TheStory.ie is a crowd-funded investigative website run by journalists Gavin Sheridan (who co-founded the site with Mark Coughlan) and Ken Foxe and lawyer Fred Logue that sources Freedom of Information documents.
It has obtained a mass of unseen data since it began four years ago, funded by public donations.
As time went on we developed new techniques for seeking data rather than paper, techniques to obtain large amounts of information with a single request, included billions of euro of previously undisclosed public expenditure. We have trained journalists in Ireland, Serbia, Croatia, Hungary and Spain.
However, proposed changes to the funding of FOI requests (including a raft of hidden charges) could spell their end.
We’ve had sight of new amendments to the FOI Bill 2013 proposed by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform [above].
We will be blunt: if passed, Freedom of Information is dead. TheStory.ie will, in all likelihood, cease all FOI requests. And we will not seek funding from the public to support an immoral, cynical, unjustified and probably illegal FOI fee regime.
We will not pay for information that the public already pays for. We will not support a system that perpetuates an outrageous infringement of citizen rights.