News and features journalist. Researcher and editor. Regular contributor to The Irish Times and The Huffington Post. Writer on education, science and technology, people, folklore, music, consumer affairs, travel, health, and more.
Major three-part series on transgender children in Ireland. The articles explored life for trans children and their families (Weekend Review, April 11, 2015), how society perceives trans children (Life, April 13), and physical and mental health issues affecting trans children (Health & Family, April 14).
To date, the articles have been shared over 4,750 times on social media. Sarah, the mother of a seven-year-old trans child who was featured in the series, was interviewed by Miriam O'Callaghan on Miriam Meets, RTE Radio One. The issue was also featured on Newstalk Breakfast.
In 2008, I was commissioned by the Irish Independent to edit a 40-page guide to luxury spas around Ireland. As editor, my duties involved writing, commissioning and sub-editing copy; sourcing images; liaising with advertisers and enforcing deadlines.
Following this work, the Irish Independent commissioned me to edit a guide to holidays in Ireland, and a magazine focused on local communities around the country for an Irish Farmer's Association campaign.
The opening feature in an ongoing series of articles about child sex abuse, an issue that is poorly understood. Many offenders are teenagers. Most are relatives or friends of victims. Few are 'paedophiles'. To keep children safe, we need a new understanding of abuse patterns, and new solutions. The work was supported by the Mary Raftery Journalism Fund, and part of the work was carried out in collaboration with historian Fin Dwyer. It was the most read article online that weekend and has helped shed light on a challenging issue.
In this Irish Times longread, I wrote about how there is much to love about autumn and the closing in of the days, mixing personal memories, interviews and suggestions for how to make the most of the season.
The articles, published in Weekend Review and Education Today over four weeks, addressed how schools frequently use unaccountable external agencies - including Youth Defence, Pure in Heart, and the Irish Family Planning Association - to provide information on abortion, contraception, and sexuality. I also looked at how teachers and parents are addressing teenage sexuality.
The articles were shared almost 4,000 times on social media. I was a guest for a half-hour slot on Today FM’s Ray D’Arcy Show to discuss sex education. The topic of sex education was widely taken up by national media and explored by other media outlets including RTE’s Prime Time, to whom I provided informal advice, and TheJournal.ie.
Old and contemporary European folklore is full of stories about Roma, Europe’s most vilified minority, abducting children. In Ireland, the Travellers, an indigenous ethnic minority, sometimes represent the abducting bogey. Where did this myth come from, and why do people still believe it?