Irish Podcast Awards 2023: Best sport podcast

With sport being such an important part of Irish culture, it’s unsurprising that a host of podcasts have sprung up around the different games beloved by Ireland’s sporting fans. Winners in this category set themselves apart by taking a wider look at the world of sports beyond the week-to-week matches, and digging deeper into the stories behind them.

Winner: Shadow Boxing

While it’s in the sports category, this four-part podcast could equally be in the True Crime section. Shadow Boxing explores how Daniel Kinahan — a man named in the Irish courts as heading up one of Europe’s largest criminal gangs — almost managed to use the great sport of boxing to whitewash his reputation, and what can be done to repair the sport’s image in the aftermath.

While the allegations about Kinahan aren’t new — he is wanted in the United States, after all — this is the first time there has been a deep investigation into how such a character could take over boxing, and why the sport was so vulnerable to him. Interviewees from Ireland, the UK, the USA and Germany explore how the country’s most successful international sport lost its way.

The podcast has made waves on the international scene, downloaded in 116 countries and is the highest-ranking non-Premier League sporting podcast in the UK.

Highly commended: The COYGIG Pod

With the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup marking the first time in history that Ireland’s national womens’ football team qualified for a major international tournament, this has been a banner year for The COYGIG Pod, which has been a staunch supporter of the team’s journey. The show explores issues both on and off the pitch, bringing the Girls In Green to a well-deserved wider audience.