Northern Ireland

BBC NI Spotlight wins RTS award for Mairia Cahill scoop

Jennifer O'Leary with Mairia Cahill
Image caption Spotlight reporter Jennifer O'Leary (left) with Maíria Cahill

BBC Northern Ireland current affairs programme Spotlight has won Scoop of the Year at the Royal Television Society (RTS) journalism awards.

Spotlight: A Woman Alone With The IRA investigated the republican movement's handling of sexual abuse allegations against a suspected IRA member.

Maíria Cahill waived her right to anonymity to tell how the republican movement responded to her allegations.

The programme was broadcast last October.

Ms Cahill claimed she was raped by a suspected IRA man when she was a teenager, and that the IRA later helped to cover up the alleged abuse.

BBC Northern Ireland Director Peter Johnston said: "This is a fantastic win for our Spotlight team - particularly with a Northern Ireland story winning in the UK-wide Scoop Of The Year category.

"This recognition from the Royal Television Society follows Spotlight's long tradition of making award-winning programmes and is a reflection of the dedication of our Spotlight team to produce hard-hitting, high quality investigative journalism."

Jeremy Adams, Head of Television Current Affairs, BBC Northern Ireland, said it was a "tremendous achievement".

"The team put a great deal of time and dedication into what was a painstaking investigation and also one of the most important and talked-about television investigations of the past year," he said.

Other winners at the ceremony in the London Hilton, Park Lane, included ITV News at Ten for Daily News Programme of the Year, and Sky News for News Channel of the Year.

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