One of the two journalists who broke the infamous ‘Golfgate’ story – Paul Hosford – looks back fondly on his early career – including a stint at Dublin Gazette.
Dubliner Hosford, and his Irish Examiner colleague Aoife Moore, untapped a floodgate of protest when they revealed details of the Oireachtas Golf Society dinner.
Their drip-feed of information about the gala event in Clifden and the lack of Covid-19 restrictions prompted an unprecedented backlash – and claimed several high profile scalps including Minister Dara Calleary and EU Commissioner Phil Hogan.
Paul cut his teeth at this newspaper starting off as a sports reporter more than a decade ago and is no stranger to breaking big stories.
He told Dublin Gazette: “It started off as we had gotten this tip, at around 10am, and Aoife and I then went on to spend the day ringing each other, ringing other people to verify certain things, then ringing each other again to make sure we weren’t doubling up on calls – it was a lot of time spent on the phone!
“But, it was great that the work had paid off, that we managed to uncover the dinner had happened, and the story broke that night.
“My phone has been ringing non-stop since then, but it’s been great. Aoife and I started at the Examiner at the same time earlier this year, and we work well together, so it was great getting to work with her on breaking the story.”
Paul got his start on the news and sports desks in Dublin Gazette, having studied TV and radio in college.
He recalled: “I spotted an ad in the Gazette looking for sports journalists, and I sent in a n application. Luckily enough I got to write for the sports desk for a while, covering local matches and building experience.”
It was in 2013 that he broke his first big story, after uncovering that over 3,000 editions of the then-Lucan Gazette had been stolen and destroyed by the assistant of local politician Derek Keating, after an unfavourable story had been published about him.
“That story went big in the nationals, which was great,” said Paul.
“I loved working on that one – I called it Gazette-gate! It really fuelled how much I already loved journalism, and the interest I had in it.
“We had a great team back then, working together. I really look back on my time in the Gazette fondly.”