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'Entertaining, passionate, doesn't pull any punches' - The42's Paul Fennessy claims 20x20 award

His in-depth feature with Ireland’s all-time female top goalscorer Olivia O’Toole has today been named July’s winner.

O'Toole representing Ireland.
O'Toole representing Ireland.
Image: Lorraine O'Sullivan/INPHO

JULY’S WINNER OF the Investec 20×20 Media Award has gone to Paul Fennessy of The42

Recognising excellence in Irish journalism focused on women in sport, the judges felt that Paul’s feature with former Ireland footballer Olivia O’Toole was the outstanding choice. 

In it, O’Toole discusses growing up in Dublin’s Sheriff Street during the 1980s, when the area was plagued by a drugs epidemic, her love for sport, the challenges she faced throughout her career and going on to become Ireland’s all-time female top goalscorer.  

It is the fourth time an article on The42 has claimed the monthly award since it was launched earlier this year. 

“In his interview with Olivia O’Toole, Paul gave important profile to a sportswoman who should be a national hero,” said Anna Kessel, Investec 20×20 Media Awards judging panel chair.

“Entertaining, passionate, doesn’t pull any punches, Paul seems to be able to get the best out of his interviewees and allow them to open up about the burning issues in women’s sport.

The anecdote about not signing for Arsenal because Olivia didn’t want to do the men’s laundry was refreshing and striking — from an era of players who were so often made to feel grateful just for being there.”


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Michael Cullen, CEO, Investec added: “Paul Fennessy’s profile of Olivia O’Toole is first and foremost a captivating and highly enjoyable read.

“Her experiences and insights on the lack of professionalism and how little consideration was given to women’s football during her career is a timely reminder of why the team at Investec is so proud to support such an important initiative like 20×20 and how so much more needs to be done to ensure that our elite athletes can perform at the peak of their abilities.”

Read Paul Fennessy’s piece with Olivia O’Toole here >

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