NoW's Northern Irish reporter returns to roots

The News of the World’s man in Northern Ireland has moved to Sunday Life, Independent News and Media’s title in the Province.

Martin Breen, 31, a former Press Gazette award-winner, returned to his alma mater of the Belfast Telegraph Group this month, as executive editor of Sunday Life.

Breen started his journalistic career at the Belfast Telegraph in September 1998 as a graduate trainee, and then spent 16 weeks at the Trinity Editorial Training course in Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

He had started freelancing for papers, including the Belfast Telegraph and Sunday Life, while still at school in 1993.

At the Belfast Telegraph he worked as a news reporter and crime columnist. In 2001, he transferred across to the Sunday Life as a news reporter but was headhunted by the News of the World and left Sunday Life in October of that year to become the NoW’s Northern Ireland correspondent. Since 2004, he also ran the Irish News of the World newsdesk in Dublin for several weeks a year.

Breen was named the Press Gazette young journalist of the year in 2001, regional reporter of the year at News of the World;s own company awards in 2005 and was the only newspaper finalist in the current affairs journalist of the year category in the 2005 ESB Media Awards in Dublin.

Sunday Life editor Jim Flanagan told Press Gazette that Breen’s recruitment is central to his vision of where the Sunday title is going in the year ahead.

He said: ‘I am delighted that an outstanding journalist of Martin’s calibre and wide experience is joining Sunday Life’s award-winning team.

‘We have exciting plans for the paper this year and Martin will have a vital role to play in helping us to implement them.”

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