Over 10,000 trees cut & lack of expertise revealed: Latest news from Noteworthy

There are four investigation proposals on their way to be funded soon, with two over 60% complete.

By Maria Delaney

OUR COMMUNITY-LED investigative journalism platform, Noteworthy, had a busy month with nine new proposals for investigations, as well the publication of its latest investigation into the true extent of tree felling by local authorities. 

The breakdown

  • 66 - Articles published, funded through proposals or our general fund.
  • 48 - Open proposals compiled from ideas sent to us by the public.
  • 4 - Proposals on their way to being funded soon: Parent Rights (66%) tackling legal limbo of same-sex couples, Bicycle Blackspots (63%) discovering the most dangerous roads, Academic Uncertainty (57%) looking at precarious contracts at third level and Dead End (42%) investigating Galway’s planned ring road.

Follow the links above if you want to find out how you can get these projects over the line. The investigations can’t begin until the proposals are funded so please spread the word via friends and social media.

Cut down to size

Since our last update, Noteworthy published a two-part series by reporter Peter McGuire detailing the true extent of tree felling by local authorities around Ireland.

As part of the investigation McGuire sent Access to Information on the Environment (AIE) requests to every local authority in the country. These are similar to the Freedom of Information process but are used for environmental information. 

He also interviewed tree experts and arborists, environmental scientists, campaigners and citizens throughout the country. Using a number of examples, the articles demonstrated the impact of tree cutting on local communities. 

The articles also include links to data obtained during our investigation such as a table listing the number of trees cut and planted by each local authority. Below is a map (from the second article) which shows the tree expertise in each council:

Click here if you are having problems seeing this map.

In the first part of Noteworthy’s investigation, it was revealed that over 10,000 trees have been cut down by councils since 2015 with many having incomplete records.

The second article explored the reasons behind tree cutting including a lack of policy and expertise.

This investigation was proposed and funded by you, our readers, as well as with support from the Noteworthy general fund to cover additional costs. 

Proposals open for funding

A number of new proposals were launched in the past month that are currently open for funding.

SPRUCED UP: Are coniferous trees killing our native ecosystem? We want to investigate the impact Sitka spruce is having on the irish ecosystem.

HIRE POWER: Has the required recruitment process been ignored within a high-profile State agency? We want to source and interview a number of people with information about how State agencies have acquired mid- to high-level appointees.

SELLING OUR GENES: Should the Government be funding a private company to collect 400,000 Irish people’s DNA? We want to find out what is being done to protect data privacy in terms of genetic material and if policies are being developed in this area.

NET LOSS: Is Ireland killing its own fishing industry… by overfishing? We want to investigate the impact of overfishing and who is responsible for declining fish stocks.

PARKING PRESSURE: Why are patients and families still paying high rates to park at hospitals? We want to look at hospitals across Ireland to see how much they charge for parking and what systems they have in place to assist patients.

BEHIND THE CELL DOOR: Exposing the reality of the Irish prison system. We want to hear stories of prison life in Ireland from prisoners, family members, volunteers and staff.

THE PITS: Why is sewage being allowed to pollute one of the Aran Islands? We want to find out why years after issues with wastewater treatment were identified, pollution is still occuring in Kilronan, the main village of Inis Mór.

COERCED LIVING: Are some landlords pressuring tenants for sex? We want to research the balance of power between tenants and landlords or their agents, as well as how vulnerable tenants are to sexual exploitation.

HEAD IN THE GAME: Is the GAA doing enough to tackle concussion? We want to find out what the GAA is doing to address this head injury and if the culture of staying on the field while injured is still prevalent.

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 

To find out how a contribution is used, or anything else about how Noteworthy works, click here. You can also find us on Twitter and on Facebook and if you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to email us at [email protected]

Thanks so much for your continued support!

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