When TheStory.ie came into this world over a decade ago now, it began as an experimental blog run by journalists on a volunteer basis.
It was an attempt to bring together investigative journalism, the right to freedom of information (FOI), and transparency advocacy, to see what would come out.
Through the use of systematic FOI requests, legal appeals, data journalism, and the online archiving of official documents released to us, what came out wasn’t half-bad.
In 2013 we vigorously campaigned against the introduction of upfront fees for FOI requests, sounding the alarm when we saw that there was an attempt to introduce them via a Committee Stage amendment to the drafting of the 2014 FOI bill.
In 2014 the infamous “Trichet Letters” were released, detailing the immense pressure brought to bear on the Irish state by the European Central Bank (ECB) in 2010, following a three-year appeals process which we initiated via the EU ombudsman. We were also the first to publish the letter which Ireland sent formally seeking a bailout.
In 2015, NAMA were defeated in the Supreme Court on an issue directly related to its transparency and accountability, based on a request we sent in February 2010, and on a lengthy submission made by us (with the enormous work of lawyer Fred Logue advising pro bono).
In 2016, we finally took the plunge and started Right to Know (RTK), the non-profit NGO focused on transparency and access-to-information advocacy which now publishes TheStory.ie.
Not long after our establishment, we won a case against An Taoiseach in relation to accessing records of Cabinet discussions, which you can read about below.
This was all informed by the strong belief that the right to freedom of expression depends critically on the right to be informed: the right to information.
To do all this work, we need the support of people who think that it’s worthwhile having such an organisation around. We recognise that our appeal is slightly narrow in its focus, but part of our ultimate goal is to build a community of people who share our belief that being informed is a key part of civic and public life, and this kind of work requires public support to operate. We’re also committed to total transparency in releasing our own accounts, and showing our supporters where their donations go, and how they are directly contribute to our work.
Be a part of our story and become a donor here.
“Excellent”. Broadcaster and columnist Matt Cooper. Irish Examiner.
“…fantastic.” John Burns, The Sunday Times
“indispensible” Gene Kerrigan, The Sunday Independent
“Support them, shower them with breakfast cereals and all the gold they can eat.” Stephen Kinsella, Economics lecturer.
Read some of our rulings:
Supreme Court rulings
High Court rulings
NAMA vs Commissioner for Environmental Information (stay issue)
Information Commissioner decisions
Commissioner for Environmental Information decisions