Sam Tranum is deputy editor of Dublin Inquirer. He's been a newspaper reporter, a newspaper editor, an assistant professor of journalism, an author and a book editor, among other things. You can follow him @samtranum.
Issue 32: By Niamh McConville
This month’s cover by graphic designer and illustrator Niamh McConville is inspired by all things loved about autumn.
Issue 31: By Charlot Kristensen
This month’s cover, “Invisible”, is about the direct-provision system in Ireland.
Issue 30: By Karen Vaughan
This month’s cover is by Karen Vaughan, an illustrator and designer with a love for pen and ink. Her style is decorative and detailed, and inspired by her love of old folk tales, intricate patterns and nature.
Sam: On VAT Rates and Supporting Quality Journalism
Earlier this summer, Fianna Fáil released a set of proposals for supporting quality newspaper journalism. But if newspapers are going to survive, they’re going to have to save themselves, rather than counting on the government.
The Social-Housing Waiting List Is Shrinking
Thousands have been wiped off it, and thousands more have been moved to a different list. The number actually getting council-owned homes remains tiny.
Family "Bitterly Disappointed" Garda Likely to Avoid Criminal Prosecution for Dara Quigley Filming
“Naturally we would have hoped for more. We would have hoped to feel that there was some accountability and transparency,” said Aileen Malone, mother of activist and journalist Dara Quigley, who died in April 2017.
Is Local Media Really Dying (and Would Anybody Care)?
When talk turns to the health of Ireland’s media, national publications and websites generally sop up much of the attention. But how are local and regional publications faring?
Issue 29: By Jacky Sheridan
I took inspiration for this month’s cover illustration from the upcoming referendum on altering/removing the woman’s place as being in the home in our constitution.
Issue 28: By Eva Kelly
F or this month’s cover, I tried to reflect the atmosphere, stories, and snippets of conversations I had at the Liberty Market in Meath Street, Dublin 8 with Liberties residents like Joseph Sweeney, who is shown here.
Issue 27: By Alana Keenan
T his illustration is inspired by the botanic gardens in Glasnevin. It is one of my favourite places to go in Dublin, where one can escape the hustle and bustle of the city.
Sam: If the News Media's Credibility Weren't for Sale, the Government Couldn't Buy It
The extent of the government’s use of paid-for “articles” to spread its messages about Ireland 2040 and other policies is made clear in dozens of documents released by the Department of the Taoiseach.
Sam: The Government Doesn't Take the Freedom of Information Act Seriously
“If the government itself ignores the law when it’s inconvenient, can the rest of us do that too?” writes Sam Tranum.
Dublin City Council's Finances: More Spending, Larger Deficit
At their May monthly meeting, councillors approved the council’s annual financial statements for 2017. Here’s a brief look at what was inside.
Issue 26: By Stephen Heffernan
This cover is inspired by that popular city summertime activity drinking cans at the canal, and it also highlights the very bad craic that some people still take part in – throwing their rubbish into the canal when they’re finished.
Council Briefs: Housing at St Anne's Park, "The Question of the Eighth", and More
At their monthly meeting on Monday, councillors discussed a plan to build housing next to St Anne’s Park, how to decide who gets social housing first, the cancellation of a literary event, and more.
Migration and the Making of Ireland, Reviewed
Bryan Fanning tells the stories of arrivals in Ireland by everyone from Celts to Vietnamese, painting the contours of the big picture with broad strokes, zooming in on individual stories, and keeping an eye on government policy.
Issue 25: By Sarah Bowie
M y name is Sarah Bowie and I’m a watcher. Nobody on Dublin Bus is safe from me and my prying eyes. Great thing is, most people are on their phones ALL the time, so they don’t notice me gawping. It’s magic.
With Facebook Ads, U.S. Groups Seek to Influence Outcome of Referendum
“As an Irish-American pro-lifer, I feel I have the right to do that,” said Chris Slattery, of New York-based EMC Frontline Pregnancy Centers.
