Freed by love for my prison teacher - Wales on Sunday

Freed by love for my prison teacher

News, Portfolio

Freed by love for my prison teacher - Wales on Sunday

I interviewed a Welsh activist who was jailed as a child for more than 30 years after murdering a schoolyard friend. He revealed how falling in love with his prison teacher helped him make a fresh start in life and finally gain his freedom.

>Full story on WalesOnline

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Shannon, 5, battles back from stroke - Glamorgan Gazette

Five-year-old girl suffers major stroke

News, Portfolio

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During my time working for the weekly newspaper Glamorgan Gazette as part of my Media Wales training, I reported on the shocking case of a girl who had suffered a stroke at the age of five.

>Full story on WalesOnline

I contacted the mother several months later for a Wales on Sunday follow-up, where she spoke about turning her life around after being jailed for assault years earlier.

>Full story on WalesOnline

Outcry as departing AMs pick up golden farewells of £845K

Outcry as departing Assembly Members pick up golden farewells of £845K

News, Portfolio

Outcry as departing AMs pick up golden farewells of £845K

My FOI request revealed the amounts that 2011’s outgoing Welsh Assembly Members (AMs) were given in resettlement grants. Following discussions with the newsdesk on the background of AMs, I constructed spreads for both the South Wales Echo and Western Mail. The exclusive story was later picked up by BBC Wales and carried on their radio current affairs programmes.

Gannet pecks out man's eye - South Wales Echo

Gannet pecks out man’s eye

News, Portfolio

Gannet pecks out man's eye - South Wales Echo

I reported on the story of a Cardiff man who was partially blinded after his eye was pecked out of its socket by a bird during a stroll along the beach. The shocking and gruesome tale made the front page of the Echo. It was also picked up by news organisations across the globe.

>Full story on WalesOnline

One year later, I wrote a follow-up story on the man’s hopes to have his eyesight fully restored through surgery.

Schools pay out £500k in claims

News, Portfolio

The compensation culture in Northern Ireland’s schools has been revealed in new figures that show pupils have claimed more than half-a-million pounds for injuries suffered.

A total of £578,120 in compensation has been paid out to schoolchildren by education boards in Northern Ireland in the periods 2008-09 and 2010-11.

One six-year-old boy was given £70,000 in compensation after a door was closed on his thumb in 2009-10. Compensation of £62,500 was paid out to a 14-year-old pupil the year before after he was hurt while climbing to retrieve a football.

Coalisland Post

Blog
Coalisland Post logo

Coalisland Post logo

The Skins TV series ended last Thursday after eight weeks on the air, and the blog was very enjoyable to do. Taking this experience along with my X Factor blogging, I am now finally moving towards a more permanent niche blog project, by creating a hyperlocal site for my home town.

The new website is called the Coalisland Post. It is a hyperlocal space for news and views on the Coalisland area. The aim is to attract young and web-savvy Coalislanders to write for the site, and develop content a bit more opinion-driven than what currently offered by the local weeklies.

It’s now up and running, but it is a work in progress. The website is sure to evolve over time as we (myself and co-founder Catherine Wylie) understand our audience more and get more people on board to contribute.

The obvious difficulty at the minute is the fact that I’m living in Wales, rather than Northern Ireland. Hopefully by establishing links with people, organisations and businesses by phone and email, this won’t be a massive problem.

Have a look at the site and follow its progress over the coming months: www.coalislandpost.co.uk