Advertiser editorial honouring coastguard is named winner in global editorial contest

Declan Varley, Galway Advertiser group editor

Declan Varley, Galway Advertiser group editor

An editorial from the Galway Advertiser honouring coastguard Caitriona Lucas, who died during a rescue off the west coast last year, has been named as a winner in a global contest to honour the best editorial writing in weekly newspapers.

The Golden Quill and Golden Dozen award winners for 2017 were announced by the International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors at a conference in Washington DC last Sunday.

One of those chosen as a winner was an editorial written by group editor Declan Varley published in the Galway Advertiser last year. The editorial (reprinted below ) paid tribute to the bravery shown by volunteer coastguard, librarian Caitriona Lucas, who lost her life during a search and recovery mission off the Clare coast last September.

The Golden Quill contest is open to all weekly newspapers worldwide with the objective of encouraging excellence in newspaper editorial writing. The contest has been running for almost 60 years, and this is the fourth time the Galway Advertiser has been selected as a winner. This is also the fourth time that Declan Varley has been named as a winner; firstly in 2003, and now for three years running, 2015, 2016, and 2017.

Mr Varley has been group editor of the Galway Advertiser group for 17 years and has worked as a journalist and writer for more than three decades.

Speaking after the Washington ceremony, he said he was honoured to have been named one of the winners.

“While there is obviously a personal excitement, the real fulfilment is that the Advertiser editorial slot has once again been recognised for its ability to highlight relevant social and community issues. It will continue to occupy that role.

“This editorial was written six months before the Rescue 116 tragedy, so it is fitting that its win honours the emergency services who every day and night risk their lives so that we can live ours.”


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