NUJ President Barry McCall from Dublin was the guest of honour at the presentation of life memberships to ten members of the National Union of Journalists, most of them working in the Dublin area. The ceremony was held on Friday evening at Liberty Hall, as a prelude to the Biennial Delegate Conference of the Irish section of the NUJ. NUJ General Secretary Michelle Stanistreet came to congratulate the ten, who between them have over 400 years’ membership of the union.
Husband and wife team Clodagh Sheehy and Liam Kelly from the Irish Independent group were among the recipients. Des Ekin of the Sunday World, who joined the NUJ as a cub reporter in the Newtownards Chronicle before moving to the Sunday News also received the award. Another Northerner Ray Managh who has worked for many years as a freelance courts correspondent in Dublin was presented with his certificate. He began his career in the Tyrone Constitution in Omagh and his proposer for NUJ membership was Ivan McMichael. He sent warm regards to a former colleague and PA Ireland Editor Deric Henderson, celebrating forty years as a journalist in Belfast.
IEC Cathaoirleach Gerry Curran (who has been re-elected to the post) thanked each of the members for their contribution to the NUJ.
The other recipients were Paul Barry, former deputy Sports Editor of the Irish Times, whose father, a photographer, had proposed him for NUJ membership; Michael Lavery, formerly of the Roscommon Herald and later with the Evening Herald; Con Power and Albert Smith (Independent Newspapers); Gerry Smyth, a poet, who worked for The Irish Times (I know from my mother that the Smyths are particular about the spelling of their surname!!); and Jim Smith (correct!), former Editor of the Dundalk Argus.