Newstalk documentary wins Grand Prize at NY International Radio Program Awards

'The Kinder Letters' triumphed over 296 finalists

An Irish radio documentary 'The Kinder Letters', commissioned and broadcast on Newstalk 106-108fm has won the prestigious Grand Prize at the internally acclaimed New York Festivals International Radio Program Awards.

Produced by Robert Hope and Amy Millar, 'The Kinder Letters' is an Athena Media Production for Newstalk 106-108fm made with the support of the BAI.

It is a one hour documentary which reveals one Irish man's quest to unravel a 60-year-old mystery that captures a rare glimpse of post-war Europe through the microcosm of this children's book, and through a rich canvas of archive, music and interviews revealing Ireland's position within Europe at a time of chaos.

Garrett Harte, Editor-In-Chief at Newstalk 106-108fm, commented: "This is an unprecedented and fantastic achievement for Irish radio and the team at Newstalk 106-108fm wholeheartedly congratulate Athena Media."

"At Newstalk we strive to bring our listeners the very best stories from across the country and around the world and this award is a testament to our efforts."

Francesca Lalor, series producer of Documentary and Drama on Newstalk 106-108fm, added: "I am delighted that Documentary On Newstalk have been honoured in this way by the New York Radio Awards Grand Jury."

"Each week, we broadcast the finest home-grown radio documentaries on Newstalk, reflecting the huge talent and craft of Irish radio producers."

"This International award is further proof that the medium of radio documentary is experiencing a renaissance in Ireland, as a growing, creative and hugely entertaining medium. I would like to extend my congratulations to the entire team behind The Kinder Letters."

"A very precious family story"

While Helen Shaw, company founder and producer at Athena Media, said: "Winning the Grand Award for a small personal story like The Kinder Letters inspires us to make difficult programmes."

"This story was gifted to us by Tony O'Herlihy, the man at the centre of the documentary, and he trusted us to tell a very precious family story."

"Through that book of handmade letters and drawings by German children, that Tony's wife Mary had been given as a girl, we were able to tell a much bigger story, a much darker story, of the relationship between Ireland and Germany and indeed the human price of war. As an award, this is a jury decision by our peers and that makes it very special to us. It makes the long journey to bring this story to air worthwhile knowing that people value it and the way we made it."

'The Kinder Letters' triumphed over 296 finalists from 29 countries worldwide, all of whom were judged by the 2016 Grand Jury on production values, organization and presentation of information, creativity and use of the medium.

Newstalk will re-run the documentary on Saturday, June 25th at 7.00am and 10.00pm