Issue 24: By Roberta Murray
T his month’s cover was inspired by the lack of accessible creative spaces in Dublin, and the decline of small retail in the city.
Event: Can the Cyclist and the Rest of Dublin City Ever Be Friends?
Is the problem just bad behaviour by individual road users? Is poor urban design pitting people against each other in a fight for scarce street space? What can be done?
Issue 23: By Tara O'Reilly
Tara is an illustrator known for her random sense of humour, eye for the weird and tongue-in-cheek drawings.
Sam: Facebook Changes Challenge Small and Independent Publishers
Recent changes to what appears in your Facebook newsfeed are having a major impact on some small and independent media organisations in Ireland.
Issue 22: By Cesca Saunders
This month’s cover is inspired by the new Luas Cross City line, imagining future public transport services in Dublin and how I feel about commuting as a cyclist today – anxious!
Podcast: Hate Speech, Mental Health, and Social Media
From the publication of hate speech, to the use of social media to draw readers into an addictive diet of endless news consumption, are news organisations hurting their readers?
Meet the Second and Third Spark Grant Winners
Kay Cairns and Sadhbh Walshe have each won €1,000 Spark Grants to report and write articles. These grants were funded by a donation from Dublin-based charitable trust The Nelson Settlement.
Podcast: Can Social Housing Save Us?
With our friends from Banter, we organised a discussion about the social housing system, and the role it might play in easing the critical shortage of affordable housing in Dublin. If you didn’t make it to the event, you can listen to it here.
Meet the First Spark Grant Winner
Earlier this year, a group of 18 donors funded the first annual €1,000 Spark Grant, meant to support a freelance journalist in doing a great, in-depth, public-interest story. Now they’ve decided who they’re giving it to.
Issue 21: By Rob Mirolo
Born on the north side of Dublin, Rob has a soft spot for Henry Street, which inspired this month’s cover illustration.
Issue 20: By Vicky Knysh
Sometimes the “Lady on the Rock” is in every single window of an apartment block, and then the one after it and then another one.
Apply for a Spark Grant
We’re now accepting applications for this year’s crowd-funded €1,000 Spark Grant, which will go to a freelance journalist to help them write a great public-interest article.
Issue 19: By Cyan Ryan
This cover is Cyan Ryan’s homage to the passing of the seasons, and the welcoming of the winter time. Ryan is a 24-year-old designer who works in a variety of areas, from illustration to motion design. He has a strong interest in colour and shapes and using these elements to depict moods. You can reach […]
Issue 18: By Ruan van Vliet
This month’s cover is “Night Chips” by Ruan van Vliet, featuring a leprechaun busker-guy taking a break from his arduous duties to indulge in his hard-earned, greasy “pot o’gold”. Synthesizing aesthetics of counter-cultural comics, children’s TV and shambolic/naive/folk artworks is Ruan’s thing. The effect is a colourful whimsy that’s always simple, hilarious and whip-smart. When […]
Protest and Resistance in the Tourist City, Reviewed
This collection of 16 essays looks at how tourism has been impacting cities in Europe and beyond, and at how locals have been fighting these impacts.
Issue 17: By Ania Bartoszek
This month’s cover is “Seagull Attack” by Ania Bartoszek. Ania is a Dublin-based graphic designer and illustrator with a deep love for anything printed. She is passionate about colour, composition, typography and lettering, and her inspirations include Polish cinema and Japanese packaging design. Having grown up inland, she’s also acutely afraid of Dublin seagulls. You […]
Issue 16: By Conor Nolan
Conor Nolan is an illustrator, designer and printmaker from Dublin. His work uses expressive and energetic brushstrokes, and a layering of colours inspired by the aesthetics of screen printing to create his vibrant imagery. His cover image was influenced by the varied appearance of Dublin’s different homes, visualised to represent the current housing difficulties faced […]
Issue 15: By Aiden Harte
One way you can tell that it’s summer in Dublin is that you can’t find a free bench in Stephen’s Green; another is to stroll down to Grand Canal Dock and see if the kids are diving off the pier in front of Daniel Libeskind’s theatre. For the majority of the year, the so-called Silicon […]
Sam: The Problem(s) with the Simon Cumbers Media Fund
The SCMF is a government-sponsored programme that pays Irish journalists to travel the world and tell us about it. So what’s wrong with that? Well, there are two things about it that bother me.
