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Meet the team: The Journal's FactCheck unit

Here are the editors and reporters behind Ireland’s main factchecking outlet.

Updated on 4 November 2021

MEET THE TEAM of editors and reporters who make up the factchecking team here at The Journal FactCheck

In alphabetical order:

AOIFE BARRY Aoife is assistant news editor at The Journal and has been a journalist for over a decade. She is a regular contributor to Irish national radio stations RTÉ and Today FM. In 2016, she won a Justice Media Awards certificate of merit for a report on issues faced by unmarried couples. She has a particular interest in getting to the real facts behind claims made online, especially claims made on social media. Aoife has a BA in English and History and an MA in Women’s Studies from University College Cork.

CHRISTINE BOHAN As deputy editor of The Journal, Christine’s work focuses on producing quality news stories for online audiences. Christine leads the day-to-day operations of The Journal FactCheck and innovated the unit’s Covid-19 Debunked Project in early 2020. She created The Journal‘s The Explainer podcast and was executive producer for the award-winning Stardust podcast. She was selected for the Poynter Institute’s Leadership Academy for Women in Media in 2018. She previously worked at The Guardian on the comment desk and as a freelance news features journalist for The Irish Times and The Sunday Tribune. She is an occasional lecturer in journalism at Dublin City University and is a frequent contributor to national radio and television shows. 

LAUREN BOLAND Lauren is a reporter with The Journal. She first joined the team as a Google News Initiative Fellow, a programme run by the European Journalism Centre to select 40 fellows to work in newsrooms around Europe. Lauren has worked on a broad range of factchecking projects with a particular focus on misinformation relating to Covid-19, including the nature of the virus, testing, vaccinations, deaths and public health measures. In 2020, she was shortlisted in the National Print/Online category of the Headline Mental Health Media Awards for her work countering misinformation shared on social media in Ireland on the reporting of deaths by suicide. She holds a BA in English Literature and Sociology from Trinity College Dublin.

DARAGH BROPHY Daragh is news editor at The Journal and has played a key role in planning and editing the publication’s factchecks in recent years, including during the contentious 2018 abortion referendum campaign, the lead up to the 2020 Irish general election and throughout the pandemic. Daragh has been a journalist at The Journal since 2013, and has a particular interest in covering long-running issues like the fallout from Covid-19 and the ongoing housing and homelessness crisis. He previously worked as a reporter and newsreader for UTV Radio News and Independent Network News, and as a facilitator on FETAC further education courses.

ADAM DALY: Adam has been a reporter at TheJournal since 2018. He holds a BA in Journalism from Dublin City University and a MA in International Peace Studies from Trinity College Dublin. Adam covers a wide range of issues in news and current affairs, with a particular interest in social and international affairs. Before joining TheJournal he had previously worked for Dublin People.

SUSAN DALY As managing editor of Journal Media, Susan is responsible for directing, innovating and developing content and distribution strategy for Ireland’s biggest news website, sports site The42 and spearheads the community-based investigative platform Noteworthy. Susan set up The Journal FactCheck in 2016 as a way to monitor the Irish general election and was responsible for the expansion and development of the project, which is the only Irish signatory of the International Fact-Checking Network’s Code of Principles. Prior to joining The Journal in 2011, Susan was deputy news editor at the Irish Daily Star and a columnist and news features writer at the Irish Independent. She is a Fellow of the Sulzberger Program for news executives in Columbia University and sits on the advisory group of the FuJo (Future of Journalism Institute) in DCU and the steering group of the non-profit Media Literacy Ireland.

RÓNÁN DUFFY: Rónán is a staff reporter with The Journal and has been a journalist for over a decade, working across print, web, radio and television. His wide-ranging factchecking experience extends to research in the areas of law, health, society, infrastructure, climate and policy. Rónán’s areas of interests include reporting in the political arena as well as covering criminal and commercial court proceedings. Prior to his current role, Rónán was a business journalist with Business & Finance magazine, a reporter with Xinhua News Agency and a reporter with Independent Network News. He holds a BA Journalism from Dublin City University.

ORLA DWYER Orla is a reporter with The Journal. She started in 2019 as part of a Google News Initiative Fellowship focusing on FactCheck work. She is interested in social issues, current affairs and debunking misinformation. She has a BA in Journalism from Dublin City University and has previously worked with Dublin People, Virgin Media Television and the Irish Farmers Journal. She has been a recipient of funding awards from the Simon Cumbers Media Fund and the Mary Raftery Journalism Fund, and won a Justice Media Award in 2020 for her reporting on female genital mutilation (FGM) in Ireland and Kenya. 

