A Letterkenny man was part of the podcast team who won the Silver award at the New York Festival Radio Awards last week.
Lochlainn Harte worked on the brilliant sound design of the ‘Unusual Suspects’ podcast, which won Silver in the Narrative/Documentary Podcast category.
The son of former Senator Jimmy Harte, Lochlainn is a former student of Woodlands NS and St. Eunan’s College. He then went on to study Multimedia in DCU and attained a Masters in Sonic arts in Queens University Belfast.
Lochlainn worked with producer Eoin Brennan, who also presented the podcast.
The true crime podcast ‘Unusual Suspects’ tells the remarkable story of the 1993 Rochester Brinks heist, when $7.4m was stolen by armed raiders.
The ensuing FBI investigation saw police chasing the most unlikely trio of suspected thieves that included; an Irish priest working in Manhattan, a former IRA man turned comic book dealer, and a former New York police officer.
The 1993 robbery from an armed Brinks vault was at the time the fifth largest in US history and involved a fascinating cast of characters.
On winning the award, Lochlainn said: “We’re lucky to be working in an environment where we focus on what we think the listener would like so the pressure to win awards isn’t the main driver.
“The fact we were even nominated in categories alongside BBC and Wondery was an achievement in itself.
“When we got word that we won Silver it was a huge achievement to have all those sacrificed evenings and weekends recognised, plus it felt good that what started out as a simple conversation suddenly became an internationally recognised podcast series.
“I have to give thanks to all my family for their support and most notably my wife Eimear Gibbons who held the fort with our son Oscar (3) for the duration of the project.
“I’m currently in conversation about series 2 of both ‘Inside the Crime’ and ‘Unusual Suspects’ and other new titles, so let’s see what the rest of 2022 brings”
Specialising in Digital Audio production in DCU, Lochlainn’s career took him to London, working on various audio productions with some of the world’s biggest celebrities and also on live sound for the NFL on BBC.
When Lochlainn moved back to Ireland, he was head of production for Spin South West in Limerick, and is now currently the Imaging Manager for Newstalk.
On TodayFM, he took on the production of Gift Grub which would be renowned around Ireland and this helped catapult his skills for sound design within the Bauer Media Ireland Network.
In 2021 the company made the decision to develop a new podcast department and this is where the foundations were laid for his entry into the podcast world.
In November 2021 on his first week with Newstalk he was tasked with editing Newstalks “Inside the Crime” podcasts series with court correspondent Frank Greaney and producer Aisling Moore.
This series focused on the Whelan family murders in Windgap, Co Kilkenny on Christmas Day 2008 which would go on to reach No.1 in the podcast charts (a first for Newstalk).
In the same month he spoke with the managing editor of GoLoud (Daren Cleary), Bauer Media Ireland CEO (Simon Myciunka), and the senior producer of ‘Unusual Suspects’ Eoin Brennan about the idea for their flagship podcast that would put them on the map and they immediately began developing the soundscape.
The podcast was produced by award-winning documentary maker Eoin Brennan, who traveled from Belfast to New York, as he sought to unravel the incredible true story behind one of the most audacious heists in US history.
Over the course of seven episodes, using a wealth of original interviews and a rich soundscape, “Unusual Suspects” takes listeners from the night of the heist, inside the FBI investigation and the ensuing trial, and the aftermath.
The story also delves into the personal, and intriguing, lives of the two central characters – Father Pat Moloney and Sam Millar.
Unusual Suspects, a GoLoud Original Podcast, is available now on the GoLoud app, on goloudnow.com, and all major podcast platforms.