The New Urban Crisis, Reviewed
Richard Florida, author of 2002’s “The Rise of the Creative Class”, is back with a follow-up that looks at soaring housing prices in the world’s most successful cities, and offers some solutions.
Issue 14: By Karen Vaughan
This month’s cover is by Karen Vaughan, an illustrator and designer with a love for pen and ink. Her style is decorative and detailed, and inspired by her love of old folk tales, intricate patterns and nature. You can see more of her work at kvaughan.com or at instagram.com/karenvaughan.
Updated: How Much Should You Earn to Live in Different Parts of Dublin?
Last year, we ran a series of maps showing how much you needed to earn to rent an affordable one-bedroom apartment in the city. We’ve updated them and, no surprise, renting’s become pricier.
Issue 13: By Sacha Strange
Dublin is slowly waking up, Yawns in the smoke, Snakes in and out, Vanishes in yellow buses. –Sacha Strange Instagram sacha.strange_ email@example.com cargocollective.com/sachastrange
The Rise of the Robots, Reviewed
Advanced technology is costing Dubliners jobs, a trend that’s likely to accelerate. Martin Ford’s book puts this issue in global context.
Curios About: Uncertain Arrival by Stephen Shaw
In “Uncertain Arrival”, artist Stephen Shaw aims to show the city streets through the lens of a disoriented stranger.
Apply for a Two-Day Course in Investigative Journalism for Community Journalists
The free course will be run by the Centre for Investigative Journalism, and focused on skills such as data journalism, investigating companies, and more.
Sam: Irish Times Fails to Live up to Its Principles
How does the publication of Nicholas Pell’s op-ed and William Reville’s column fit with the paper’s pledges to discourage discrimination, promote tolerance, and oppose hatred?
Curios About: Back Storey by Eoin Whelehan
Eoin Whelehan’s work is inspired by the dusky urban landscapes of graphic novels. Click through to see the full image and read what he has to say about it.
Council Gave €250,000 to Tourism Ad Campaign in 2016
Spending on “Dublin: A Breath of Fresh Air” campaign, part-funded by DCC, included £135,000 to the Guardian for services including an article by Will Self.
Curios About: Balenciaga by James Devlin
Artist James Devlin says this work is about the desire to be different “even if that means wearing a dress made from fingers”.
Issue 10: By Louise Rowland
Hi I’m Lou. My illustration for this month’s cover, “Hinge”, is concerned with the issue of homelessness in Dublin, and the increasing number of people losing their homes today. The number of people whose future well-being hinges on the control and decisions of others is absurd. Something needs change. I am a freelance, multi-discipline illustrator […]
Curios About: A Curious Encounter with Nature by Karl Gaff
These photographs, taken through microscopes, are extreme close-ups of a flower, larva, vitamin C, and butterfly wings.
Issue 9: By Holly Pereira
This illustration is about Christmas office parties, and the inherent madness of combining work colleagues and a free bar. As a freelancer, I’ve been spared the dreaded Christmas party for a couple of years, but I do have memories of making awful small talk over cremated spring rolls. The wine is warm, the boss is […]
Curios About: Core by Dee McCormick
The latest in our series highlighting contemporary art, artist Dee McCormick’s work “Core” is a heart-felt image that seeks to inspire and uplift.
Curios About: The Fury by Heather Thompson
This work depicts one of the Furies of Greek mythology, “terrifying women” who “represent merciless justice”, the artist writes. This is just a detail – click through to see the full image.
Curios About: A Curious Delight by Meagan Hyland
This print was inspired by Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”, the artist says. This is just a detail, click through to see the full image.
