RTÉ Wins Big at the NY Festivals Awards


At the 2020 New York Festivals International TV & Film and Radio Awards, RTÉ programmes won 30 prestigious awards.

Recognised for its rich craft in storytelling, RTÉ was honoured with three Gold trophies, seven Silver, four Bronze Awards and 16 Finalist Certificates.

Demonstrating the strength and range of RTÉ’s programming across Radio and Television, there were wins in Best Drama Special, Music, Culture & The Arts, Sports & Recreation, National/ International Affairs, Human Rights, Health/Medical Information, Social Issues, Religion and Philosophy, History and several more categories.

RTÉ Radio 1’s Documentary on One won a Gold trophy, two Silver and two Bronze Awards for its engaging stories that captivated listeners. The Gold Award went to ‘The Case of Majella Moynihan’ for its powerful telling of the life of an unnamed female Garda who was threatened with dismissal from An Garda Síochana in 1985 for giving birth to a baby outside of wedlock.

RTÉ Player’s influential DocLand documentary ‘Laura Brennan: This is Me’ won the Gold Award in the ‘Health/Medical Information’ category in the TV & Film awards. The film follows the final months in the life of Laura Brennan who died from cervical cancer aged 26, documenting her family and friendships, and her campaigning work to increase the uptake of the HPV Vaccine.

RTÉ lyric fm is delighted to have been awarded six prizes at this year’s New York Festivals Radio Awards. Earning a Gold trophy in the ‘Culture & The Arts’ category is ‘Mother’s Blood, Sister Songs’, presented by Irish composer Linda Buckley and produced by Athena Media for RTÉ lyric fm.

RTÉ Radio 1’s investigative documentary ‘Treasure Island: The Hunt For The Falcon Blanco’ by journalist Philip Boucher-Hayes secured the Silver Award in the ‘Podcast Serial’ category and ‘Edges of Light’ won a Silver Award for its moving show on The Lyric Feature. RTÉ Radio 1’s Drama On One ‘From the River of Ghosts’ by Roger Gregg as well as ‘Write Your Mind’, a compelling play about youth mental health, achieved Silver Awards in their respective categories. Achieving a Finalist Certificate is ‘The Clara Jug: Four Days In Portrush’ documentary about Shane Lowry’s win at The Open Championship.

Head of RTÉ Radio 1, Tom McGuire, says: “Across a variety of genres and platforms RTÉ Radio again stands proud when measured on the international broadcasting barometer that is the New York Festival. In particular the Gold for ‘Documentary On One: The Case of Majella Moynihan’ illustrates the importance of the social documentary in charting our history.”

Group Head of RTÉ Factual, Sean Mac Giolla Phadraig, says: “Between in-house programme makers and colleagues in the independent sector, RTÉ is lucky to be able to work with some of the best documentary storytellers in the world. I’m delighted that the craft in storytelling of documentary teams across Television and Radio has been recognised by the New York Festivals. I’m particularly proud of the work of teams involved in telling the stories of Laura Brennan and Majella Moynihan and who each won the Gold Award in their respective categories. These awards are a testament to the remarkable bravery of both women. I’m also delighted that Fr. Tony Coote’s selflessness was also recognised with an award for Walking The Walk.”

Head of RTÉ lyric fm, Aodán Ó Dubhghaill, says: “It is wonderful to see this Gold award for former RTÉ lyric fm Composer-in-Residence Linda Buckley’s wonderful evocative journey connecting Ireland and Iceland in the 2-part lyric Feature ‘Mother’s blood, Sister Songs’. It was made under the watchful eye of Helen Shaw and Athena Media Production and funding from the BAI Sound & Vision scheme. And lyric Producer Eoin Brady’s ‘Edges of Light’ documentary in which Ellen Cranitch presents the music of the stage show Edges of Light with Tola Custy, David Power, Maeve Gilchrist and Colin Dunne and interweaves them with voices in opposition to the Summer Time Act of 1916 and reflections by the musicians involved on the nature of collaboration, the passing of time and creativity. These are but two features and documentaries that are presented weekly by the RTÉ lyric fm Features producers, Olga Buckley and Eoin O’Kelly and they highlight the quality of story-telling about Ireland’s rich heritage of music, arts and culture that stand tall on any world stage.”

RTÉ One’s ‘Walking the Walk’ has been awarded Bronze in the ‘Religion and Philosophy’ category. The film is a testament to the faith, humanity, charisma, humour and steely determination of a remarkable priest and his response to his own diagnosis of Motor Neurone Disease. ‘Raised by The Village’ also won a Bronze prize in the ‘Docudrama’ TV/Film category. Orla Tinsley: Warrior’ which sees Orla’s cystic fibrosis journey as she awaits a life-saving double lung transplant secured a Finalist Certificate in the ‘Health/Medical Information’ TV/Film category.

RTÉ Radio 1’s Drama On One took home a total of six awards making significant impact in the categories of ‘Best Writing’, ‘Best Narration’, ‘Best Drama Special’, ‘Best Digital Drama’ and ‘Best Documentary Biography/Profile’.