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Chopping trees and controversial bridges: Latest news from Noteworthy

There are 44 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 the publication of an in-depth investigation into a controversial bridge in Kilkenny. 

The breakdown

  • 62 – Articles published, funded through proposals or our general fund.
  • 44 – Open proposals compiled from ideas sent to us by you, our readers.
  • 4 – Proposals on their way to being funded soon: Parent Rights (54%) tackling legal limbo of same-sex couples, Academic Uncertainty (40%) looking at precarious contracts at third level, Bicycle Blackspots (40%) discovering the most dangerous roads and Dead End (35%) 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. 

Investigation in progress

Noteworthy are currently completing their investigation into why Ireland’s local authorities are so keen to chop down trees.

Journalist Peter McGuire is working on this story. He has already gathered most of the documents he needs and the investigation is in full swing. Watch out for an in-depth feature which will be published on this story later this month.

If you’re interested in keeping up to date with this investigation, follow Noteworthy on Twitter (@noteworthy_ie) for updates.

The Kilkenny Project

Since our last update, a three-part series by Maria Delaney and Ken Foxe was published which detailed the inside story of a road scheme that divided a city.

As part of the investigation Noteworthy looked at a number of aspects of the Central Access Scheme in Kilkenny including the signing of the contract, the review of the scheme and cost overruns as well as environmental and archaeological issues.

Hundreds of documents were obtained through freedom of information (FOI) and access to information on the environment (AIE) requests. After trawling through these as well as those publicly available, links to the most important documents were included within the articles.

Source: TheJournal.ie/YouTube

In the first part of the investigation, it was revealed that the cost of the bridge more than doubled while Kilkenny County Council paid €7 million for two buildings in the centre of Kilkenny that are now valued at just €400,000.

The following day, a second article showed that residual limestone aggregate remains in the protected River Nore following construction of the bridge.

Finally, Noteworthy delved into issues surrounding the controversial demolition of two houses and the historic gable wall that remains “encased in a tomb of steel girders”.

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.

RISK TO BABY: Why were Irish women not told for decades about an epilepsy drug, sodium valproate, that causes birth defects? Over 3,000 babies in Ireland were potentially exposed to valproate. We want to investigate why action wasn’t taken sooner.

GOLDEN CARRIAGEWAY: Is a €10-million-a-kilometre road in Co Mayo the best use of public funds? We want to delve into why the costs involved have risen so quickly.

TESTING THE WATERS: Where in Ireland has the most polluted tap water? We want to explore the supply system in Ireland to identify the areas with the worst tap water.

PATH OF UNCERTAINTY: How has JobPath impacted the mental health of Ireland’s unemployed? We want to investigate how successful it is in helping people find work. 

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COST OF CARBON: Are companies paying their fair share on emissions? We want to discover just who are the most serious contributors to Ireland’s carbon emissions problem.

SPILLING OVER: Will a €7 million flood defence scheme really save Dublin from the River Poddle? We want to look at this project and find out if it is the best option for the river.

WILD HORSES: Is the number of loose urban horses – and potential neglect – on the rise? We want to find out just how bad the problem of urban horses is across Dublin.

LIFT OUT: When is public transport going to be fully accessible to people with disabilities? We want to investigate how bad the problem is and what is being done by Irish Rail, Luas and other public transport bodies to improve accessibility. 

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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