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From wetland destruction to vaping lobbying: Latest news from Noteworthy

There are 35 investigation open investigation proposals compiled from ideas sent to us by you, our readers.

OUR COMMUNITY-LED investigative journalism platform, Noteworthy, had a busy month with eight new proposals for investigations, as well as articles on issues ranging from the public services card to vaping lobbying. 

The breakdown

  • 59 – Articles published, funded through proposals or our general fund.
  • 35 – Open proposals compiled from ideas sent to us by you, our readers.
  • 4 – Proposals on their way to being funded soon: Cut Down to Size (75%) dealing with tree cutting by local authorities, Parents Rights (54%) tackling legal limbo of same-sex couples, Academic Uncertainty (40%) looking at precarious contracts at third level and Dead End (35%) investigating Galway’s planned ring road. Follow the links above if you want to find out how you can get them over the line. 

Investigation in progress

DSC00287 View of Green's Bridge from beneath St Francis Bridge in Kilkenny Source: Noteworthy

We are currently completing our investigation into a controversial bridge over the River Nore in Kilkenny City. Watch out for a number of in-depth features as well as videos which will be published on this story later this month.

The investigation allowed us to obtain new documents using freedom of information (FOI) and access to information on the environment (AIE) requests from Kilkenny County Council and other sources. We also talked to people involved in the protests and the project itself over the past few weeks.

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:

Through FOI documents, we revealed through AIE documents that the council failed to conduct an ecological survey on a biodiverse wetlands in Tallaght before it was covered in silt.

download Wetlands before and after Source: Collie Ennis

We’ve published even more stories through our general fund with the support of Journal Media, including one on how the vaping industry attempted to lobby the Government repeatedly. Representatives from British American Tobacco UK and Imperial Brands were part of this lobby group. We also showed how the Minister for Finance was urged not to scrap a special tax relief scheme for top executives of foreign companies before the budget.

Over the weekend, we also wrote that a coastal greenway being developed between Baldoyle and Portmarnock has been delayed as a contractor struck drains and caused flooding. Internal emails were obtained from Fingal County Council through FOI which contained details of the problematic stretch of track. 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.

SOLVING SOLAR: Why are we not putting solar panels on the roof of every home in Ireland? We want to look at the Government’s promises and investigate how Ireland compares to other countries for solar PV incentives.

AT A STANDSTILL: How do you solve a problem like the College Green gridlock? We want to find out just how bad the traffic is and how this is affecting commuters on a daily basis.

VAPING NATION: Who is behind the phenomenal growth of the vaping industry in Ireland? We want to take a deep look at the intensive lobbying being undertaken in Ireland.

BICYCLE BLACKSPOTS: Which roads and junctions are the most dangerous for cyclists in Ireland? We want to analyse the last ten years of official data.

LAST RESORT: Why can’t Irish hospitals get the most dangerous superbug under control? We want to find out why CPE is continuing to spread in Irish hospitals and why control measures are not always being implemented. You can listen to a podcast on this here.

PRIVATE SUBSIDIES: Why is the taxpayer helping to fund the private school system? We want to find out the level of state support available to these schools, not just through teaching salaries but also capital expenditure, grant funding, and charitable tax breaks.

ADDICTION BY PRESCRIPTION: Why are so many anti-anxiety medications prescribed in Ireland? We want to look into the issue of benzodiazepine addiction in Ireland, its prevalence, the issue of over-prescribing and what is being done about it.

WASTE MOUNTAIN: Why is it taking so long to clean up one of the country’s most notorious illegal dumps? We want to take a deeper look at one of Ireland’s greatest environmental disasters, a vast site in Wicklow with up to 1.4 million tonnes of waste.

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 information@noteworthy.ie

Thanks so much for your continued support!

About the author:

Maria Delaney

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