Features & news journalist. Copywriter. Editor. Irish Times contributor. Sometimes write @Noteworthy (@TheJournal.ie). Other bylines: Irish Independent, Sunday Business Post, HuffPost, Irish Examiner
In this award-winning* two-part investigation for Noteworthy.ie, the crowdfunded and crowdsourced investigative platform for TheJournal.ie, I spoke to close to 40 sexual abuse survivors, as well as experts in the fields of criminal justice, medicine and mental health. The investigation revealed the challenges facing survivors of sexual crimes in bringing their abuse to justice and, in part two, how survivors are disproportionately admitted to psychiatric facilities, despite a lack of specialised therapeutic care.
*Winner, Headline Mental Health Journalism awards, 2020
Karl Collins is one of 29 people to die by suicide or suspected suicide in our mental hospitals between 2015-17. He went for help and still died. A year after his death, another person died by suicide in the same hospital. In this piece, I interviewed Karl's family and broke new and previously unpublished information about Ireland's mental health services.
- Published in The Irish Times Weekend Review, November 17, 2018
Lead story, The Irish Times, November 20, 2018: Cheating is on the rise in Irish universities. Business studies students are most likely to be accused of ‘academic dishonesty’
I used Freedom of Information requests to compile detailed data on cheating at Irish third-levels. This lead story was accompanied by an in-depth feature in the paper.
I was interviewed on RTE Drivetime and Highland FM about the story.
Cover story, The Irish Times Weekend Review, October 15. This was the opening feature in an ongoing series of articles about child sex abuse.
Many offenders are teenagers. Most are relatives or friends of victims. Few are 'paedophiles'. To keep children safe, we need a new understanding of abuse patterns, and new solutions. The work was supported by the Mary Raftery Journalism Fund, and was carried out in collaboration with historian Fin Dwyer @irishhistorypodcast (https://irishhistorypodcast.ie/raftery/) It was the most read article online that weekend.
In this two-part investigation for Noteworthy.ie, the crowdfunded and crowdsourced investigative platform for TheJournal.ie, I found that the Government's plan to provide 400 multi-denominational primary schools by 2030 has no roadmap or interim targets.
I used interviews and survey tools to get feedback from just over 1,000 parents, teachers and stakeholders including campaigners, academics and both Catholic and multi-denomintional patrons. The articles were raised in the Dáil by Labour leader Alan Kelly and responded to by An Taoiseach, Micheál Martin.
COVER STORY, The Irish Times Magazine.
A month to the day since the first case of coronavirus was diagnosed in Ireland, I spoke to businesses around the country who have moved to call and collect and home delivery.
Trans children have always existed, everywhere. Many still have to suppress their gender identity. But with growing openness, the number of young people seeking help is rising.
This article was the first in a three-part Irish Times series which interviewed young trans people, their families and the professionals working with them.
In 2008, I was commissioned by the Irish Independent to edit a 40-page guide to luxury spas around Ireland. As editor, my duties involved writing, commissioning and sub-editing copy; sourcing images; liaising with advertisers and enforcing deadlines.
Following this work, the Irish Independent commissioned me to edit a guide to holidays in Ireland, and a magazine focused on local communities around the country for an Irish Farmer's Association campaign.
As media companies are forced to adapt or die in the new digital environment, who now controls the agenda in journalism? In this longread cover story for the Sunday Business Post Magazine, I contacted 25 journalists, PR executives and lobbyists and asked: how much of what you read is dictated by public relations and corporate agendas? Published on April 10, 2016 (post behind paywall, available from me on request)
Cover story, Irish Independent, March 3, 2018
Traditional Christian funerals remain the norm in Ireland but a growing minority of us are choosing alternative ways to bid farewell to deceased relations and friends. In this article, I spoke to the family of Karl Collins, who had an interfaith funeral after took his own life at the age of 30. I also spoke to funeral directors and celebrants about the changing nature of funerals and wakes in Ireland, and the costs involved when a loved one dies.
Two-part investigative longread for Noteworthy.ie, the investigative platform of TheJournal.ie. Carried out over four months, this crowd-funded story explored how local authorities throughout Ireland are managing the trees in their care. Working with the Noteworthy.ie team, we made use of images, charts & graphs and Google Earth.
Sex offenders live among us. Some are convicted criminals known to authorities, but most go undetected - and nearly all are invisible to the neighbours. In this longread feature, I spoke to offenders, victims, neighbours, professionals and vigilantes/ paedophile hunters.
The article brought new dimensions to my previous series on sex abusers which was supported by the Mary Raftery Journalism Fund and published in The Irish Times in late 2016 and early 2017.
- Published in The Irish Times Weekend Review, July 7, 2018
It has been 15 years since the State was told to legally protect the rights of families using ‘non-traditional’ conception methods. In this investigation, I looked into what is behind the long delays in bringing in legislation and found significant confusion in the Department of Health, tensions between Government ministers, children left stateless, concerns among fertility doctors about the current and proposed legislation, and a lack of influence from conservative groups that have traditionally had sway over this legislation.
"I feel constantly suffocated": The domestic violence epidemic raging behind closed doors of Covid-19
DOMESTIC ABUSE CHARITIES remain seriously underfunded despite a Government promotion campaign urging victims to reach out for help during the Covid-19 pandemic, campaigners have warned.
Over two weeks, I carried out an in-depth investigation looking at the experiences people trapped with their tormentors. Part one looked at domestic abuse victims.
VULNERABLE CHILDREN ARE at heightened risk of abuse and neglect during the Covid-19 pandemic, but services are struggling to reach those most in need due to social distancing restrictions.
Over two weeks, I carried out an in-depth investigation looking at the experiences people trapped with their tormentors. Part two looked at victims of child abuse and neglect during the crisis.