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Local Ireland, the representative body for print and online publishers – including the Tribune of Connachte – across the country, launched its annual awards to celebrate regional journalism.

Now in its seventh year, the Local Ireland Media Awards 2022 will recognize the achievements of journalists, photographers and publicity staff.

This year’s contest will be the fifth to be sponsored by the National Lottery, which has its own prize for best community story.

Chairman of Local Ireland, Declan McGuire of Connacht Grandstandsaid he was delighted to launch this year’s awards.

“The role that local news publishers play is essential in our communities and our reliable, professional and quality content has never been more appreciated,” he said.

“No other medium can compare to our hyperlocal coverage of news, sports, entertainment and culture.

“Thanks to digital, we have never had so many readers. Last year, we expanded our digital rewards categories. This year, I am pleased to announce that we will be introducing a new category for Columnist of the Year, which will be judged by eminent author and broadcaster Dearbhail McDonald.

National Lottery CEO Andrew Algeo was also delighted to be associated with the awards again.

“The Local Ireland Media Awards reflect the best in journalism in Ireland and highlight the impact local media have on the communities they serve,” he said.

“Like local media, the National Lottery is embedded in every town and village in Ireland, through our players, our retailers and of course our beneficiaries of good causes and the community groups they support.

“We are particularly proud of our long-term association with the Local Ireland Awards and look forward to seeing entries from some amazing journalists from across the country,” he added.

Local Ireland executive director Bob Hughes said the awards ceremony will be held on October 13 at the Bloomfield House Hotel in Mullingar.

“I am delighted that Marty Morrissey has once again agreed to be our host for the evening. He presented our virtual awards last year, but this year we look forward to our nominees being honored in person by their peers,” he said.

The president of the jury will be Áine Kerr, chief operating officer of Kinzen, former head of global journalism partnerships with Facebook and former editor-in-chief of Storyful. She will be joined by Dearbhail McDonald, Professor Emeritus at TUD Michael Foley, Dawn Wheatley from the DCU School of Communications, Managing Director of Kinetic Ireland Andrew Sinclair, photographer and former Irish Times editor Frank Miller, broadcaster and writer Valerie Cox, and journalist and author PJ Cunningham.

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