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Expert Advisory Panel established for the Global Ireland Media Challenge Fund

An Expert Advisory Panel has been established to provide independent expertise to the Global Ireland Media Challenge Fund.  The Panel has been put in place to support achieving the objectives of the Fund and to help ensure good governance through informed decision making on all applications. 

Complete editorial independence is one of the core principles of the Fund.

The Media Challenge Fund aims to widen understanding of global issues, provide better public information about major geo-political events and the changing nature of Ireland’s role in the world across a range of subject areas and geographical regions. 

A desired outcome is that the public will, as a result of increased media engagement and ensuing debate, develop a greater understanding of a wide range of international issues, including the context in which Ireland’s foreign policy is developed and pursued.

The Media Challenge Fund will be used for the purposes of generating media engagement on important global developments relevant of interest to Ireland, arising, inter alia, from the UN Security Council Membership, global challenges, and foreign policy more widely.

The Terms of reference of the Fund are available here

The panel members (below) have met and given consideration to the applications which have been received so far. An Evaluation and Management Panel of senior DFA officials will complete the final evaluation of all applications and, in line with transparency and accountability, the decisions on awards from the Fund will be published.

Applications to the fund will remain open through the year and adjudication of submissions will take place on a case by case basis. For further queries on the fund please mail at


Expert Advisory Panel - Global Ireland Media Challenge Fund


1.       Conor Brady

Conor was the editor of The Irish Times between 1986 and 2002. Chair TLAC, Board member IIEA, and Ex Commissioner at Garda Ombudsman


2.       Mark Little

Mark is former RTE TV news anchor and foreign correspondent. He is CEO of Kinzen, was founder of Storyful, and led Twitter's media team in Europe.


3.       Madeline Boughton

Madeline is Asst Professor of Communications at DCU. A Government communications specialist, leading comms for 2016 Centenary, and Creative Ireland.


4.       Nóirín Hegarty

Nóirín is former Vice President of Digital Content at Lonely Planet, and former editor Irish Independent, and Sunday Tribune.


5.       John Walshe

Former education editor of Irish Independent, served as special advisor to Labour Minister Ruairi Quinn, former consultant to OECD.


6.       Fionnuala Sweeney

Multimedia editor at Atlantic Institute, University of Oxford, Former journalist with RTE and anchor with CNN.



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