Wednesday, 19th December 2018

The Mary Raftery Journalism Fund (MRJF) has announced that it will complete its funding activity work by 31st December 2018.

The Fund was established in September 2012 in memory of Mary Raftery, whose pioneering investigative work uncovered serious abuses and scandals within Irish society. The aim of the Fund was to promote more in-depth investigative coverage of issues that were close to Mary’s heart, offering an opportunity for journalists to carry out detailed investigations into certain aspects of Irish society and to expose injustices that might exist.

To continue that legacy, Mary’s family has donated her archive of records, notes, interviews, photos, letters and other material – used to inform her investigative work – to the Media History Collection of the School of Communications at Dublin City University (DCU). In addition, discussions with the School of Communications on carrying forward the activities of the MRJF in promoting high standards in investigative journalism, are at an advanced stage. Details of those initiatives will be announced to coincide with the opening of an exhibition drawn from the Mary Raftery archive in spring 2019 at DCU.

Since 2012, the MRJF has generated six rounds of funding which covered topics such as mental health, migrant issues, children’s issues, public interest issues and, most recently, the refugee crisis. In addition, the Fund collaborated with RTÉ to offer a place on their investigative journalism course in 2014 and 2015. In 2016, the Fund worked with The Irish Times to establish a bursary and traineeship in investigative journalism.

Since its establishment, the Mary Raftery Journalism Fund has:

  • Received 190 applications across nine funding rounds and initiatives.
  • Made €232,516 of funding available to 47 projects.
  • Supported three aspiring investigative journalists through courses and traineeships.
  • Hosted four investigative documentary filmmaking seminars in collaboration with the Irish Film Institute (IFI).

Chair of the Board of the Mary Raftery Journalism Fund, David Waddell said: “The Mary Raftery Journalism Fund was established at a time when investment in journalism was declining right across the Irish media landscape. The Fund played an important role in ensuring that public interest issues – such as mental health, education and refugees – retained a presence in the media during the downturn.

“And while the media landscape has changed hugely, even in the six-year lifetime of the Fund, the Board of the Fund hopes that with an improved economy, investment in quality, investigative journalism has greater focus across all traditional and non-traditional platforms.

“The Mary Raftery Journalism Fund is very proud of its successes, and in linking the strong practices of Mary Raftery to contemporary journalism. Doggedness, accuracy, fact-checking and never being afraid are the characteristics of strong investigative journalism that we have attempted to highlight through the Fund.

“As we complete the work of the Fund, the family and friends of Mary Raftery look forward to working with DCU to continue outreach and activities that will advocate for, and support, quality, investigative journalism,” added David Waddell.

The Mary Raftery Journalism Fund thanks all those who have supported its work, in particular its donors, without whose generosity the activities of the Fund would not have been possible. The Fund pays particular gratitude to The One Foundation, The Tony Ryan Trust, Raidió Teilifís Éireann, the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, the Irish Film Institute, The Irish Times and Dublin City University.