Sam: How Journalists Should Cover the Hateful
If we exclude them, are we lying to you (by omission) about what Dublin’s really like? If we include them, are we legitimising and encouraging them? Is there any point in engaging with what they are saying?
Curios About: digitalmultiplex by Petar Dukic and Petar Odak
The artists hope people will “be confused, but still willing to engage with our work – question it, reframe it, love it, be irritated by it”. This is just a detail – click through to see the full image.
Issue 8: By Rob Gavin
Brave pedestrians, continuous roadworks, and late arrivals. You’ve probably encountered one or all of these inconveniences recently. While the issue of traffic congestion within Dublin city remains ongoing, the rest of us seem to be going, well, nowhere. This month’s cover illustration is by Rob Gavin. He is an illustrator and designer based in Dublin […]
Curios About: Harcourt Street by Francis Matthews
A painter with a photorealistic style, Matthews “was drawn to the curve of Harcourt Street. As you walk along the street the end is hidden … ” His work is on display at the Molesworth Gallery until 30 November.
Curios About: The Sun by Aelur
Even if you don’t immediately love this painting, it’s full of symbolism and so “it can provide something to do some detective work on”, writes the artist. This is just detail – click through to see the whole thing.
Curios About: Boupie by Robbie Wells
The artist made this work about himself and a visit to Brussels “without overthinking, by trying to let feelings and experiences ‘conjure’ the image”. This is just a detail, click through to see the full image.
Curios About: Autumn Blaze by Jennifer Grey
When you see this painting, the artist hopes you’ll “feel uplifted and smile”. It’s the latest in our series of works by Dublin artists, Curios About. We’d love it if you’d submit something you’ve done.
Curios About: Harrison Row (East Wall) by Stephen Burke
This diptych is inspired by the patches of paint used to cover up graffiti in Dublin’s East Wall. ” I am trying to draw awareness to these graffiti erasures,” writes the artist.
Issue 7: By Rob Torrans
“For this illustration, I simply wanted to show some of the beauty that can be found around Dublin in autumn, while also acknowledging that this seasonal beauty is only skin-deep and all of our flaws are still lurking beneath. Beware of secret autumn crap.” Rob Torrans is an illustrator and designer from Bray in Co. […]
Curios About: Out of Order by La Cosa Preziosa
This three-minute soundscape story “bows to the spirit of The Twilight Zone and blows a kiss to the short fiction of Raymond Carver”, writes the artist.
What We Mean When We Say We Are "Independent"
Readers sometimes ask, so here’s our answer.
Curios About: untitled ? by Raymond Henshaw
This work is a collection of X-rays, including images of people hidden in trucks, obscured with ink, obliging the viewer to investigate, writes the artist. This is just a detail, click through to see the full image.
Curios About: Row of Houses in Dublin 4 by Ciarán Doyle
There are lots of paintings of rural Ireland, but fewer of its urban centres, writes the artist. “My paintings are trying to observe and document what Dublin is like” now, he says.
Curios About: Uchronic Shelter III by Barry Kennedy
In his work, Kennedy seeks “to create timeless spaces, a constructed world in which dockland motifs sit in utopian landscapes”. You can see it this month at St Patrick’s Mental Health Services in D8.
Issue 6: By Vicky Knysh
This illustration is about the high-rents game in Dublin. It is especially hard for newcomers, who have no choice but to live somewhere and have to pay whatever the market says. It is even harder for families with children: almost the full salary of one of the partners goes for the rent, and they can’t really […]
Curios About: ANIMALS | FADE by Linda Coogan Byrne
This painting is part of a series about “animals’ lives and how they matter and should matter to everyone”. This is just a detail from the painting – click through to see the rest.
Sam: Should Student Journalists Have to Study Journalism?
Student newspapers can have staffs of dozens, and circulations of thousands – but they may not require their journalists to have any formal journalism education or training.
Sam: Should Media Ever Use the Term "Pro-Life"?
Journalists shouldn’t necessarily describe people or groups in the way they ask to be described – especially if the terms they ask for are misleading.
