Paddy Henry

Four talented young Galway journalists were among the winners at the National Student Media Awards (Smedias) which took place earlier this month.

Sophia Hadef took home the highly prestigious Radio DJ of the Year award for hosting The Cure on Flirt FM.

The French journalist and publisher has been living in Galway for two years and is currently studying for a Master’s at NUI Galway. She previously attended La Sorbonne in Paris.

Sophia Hadef

Ivan Smyth from Ahascragh in Co. Galway took home the Sports Writer of the Year award. The Galway man attended St. Cuan’s College in Castleblakeney before studying Journalism at UL, where he is in fourth year.

Ivan is a member of his local handball club Mountbellew/Moylough and is inspired by many journalists including Tony Leen, Paul Kimmage, Martin Breheny and Tommie Gorman.

Ivan Smyth

NUI Galway journalism students Ellen O’Donoghue and Paddy Henry took home Collaborative Journalism of the Year Award at the online ceremony.

Roscommon native Paddy Henry is Editor of SIN while Ellen O’Donoghue from Donegal is News Editor and Proofreader of SIN. Both student journalists are in their final year at NUI Galway.

An impressive line-up of judges included award-winning director and screenwriter Robbie Walsh, social media star James Kavanagh and various editors and producers from Ireland’s leading media organisations, including The Irish Times’ News Editor Mark Hennessy.

They also included high-profile presenters including Richard Chambers, Angela Scanlon, Maura Derrane and Muireann O’Connell.

Queen’s University Belfast came out on top at this year’s Smedias, winning a total of seven awards. TCD won six awards, while TU Dublin, UCD and UCC took home four awards each.

Ciara Mahon, Manager of Oxygen.ie which hosted the Awards, said: “We are delighted to have another successful year of the Smedia’s, even in the unprecedented situation that we are all living in today.

“This year’s standard was phenomenal and we were so impressed with the hard work of these students this year, especially as there was a big jump in entry submissions.

“I applaud each and every one of you who participated in the Smedia’s 2021.”