CHRISTINA FINN Christina is the political correspondent at The Journal. Before joining The Journal team in 2012, she worked in a number of local and national newspapers. She holds a BA in English and Art History, an MA in International Journalism and an MA in Arts Management and Cultural Policy. She received a Justice Media Award for her court reporting from the Irish Family Courts, and has also received funding from the Mary Raftery Fund for investigative work into mental health issues in Ireland. Over the course of her career, Christina has worked in wide-range of areas, such as working on the news desk, looking after the opinion section of the website, as well as doing court reporting before moving to politics. Based out of Leinster House, Ireland’s national parliament, Christina covers day-to-day politics for The Journal, and often highlights claims made by politicians, lobbyists and other public figures that she feels should be factchecked.  She is a frequent contributor to national radio and television shows.

HAYLEY HALPIN Hayley is a staff writer with The Journal. Her areas of interest include housing, homelessness and social affairs. She holds a BA in Journalism from Dublin City University, and has previously worked as a reporter for Dublin People and a freelancer for independent.ie.

MICHELLE HENNESSY Michelle is senior reporter at The Journal. Before joining The Journal team in 2013 as a staff reporter, she worked for the Dublin bureaus of France 24 and the Xinhua news agency. In 2017 the Law Society of Ireland awarded Michelle a certificate of merit for her comprehensive factcheck on whether it was illegal for members of the Irish police force to go on strike. Michelle’s journalistic interests are wide-ranging, but she focuses in particular on the criminal justice system, housing issues, health scandals and Irish politics.

ANTHONY KING Anthony is a freelance journalist and science writer who writes science factchecks for The Journal, particularly around the Covid-19 pandemic. His areas of interest include a variety of topics in science policy, health, and chemical and biological sciences. 

GARRETH MACNAMEE Garreth has been a reporter with The Journal since 2016. His interests include crime, justice and social affairs. Prior to joining the team, he was the crime reporter for the Irish Mirror where he was nominated for Crime Story of the Year. Garreth has broken a number of major news stories at The Journal, including a series on a previously unexplored Lithuanian crime gang responsible for an acid attack on a serving garda. He also broke the story about the Church of Scientology expanding in Ireland and investigated how a woman’s rape claims against her father were shelved by gardaí for 11 years.

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STEPHEN McDERMOTT Stephen is an assistant news editor with The Journal. He covers a range of issues in news, with an occasional focus on misinformation, and has previously worked for Newstalk and the Irish Mirror.

GRÁINNE NÍ AODHA Gráinne is a news reporter for The Journal. In 2018 she won a Justice Media Award for Newcomer of the Year where her reporting was described as “highly detailed, concise and with a strong sense of balance”.  In the past two years, she’s written factchecks on political claims and Brexit. She holds a BA in Irish and Journalism from Dublin City University, and has previously worked as a freelancer for the Irish Times and the Irish-language broadcaster Raidió na Gaeltachta.

SINÉAD O’CARROLL Sinéad is editor at The Journal and is responsible for the daily output of the website’s reporters, as well as longer term planning on projects including FactCheck. She provides factchecking services to nationwide television broadcasters, appearing frequently during the referendum on the Eighth Amendment in 2018. She was the winner of a Justice Media Award 2017 for providing historical context around the first tribunal to be established in Ireland in a decade. She is a regular contributor to news and current affairs shows across radio and TV, and has also hosted a number of programmes.

NICKY RYAN Nicky is a journalist and reporter with The Journal. He has an interest in factchecking a wide-range of topics in news and current affairs, as well as exploring ways to visualise the results. He is the writer of The Journal’s popular Covid-19 newsletter. 

ÓRLA RYAN Órla is a staff writer with The Journal who is particularly interested in human rights and social justice issues. She has written extensively about Mother and Baby Homes and women’s rights. Órla won the Journalism Excellence Award at the 2020 Irish Red Cross Humanitarian Awards for “a diverse body of work highlighting humanitarian topics from all over the world”. She is a double recipient of the Simon Cumbers Media Fund – for which she wrote a series of articles on FGM and gender-based violence in Kenya, and a series on the mental health issues faced by Syrian and Palestinian refugees in Lebanon. She is also a recipient of the Mary Raftery Journalism Fund – for which she wrote a series of in-depth articles about radicalisation, Islamophobia and integration. Órla has a Journalism MA from NUI Galway and a Communication Studies BA from Dublin City University. 

The Journal’s FactCheck is a signatory to the International Fact-Checking Network’s Code of Principles. You can read it here. For information on how FactCheck works, what the verdicts mean, and how you can take part, check out our Reader’s Guide here.

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