Midlands 103 is celebrating its success at the annual PPI Radio Awards in Kilkenny. The independent radio station for Laois, Offaly and Westmeath beat off shortlisted competition from Newstalk and other local stations with its entry for Best News Story.
‘No country for the old’ chronicles events surrounding the proposed closure of community nursing units in Abbeyleix and Shaen, Co. Laois and the subsequent suspension of that decision by the Health Service Executive last year.
The win is timely as the HSE is expected to announce the outcome of its consultation process imminently. The initial decision to close both facilities provoked a furious reaction last year and health authorities have taken further criticism for cuts to respite services in Co Laois. Midlands 103 will soon broadcast its flagship current affairs programme, “Midlands Today with Will Faulkner,” from Abbeyleix to review the latest developments.
Commenting on the win, Midlands 103 Head of News Clara Walshe was thrilled with the recognition. “We put in a lot of effort on a daily basis and were competing with highly resourced radio stations for this award so that makes the win all the more sweet. However, this entry is more than a news story. Abbeyleix Community Nursing Unit is a home to its residents, where families entrust the care of their loved ones. On the other side is the HSE, under huge budgetary pressure and faced with hard choices. We will be carefully monitoring how the coming weeks unfold.”
It is the second journalism coup for Midlands 103 this week. The company has also reached a deal with former ‘Irish Times’ editor Conor Brady to join its board of directors. The winning entry is available in the podcasts section of Midlands103.com.