ENNIS REPORTER John Cooke scooped two gold awards while Clare FM was named local station of the year at the IMRO Radio Awards.
For the second time in his career, Cooke was awarded news reporter of the year at the IMRO Radio Awards held in the Lyrath Estate Hotel in Kilkenny.
On the night, he claimed not one but two awards, taking home the gong for ‘news story’ following his reporting for RTÉ Radio One on the Creeslough tragedy in Co Donegal.
John joined RTÉ Radio One in August 2015 after more than a decade in local radio including with Clare FM and North West Radio in Sligo. His time as presenter of Morning Focus and Head of News and Current Affairs saw him collect multiple different awards down through the years.
He said he was “honoured” to win both awards which he dedicated to all those who lost their lives in Creeslough and those “still coping with one of Ireland’s worst disasters, thanks to everyone in Donegal for their trust and cooperation”.
Clare FM claimed the coveted local station of the year award for the third time. This was the fifth year in succession that the station had been named in the top three local commercial radio outlets in the country. Those accepting the award for the station in Kilkenny included Head of Programming, Padraic Flaherty, breakfast show presenter Colum McGrath, Head of News Fiona Cahill and reporter Darragh Dolan.
2011 was the first time Clare FM was named local station of the year, when the awards were then known as the PPI Awards.
Among those paying tribute to the Francis Street based station for their success were Clare County Council, Clare Arts Office, Ennis Chamber, Clare TD Cathal Crowe (FF), Senator Timmy Dooley (FF), Cllr Mary Howard (FG) plus former Morning Focus producer Ben Sweeney.
A documentary on Ennis’ Bernárd Lynch titled ‘Falsely Accused’ which was produced and directed by Clare FM’s Head of Programming, Padraic Flaherty took the silver award, the top award in this category going to ‘Blackrock Boys’ by RTÉ Documentary on One which focused on abuse at Blackrock College, as told by two survivors.