Issue 5: By Robin Fuller
This is an isometric projection of one of my favourite Dublin buildings – Fitzwilton House, designed by Emanuel Shoolheifer and Don Burley and completed in 1969. Fitzwilton House is due to be demolished, as are several other Dublin buildings from around this time – including the much-hated Hawkins House and the (unjustly) equally loathed Apollo House. Dublin […]
Sam: Who Cares How Much Sex Millennials Are Having in Idaho?
Irish news sources regularly run articles on research done in other countries, but downplay this fact, leaving us to click before we realise it isn’t relevant to our lives.
A Quick Q&A with Irish Times Managing Director Liam Kavanagh
When the Irish Times recently published its accounts for 2015, they showed an operating loss of €1.1 million on turnover of €83.6 million. What’s next?
Are Irish Publications Ignoring Their Readers?
Among the talks that the Banter series presented at Beatyard on 30-31 July was one moderated by Dublin Inquirer managing editor Lois Kapila about the relationship between Irish publications and their readers, and how it could be improved. She was joined in the discussion by award-winning investigative journalist Gemma O’Doherty, DCU School of Communications PhD […]
Sam: Here's an Idea to Make the News Media Better
If we in the news media want to improve the journalism we are producing, we need to give ourselves the right incentives.
Issue 4: By John Rooney
I had to approach this illustration with great caution as I have probably never worked on anything political or topical before. To be given a chance to produce a meaningful piece of artwork to be viewed by the public was perhaps the main the reason I approached the Dublin Inquirer. This idea came from the […]
Sam: If Newcomers Can't Be Irish, What Can We Be?
There is no word for someone who’s not white Irish who settles here, which marks them as part of the community of Ireland. Does that mean they’ll never feel at home?
Issue 3: By Rob Mirolo
As somebody who makes their living drawing pictures, words aren’t exactly my strongest asset, so I’ll keep this short. This piece is about women not being listened to. It’s a piece about a society that allows everybody to decide what’s best for women except women. It’s a piece about “feminist” bros who think they know […]
Sam: Steal This Article
Some journalists find, report and write the news. Others read these original reports and rewrite them, without giving credit or payment. Is that fair?
Issue 2: By Steve McCarthy
Nihilism is everywhere. It’s on True Detective, in Cohen brothers films, even in the form of Werner Herzog cat memes. Sure, the idea that life is meaningless is a bummer, but what’s cooler than staring into the infinite darkness of a universe unconcerned with our existence and saying, “Whatevs yo, you do you! The world is […]
Sam: At the Irish Times, Ads Sometimes Masquerade as Journalism
The paper of record has run things in its print edition that appear to be independent journalism, but are in fact advertiser-sponsored content.
Independent Journalism: A Hands-On Course
If you don’t see your Dublin and people like you reflected in the news media, we want you in this course, so you can start to change that.
When Is It Okay for Journalists to Accept Gifts from Their Sources?
A PR company recently offered to send Dublin Inquirer a bottle of whiskey that they wanted us to write about.
Dublin GE16 Candidates Answer Our 12 Questions
In preparation for 26 February, we asked 132 candidates running in Dublin their views on a dozen issues, from abortion to building inspections, religious patronage of schools to Irish Water. Here are the answers from those who responded.
Carrie Smyth is standing for Labour in Dun Laoghaire in GE16. Here are her answers to our 12 questions.
Brid Smith is standing for the People Before Profit Alliance in Dublin South-Central in GE16. Here are her answers to our 12 questions.
Roslyn Fuller is standing as an independent in Dublin Fingal in GE16. Here are her answers to our 12 questions.
Frank O’Gorman is standing as an independent in Dublin South-West in GE16. Here are his answers to our 12 questions.
Ruth Coppinger is standing for the Anti-Austerity Alliance in Dublin West in GE16. Here are her answers to our 12 questions.
Ronan McMahon is standing for Renua in Dublin South-West in GE16. Here are his answers to our 12 questions.
