CMI Student wins Con Houlihan Young Journalist Award at Listowel Writers week 2018

Diarmaid Blehein, who studied the Diploma in Journalism & Media with CMI, always had a passion for writing at an early age.

He is particularly inspired by Freelance writing. During the Journalism course,  he submitted several types of writing, from a human interest story to reviews and news stories. His feature, entitled ‘A Korean Wedding- Where the Guests Come First’, had initially been started on the course, but Diarmuid’s self-belief and determination to rework several drafts, paid off.

His tutor David Lawlor, previously a Sub Editor for the Evening Herald was delighted to hear about Diarmaid’s success, ‘It is great to see writing talent getting recognised for interesting features’.

Diarmuid Blehein was among several entrants, and received the award, on Wednesday 30 May 2018. All the prize winners were listed on the Irish Times website today (see link below).

Irish Times – Diarmuid Blenheim wins Con Houlihan Young Journalist Award
at Listowel Writers week 2018


A short extract….

When I was in Korea, a colleague invited all of us to her wedding which was to take place the following month. A shotgun wedding? No, just one of the many Korean wedding customs that bare a stark contrast to weddings at home, where we’re often told to “Save the Date” two years in advance. Koreans don’t waste time- when they’re given some, that is. The working culture is such couples are not given much time to prepare for their big day.

Despite the large Christian population, most Koreans don’t get married in a church. Instead they opt for wedding halls. These are venues of various sizes that cover all aspects of the big day – the ceremony, the food, the flowers, everything. This particular couple were both Catholics and held a private blessing a few days before the wedding. The guests are not forced to endure long sermons, whether they are Christian or not.

This particular wedding hall was in Gangnam, a metropolitan region of Seoul. Before we entered the hall, we had to sign our names in the guestbook and deposit our white enveloped gifts into the box. Cash is the only acceptable form of gift, and the amount depends on how closely acquainted you are with the couple or their parents. No need to quarrel with your plus one here; the rules are set in stone….

The groom welcomed all the guests they entered the wedding hall while those of us who knew the bride had to go upstairs to her special bridal room, where she sat, glowing in fabulous white. She greeted everyone and posed for countless photographs and selfies.

When we got back downstairs, we were surprised to see people already helping themselves to the buffet. Korean people do not linger. Not wanting to miss out, we joined them and helped ourselves to some of our favourite Korean delicacies. However, no sooner had we sat down to our table when the familiar voice of Enya started to sound from the speakers and the place stood up. The bride and groom emerged and walked up the aisle together behind their mothers who were both wearing the traditional Korean dress…

As we made our way out of the wedding hall, the groom handed out everyone a special gift of an ornamental plate as a way of thanking us for coming. Then it was back out onto the busy streets of Gangnam. The marriage may well last a lifetime but it’s Saturday and the guests have other places to be.