Posted by in Features.

Prestigious international radio award for Clare FM • Clare FM documentary, The Rescue, wins Gold Award in the New York Festivals Radio Awards. • Clare FM the only local radio station to win Gold. • The Rescue told the story of Jim Warny, and the international operation to save the trapped Thai soccer team from a flooded cave in Thailand. A Clare FM documentary, which told the story of Clare’s cave rescue hero, has been recognised as one of the best radio programs in the world over the past year. The Rescue is a revealing insight into the remarkable rescue that saw Ennisman Jim Warny join a team of international divers in the unique operation to safely extract twelve boys and their soccer coach from a flooded cave in Thailand. Along with Jim, who was the focus of the documentary, it also included contributions from fellow members of the Irish cave diving community, two other members of the international team who took part in the operation in Thailand, Belgium’s Ambassador to Ireland, His Excellency Pierre Emmanuel de Bauw, and An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. The programme was produced by Padraic Flaherty and Gavin Grace, and was honoured with a Gold Award at the New York Festivals Radio Awards at this week’s ceremony in Manhattan. The awards attract hundreds of entries from radio stations in almost 40 countries, and the Gold Award is among their highest accolades. Padraic Flaherty, who is also Clare FM’s Head of Operations and Programme Director, said “We are delighted to receive this award, which is one of the biggest in Clare FM’s near thirty-year history. Only a small fraction of the programmes entered into the New York awards receive Gold, and we are proud to say that The Rescue and Clare FM now stand alongside the best of work from the likes of the BBC, the Canadian Broadcast Company, Al Jazeera and other entries from Sweden, Germany, the UK, USA and South Korea.” “Clare FM is the only local radio station in Ireland to receive a trophy of any colour in this year’s New York Festivals Radio Awards. We’re proud to be local, and to deliver the best of radio to the listeners of Co. Clare, and this award is testimony to the high standards of the entire Clare FM team.” Gavin Grace, who also presents Morning Focus each weekday on Clare FM, paid tribute to Jim Warny as he accepted the award. “We entered The Rescue into the Heroes category of the New York Awards, and I’m thrilled that the judges agree with our assessment that Jim Warny and his fellow divers should absolutely be regarded as heroes.” “We were very pleased when Jim trusted us to tell his story, and his openness about just what happened inside the Chiang Rai cave led to some breath-taking radio. Jim’s help was also invaluable in other ways, allowing us to interview Chris Jewell and Josh Bratchley, two other members of the rescue team. It’s fair to say that we would not have won this award without Jim’s support, and we’re very grateful for that.”