Showing his support of investigative journalists, acclaimed filmmaker J.J. Abrams mentioned Trevor Birney during his speech at the Annual Oscar Wilde Awards in Los Angeles last week. Mr. Abrams, who has just wrapped principal photography for ‘Star Wars Episode IX,’ kicked off the night in support of investigative journalism.

In his opening speech as master of ceremonies, Mr. Abrams noted the arrests of Mr. Birney, from Enniskillen, and journalist Barry McCaffrey in relation to their documentary about the loyalist murders in Loughinisland, County Down in 1994, and that the pair had recently won permission in the High Court in Belfast to challenge the legality of the search warrants. Mr. Abrams said: “Now more than ever, investigative journalists need to be supported.”

Sponsored by the organisation US-Ireland Alliance, the14th Annual Oscar Wilde Awards took place in Santa Monica, Los Angeles on Thursday February 21. The evening’s honorees were Ireland-born Aidan Gillen and Chris O’Dowd, as well as Glenn Close, who is part Irish. Actors Melissa McCarthy and Allen Leech joined J.J. Abrams in presenting the awards.

Mr. Birney, the producer of the documentary ‘No Stone Unturned,’ was in attendance at the event with his wife Sheila.Whilst over in America, Mr. Birney travelled to Chicago for a screening of ‘No Stone Unturned’ and attended a New York conference highlighting press freedom.

‘No Stone Unturned’ examined the persistent claims of state collusion in the murder of six men in a village pub in County Down. Mr. Birney was arrested at the end of August 2018 along with his colleague Mr. McCaffrey over the alleged theft of confidential documents relating to the 1994 Loughinisland massacre.