Paul Donnelly is standing for Sinn Féin in Dublin West in GE16. Here are his answers to our 12 questions.
Kieran Adam Quigley
Kieran Adam Quigley is standing as an independent in Dublin South-West in GE16. Here are his answers to our 12 questions.
Mick Duff is standing for Labour in Dublin South-West in GE16. Here are his answers to our 12 questions.
Sarah Holland is standing for Sinn Féin in Dublin South-West in GE16. Here are her answers to our 12 questions.
Paul Murphy is standing for the Anti-Austerity Alliance in Dublin South-West in GE16. Here are his answers to our 12 questions.
Dessie Ellis is standing for Sinn Féin in Dublin North-West in GE16. Here are his answers to our 12 questions.
Mannix Flynn is standing as an independent in Dublin Bay South in GE16. Here are his answers to our 12 questions.
Cormac McKay is standing for Direct Democracy Ireland in Dublin Central and Dublin North-West in GE16. Here are his answers to our 12 questions.
Liam Coyne is standing for the Social Democrats in Dublin South-Central in GE16. Here are his answers to our 12 questions.
Oisín Ó hAlmhain
Oisín Ó hAlmhain is a Green Party candidate standing in Dublin South-Central in GE16. Here are his answers to our 12 questions.
Eamon Ryan is standing for the Green Party in Dublin Bay South in GE16. Here are his answers to our 12 questions.
Denise Mitchell is standing for Sinn Féin in Dublin Bay North in GE16. Here are her answers to our 12 questions.
Tom Kivlehan is standing for the Green Party in Dublin Mid-West in GE16. Here are his answers to our 12 questions.
Alan MacStiofain is standing as an independent in Dublin Bay South in GE16. Here are his answers to our 12 questions.
Cian O’Callaghan is standing for the Social Democrats in Dublin Bay North in GE16. Here are his answers to our 12 questions.
Michael O’Brien is standing for the Anti-Austerity Alliance in Dublin Bay North in GE16. Here are his answers to our 12 questions.
John Lyons is standing for the People Before Profit Alliance in Dublin Bay North in GE16. Here are his answers to our 12 questions.
Micheál MacDonncha is standing for Sinn Féin in Dublin Bay North in GE16. Here are his answers to our 12 questions.
Mary Lou McDonald
Mary Lou McDonald is standing for Sinn Féin in Dublin Central in GE16. Here are her answers to our 12 questions.
Cieran Perry is standing as an independent in Dublin Central in GE16. Here are his answers to our 12 questions.
Ossian Smyth is standing for the Green Party in Dún Laoghaire in GE16. Here are his answers to our 12 questions.
Clare Leonard is standing as an independent in Dublin Mid-West in GE16. Here are her answers to our 12 questions.
Éilis Ryan is standing for the Workers’ Party in Dublin Central in GE16. Here are her answers to our 12 questions.
Gino Kenny is standing for the People Before Profit Alliance in Dublin Mid-West in GE16. Here are his answers to our 12 questions.
Andrew Keegan is standing for the People Before Profit Alliance in Dublin North-West in GE16. Here are his answers to our 12 questions.
Clare Daly is standing as an independent in Dublin Fingal in GE16. Here are her answers to our 12 questions.
Paul Hand is an independent candidate standing in Dublin South-Central in GE16. Here are his answers to our 12 questions.
Chris Andrews is standing for Sinn Féin in Dublin Bay South in GE16. Here are his answers to our 12 questions.
Sam: The Dangers of Publishing Ads That Look Like News Articles
Many of Ireland’s major news outlets, from The Irish Times to The Journal, have turned to native advertising as a way to boost revenues. But at what cost?
Sam: The Sindo's Shameful Fearmongering
The newspaper published a story headlined “Poll: Terrorists Hide Among Our Refugees”. The headline was absolute garbage, and the article wasn’t much better. Here’s why.
Muslims in Ireland: Past and Present, Reviewed
If you want to understand the complex identities, origins, and beliefs of Ireland’s Muslims, and their contributions to the country throughout history, start with this book.