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DCU students wins prestigious Ake Blomstrom award

26 February 2010

Christopher Cleary

DCU student, Christopher Cleary is to be awarded the Ake Blomstrom scholarship for his documentary “8 Years on” broadcast on RTE Radio 1 in November, 2010. Christopher who is in his final year of a BA in Communications documented the life of his own mother, Lynda Barton, who overcame a 20-year heroin addiction and became a fully-qualified counsellor. Christopher recounts his upbringing in Dublin, tracing his relationship with his mother during her years of deteriorating health, and subsequently during her recuperation from the ravages of addiction. The title of the documentary, ‘Eight Years On’ documents Lynda’s road to recovery and celebrates her eighth anniversary free from drugs. 

On winning the award Christopher says:  "When I set out to make this documentary I never expected to even be considered for such an amazing scholarship as Ake Blomstrom, all I wanted to do was tell my mother’s story with the hope of helping others. I feel very honoured and I would like to thank RTÉ Radio 1 for giving me the opportunity in the first place. Also, I would like to thank my friends who were nothing but supportive during the documentary process. My passion is radio and this lies in telling stories and I hope to keep on producing at this level."

The prize was established in the late 1980s in honour of Ake Blomstrom (1931 – 1985). For many years he was Head of Documentaries in Swedish Radio and deeply committed to the work of his young colleagues. Today, the Ake Blomstrom Memorial Prize is a joint venture between SR (Sweden), DR (Denmark), YLE (Finland), NRK (Norway), RBB (Germany), ORF (Austria), BRT (Belguim), HRT (Croatia) and RTÉ (Ireland) who together sustain the prize.

Lorelei Harris, Editor, Features, Arts & Drama for RTÉ Radio 1 says “RTÉ Radio 1 prides itself in offering opportunity to new, young programme makers. For many years, as part of this process, The ‘Documentary on One’ has nurtured and mentored talented independent documentary makers and our output has been enriched by their contribution. I am absolutely delighted with Chris’s success and am sure that he will benefit hugely from attending the International Features Conference in Hameenlinna, Finland in May.“

As part of the Ake Blomstrom scholarship Christopher will attend the International Features Conference in May where he will participate in a five day listening workshop course and discuss a broad range of inspiring radio documentary programs. The Communications student will get to meet radio documentary professionals from around the world at the conference. Only three scholarships are awarded each year.

Download the documentary on ‘One8 Years’ on:

Note from RTE re new iPhone application:

RTE radio has also recently announced the launch of a new iPhone application solely dedicated to the award winning ’Documentaty on One’ strand. This is Ireland’s first iPhone application devoted to a single radio strand and the world’s first application devoted entirely to radio documentaries. The ‘Documentary on One’ iPhone App can be downloaded from: