3 columnists blazing the trail for future journalists


Ireland has always been a hub of creativity.  Some of the world’s greatest writers flourish on our little island, and many are yet to come. 

In Ireland alone, there are over 5,000 journalists working professionally. The journalism industry is fast paced and ever changing, and has been subjected to many challenges throughout the last number of years. That said, preserving and sustaining the high quality of Irish journalism will always remain a priority.
This week at MediaHQ, we devised a list of 3 columnists that are engaging, inspiring and intelligent, and that are blazing the trail for future journalists.

Fintan O’Toole – The Irish Times

Fintan O’Toole is a popular favourite among many. O’Toole has been a columnist for The Irish Times since 1988, writing mainly on political and social affairs. He typically writes two columns a week, published every Tuesday and Saturday. Since his career began, he has deservingly won many awards for his work. In 2017 alone, he received the European Press Prize, the Orwell Prizes for Journalism and NewsBrands Ireland Journalism Awards Broadsheet Columnist of the Year, an award he later won again in 2018.
In his time, his columns have criticised negative attitudes towards immigration and protested the US military’s use of Shannon Airport. He has written about the Ireland’s dark history, the reality of climate change and the impending Brexit decision. O’Toole has condemned inequality between sexes and is hugely supportive of gender balancing. He has publicly disassociated himself from people and organisations that hold or portray harsh, conservative views and protested against a range of social issues.
Undoubtedly, he is a strong leading figure in Irish journalism, one whose liberal personal values and morals are imperative to his work. 

Mary Kenny – The Independent 

Mary Kenny is a prime example of a journalist that is keeping up with the times. Mary writes a column for the Irish Independent Magazine every Saturday, mainly on personal stories, historical topics and culture. She has written columns delving into the state of the political system, the need for sexual education in schools and has even offered ways to counteract climate change. Her work is also published in the Catholic Herald and the Irish Catholic newspaper. 
At the age of 75, Mary Kenny is an experienced writer, author and broadcaster. She is a liberal, avid feminist and was one of the founding members of the Irish Women’s Liberation Movement in the 1960’s. She has a zest for life, a flare for writing and lets her insightful opinions on our society loose on the pages of the Independent. 

Una Mullally – The Irish Times

Una Mullally is another columnist that is blazing the trail for future journalists. She writes regular columns in The Irish Times, mainly focusing on life and style, heritage and opinion pieces. Her most recent article focuses on the origins of the Green Party, in light of the so-called Green Wave that hit the European and local elections on May 24th 2019.
While her life and style series ‘What’s Hot and What’s Not’ is an amusing and light hearted read, the columns she has written on the Irish heritage are especially captivating. The opinion columns she contributes to the paper are also notable, expressing concerns on a range of social issues from #MeToo to the Irish housing crisis. Una Mullally also co-hosts a new weekly podcast called ‘United Ireland’ alongside Andrea Horan. Every episode focuses on one county and an issue relevant to that county.
In the increasingly demanding world of journalism, having the ability to cover a range of topics, and cover them well, is a much sought after skill. Hence, Una has been highly commended for her writing, receiving the Journalist of the Year award at the GALA LGBT Awards in 2015. Her versatility is not only entertaining for the audience, it sets the standard for future journalists following in her footsteps.
At MediaHQ, we provide the largest online contacts database for journalists in Ireland. Click here for more information, or call Gaye on (01) 2541845.