About Me

Director of Right to Know, an Irish transparency organisation that campaigns for greater information access.

Work as a freelance journalist and trainer, specialising in Freedom of Information, data journalism, and investigative reporting.

Previously worked as editor of an investigative journalism project called Noteworthy by Journal Media.

Lectured at the Technological University Dublin (formerly DIT) where I taught on the journalism, public relations, and political communications courses in the School of Media.

I worked for two years with the RTÉ Investigations Unit, where I helped establish the unit’s website and also worked on long-term television projects and major online data projects.

Author of two books, Snouts in the Trough: Politicians and their expenses and Revenge, a true crime book.

Winner of TV3 Story of the Year Award for 2009 following a series of stories in the sadly departed Sunday Tribune, which led to the resignation of Ceann Comhairle John O’Donoghue. A long-running series of articles that same year regarding expenses led to major changes in the way politicians were paid allowances.

Twice nominated as Political Journalist of the Year in the NewsBrands Journalism Awards and a 2020 nominee for the Mary Raftery Prize.

An example of some of my work with the Sunday Tribune, Irish Mail on Sunday, and RTÉ Investigations Unit:

  • A series of stories on expenses and overseas travel by the former Ceann Comhairle John O’Donoghue, which subsequently led to his resignation. Read my blog post from 2009, which gives a comprehensive summary of those events. The original stories, which appeared in the Sunday Tribune, are no longer available online.
  • How former Taoiseach Enda Kenny intervened to break a salary cap by €35,000 for a friend and former advisor – read the story in the Irish Mail on Sunday.
  • How a government minister claimed mileage expenses for trips to and from his holiday home because he was working in his car – read the story from the Irish Mail on Sunday.
  • A series of stories that culminated in the repayment of more than €3,000 by the Fine Gael TD Michelle Mulherin for phone calls made to Kenya. Read the final report here.
  • How a former government minister John Perry hired his wife to work as his €38,000-a-year parliamentary assistant. And his explanation afterwards.
  • Duty of Care – an in-depth report into the abject failings of a health board to act on repeated allegations of sexual and physical abuse in a foster care home.

Some of my data journalism work in conjunction with RTÉ Digital and the RTÉ Investigations Unit:

  • ‘No Expenses Spared’ – two databases covering expenses paid to TDs & Senators and to government ministers, which were prepared for the website of the RTÉ Investigations Unit. These were published alongside a series of reports on loopholes and grey areas in the Irish political expenses system. Also, a third database of political pensions.
  • Seeking Asylum in Ireland: an in-depth look at statistics on those who seek refugee status in Ireland, their chances of success, and the conditions that they live in.
  • Suicide: The Figures – a detailed analysis of fourteen years of official figures on one of Ireland’s most intractable problems.

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