We are a not-for-profit focused on vindicating the rights of citizens to access information and on publishing stories based on using those rights.
TheStory.ie is one of Ireland’s only not-for-profit media sources- an experiment in journalism and crowdsourcing hoping to shed light on the government. If you’re spending the Irish taxpayers’ money, you’re on our radar.
We are dedicated to sharing documents, combing and combining data and promoting transparency in public. We conduct FOI-sourced investigations, collate useful information like Ministerial Diaries and Registers of TD’s Interests into one place, and publish the results regularly to our news website.
We also publish some of these stories in association with national news outlets in order to ensure maximum reach, all in pursuit of promoting greater government transparency and making information about state governance accessible to all.
Our advocacy wing Right To Know believes making more documents available about how government makes decisions and how public resources are allocated strengthens our democracy. Right To Know supports people in making requests and appeals through Freedom of Information legislation, but also identifies deficiencies and problems with how these laws are implemented.
To this end, as well as seeking documents and data under these laws, Right to Know seeks to push the boundaries on the rights these laws give to citizens, up to and including and if necessary, court action to help vindicate the public interest.
1) Vigorously pursue the public’s right to know utilising all tools available, including the FOI Act 2014, the Access to Information on the Environment Regulations 2007 – 2014, Regulation 1049/2001 and the Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2015.
2) File access to information requests and appeal refusals where we believe a right needs to be vindicated.
3) Publish documents and data we receive – either directly or indirectly – online.
4) Assist and train citizens, journalists and NGOs to vindicate their rights to access information.
5) Make important documents available online that have previously only existed in hard copy.
6) Partner with news organisations or NGOs to investigate stories in the public interest.
Got Questions about our work?
You can email firstname.lastname@example.org or see our FAQ page.
Who we are:
TheStory.ie was originally set up by Gavin Sheridan and Mark Coughlan.
Gavin Sheridan has been a blogger since 2002 and a right to information advocate and activist since filing his first FOI request in 2009. He is part of the team behind TheStory.ie, KildareStreet.com, Storyful (acquired by News Corp), and founded Vizlegal – a legal information startup. At TheStory.ie, Gavin pioneered the use of Freedom of Information law in new ways, resulting in multiple significant decisions by the Information Commissioner, the High Court, and the Supreme Court. These cases included the ultimate release of the “Trichet Letters” in 2014 and the designation of the National Asset Management Agency (NAMA) as a public authority for the purposes of the Access to Information on the Environment (AIE) Regulations in the Supreme Court.
Ken Foxe is an assistant lecturer at TU Dublin and a freelance journalist. He has worked with the RTE Investigations Unit, where he oversaw the establishment of the Unit’s website and worked as a multimedia reporter. He was the editor of Noteworthy, a community-driven investigative journalism platform from Journal Media. He is the author of two books Snouts in the Trough: Politicians & Their Expenses and Revenge, a true crime book. He was winner of the TV3 Story of the Year Award for 2009 following a series of newspaper stories about political expenses, which led to the resignation of then Ceann Comhairle John O’Donoghue. He has a particular interest and expertise in the use of Freedom of Information and data for investigative reporting.
Rachel Lavin is a Digital and Data Journalist specialising in digital story-telling and data research, data analysis and data visualisation. A former Google fellow with The Bureau of Investigative Journalism’s local data team, Rachel has been a reporter for The Sunday Independent, The Irish Independent, Herald and a contributor to Image.ie and the Roscommon Herald. Rachel is now working with the Sunday Business Post.
Tommy Gavin is a freelance journalist and geographer based in Dublin, specialsing in housing and planning issues. In addition to working with Right to Know and The Story, Tommy coordinates a research team of geographers and media workers that investigate issues related to public space and land, and works part-time on population-based studies in Trinity College Dublin School of Medicine.
Fred Logue acts as a part-time pro-bono legal consultant to TheStory.ie. Fred is a lawyer who strongly believes that transparency and access to justice are essential elements of a modern democracy. He has helped TheStory.ie with appeals against decisions by NAMA, Anglo Irish Bank, IDA, Central Bank of Ireland and the European Central Bank to refuse access to documents and information. His full-time role is at FP Logue Solicitors.
Mark Coughlan is a journalist, videographer and researcher. He ran the website alongside Gavin until December 2010 when he took up a full time contract with RTÉ’s Prime Time. He still works with the national broadcaster. For the time being he is ‘on sabbatical‘ from thestory.ie but you can find his posts throughout the archives. If you want to contact him, he’s at coughlanmp AT gmail DOT com, @mark_coughlan or 087 9431203.