IT’S BEEN SIX months since TheJournal.ie launched Noteworthy, our new community-led investigative journalism platform and we have a lot to celebrate thanks to your support.
- 17 – Investigation proposals directly funded by you, our readers, who generously contributed to the projects you wanted to see us work on.
- 49 – Articles published, funded through proposals or our general fund.
- 28 – Open proposals compiled from submissions sent to us by the public.
- 3 – Proposals are getting close to being funded: Cut Down to Size (60%) dealing with tree cutting by local authorities, Parents Rights (52%) tackling legal limbo of same-sex couples and Academic Uncertainty (39%) looking at precarious contracts at third level. Follow the links above if you want to find out how you can get them over the line.
The latest proposal that was funded is an investigation into a controversial bridge over the River Nore in Kilkenny City. Our editor Ken Foxe and investigative reporter Maria Delaney are working on this story. We have already gathered some of the documents we need and will be looking for more.
In the coming weeks, we will be talking to people involved in the protests and the project itself, and hope to be able to provide the most up to date details on how much it has actually cost. We will also be looking at whether it has delivered for Kilkenny in terms of improved traffic, increased investment, and developing a new city quarter.
If you’re interested in keeping up to date with this investigation, follow us on Twitter (@noteworthy_ie) for updates.
Most Recent Work
Since our last update, we have published a wide range of new articles. Here are the highlights:
Ken Foxe discovered that 18 people earning between €1 million and €10 million benefitted from enormous tax write-offs under a special tax deal. These high-earning executives in multinational companies were “shocked” at how much tax they were going to have to pay after this deal ended. Read the article here.
Through FOI documents, we revealed that Minister Shane Ross asked for “advance all-clear” on expenses in his €37,000 annual allowance. We also discovered that Minister Sean Canney was asked to provide more information on €3,258 in “policy formulation” expenses that were spent in a string of restaurants. This was funded through our general fund. Read it here.
Through our general fund and the support of Journal Media, we’ve published even more stories, including two on the Public Services Card (PSC). We discovered through FOI documents that senior civil servants were told to look at making the PSC a potential replacement for the Medical Card and revealed how a senior civil servant suggested media outlets had an ‘agenda’ against the PSC.
We also published over the weekend that Dublin City Council issued a warning to the contractor for the new National Children’s Hospital about multiple breaches of working hours on site. You can find all of the articles we have done here.
Proposals Open For Funding
We launched a number of new proposals in the past month that are currently open for funding.
FUNDING FERTILITY: Leo Varadkar announced public funding for fertility treatment three years ago and set aside a fund of €1 million last December. We want to find out what is causing this delay. As part of this proposal, we discovered that the rollout of the fertility fund is still ‘under consideration’.
LOSING FAITH: One in ten Irish people declared they had no religion in the latest census. We want to find out why it is taking so long to provide non-denominational school options to parents around the country.
DEAD END: It was 1999 when a bypass was first proposed for the city of Galway. We want to investigate whether the city’s proposed €600 million ring road will be the answer to the prayers of residents.
DERELICTION OF DUTY: The vacant sites levy is one of the key planks of a government strategy to free up land for much-needed housing development. We want to find out if it’s helping.
A BITTER PILL: Anyone who has travelled to the UK or Spain knows that we can pay multiples more for the same medicines in Ireland. We want to investigate if we’re getting a fair price for medication.
POSTCODE LOTTERY: HSE and hospital budgets often determine whether people have access to medical treatment and other services. We want to discover if where you live in Ireland determines what kind of healthcare you receive. We already highlighted the impact unequal access to medication is having on severe asthmatics.
SCALES OF JUSTICE: When a person is deemed incapable of making decisions for themselves, they can be made a ‘ward of court’. We want to look into how the finances of vulnerable people are being managed by the Courts Service.
ACADEMIC UNCERTAINTY: Many researchers and lecturers have contacted us who are employed on precarious contracts in universities and institutes of technology. We want to investigate this. As part of this proposal, Ilaina Khairulzaman told us her story.
How To Help Us
You can help us in four different ways:
- Fund one of our proposals
- Share one of our proposals
- Submit an idea for an investigation
- Tell your family and friends about our work and newsletter
If you like the work that Noteworthy has done so far, it would be great if you could share it with your family, friends, and co-workers.