Northern Ireland

Lyra documentary leads north’s nominees at 2024 Celtic Media Festival

The 45th annual celebration of Celtic film, TV and radio is taking place in Wales in June

Lyra McKee, who was shot dead in Derry in 2019.
Lyra McKee, who was shot dead in Derry in 2019.

A documentary on murdered Lyra McKee is among entries from the north nominated for awards celebrating the best media from across Europe’s Celtic regions.

Lyra, by Co Antrim-born director Alison Millar, has been named in the shortlist for Best Feature Documentary at the upcoming Celtic Media Festival.

The event is celebrating its 45th anniversary this year, and will take place on June 4-6 in Cardiff.

The festival showcases the best film, TV and radio broadcasts from across the island of Ireland, Scotland, Wales, the Isle of Man, Cornwall, Brittany in France and Galicia in Spain.

Alison Millar’s 2022 film focussed on the life, career and death of 29-year-old Belfast writer and aspiring investigative journalist Lyra McKee, who was shot dead while observing a riot in Derry in 2019.

Director, Alison Millar pictured with Lyra’s partner, Sara Canning
Director Alison Millar with Lyra McKee's partner Sara Canning.

The film has earned a string of awards, including most recently the Best Documentary title at the 2024 Broadcast Awards in London.

Meanwhile, a 2023 BBC documentary about Co Down-born blues singing legend Ottilie Patterson, who died in 2011, has been nominated in the Celtic Media Festival’s Arts (Screen) category.



Belfast-shot Sky Original show The Lovers has been nominated in the Comedy (Screen) category, while A Perforated Ulster, the BBC Radio Ulster comedy show from the Hole in the Wall Gang is in the running for the Comedy (Sound) gong.

BBC Radio Ulster itself has been nominated for Radio Station of the Year, with presenter Lynette Fay among those shortlisted for Presenter of the Year (Sound).

A tribute show presented by broadcaster and Irish News contributor Ralph McClean on BBC Radio Ulster following the death of singer Sinead O’Connor has been named on the shortlist for the Music Programme (Sound) award.

The festival last took place in Ireland in 2012, when it was hosted in Derry. Before that it was hosted in Newry in 2010, Galway in 2008, and Belfast in 2003.