‘The best thing you can do is the right thing; the next best thing you can do is the wrong thing; the worst thing you can do is nothing,’ Theodore Roosevelt.
How this works is explained at various parts on this site, but briefly Whistleblowersireland.com works like this: you tell us about the whistle you want to blow in the strictest of confidence and we try and get it into the media.
This could be one paper or it could be many. It could be papers and radio and TV, but basically – we aim to get it out to as many outlets as you want.
There is no guarantee about whether any media will run the story or even if they do, that it will be run exactly the way you want it to be run.
Our aim, as experienced journalists (and members of the National Union of Journalists), is to get the story out to the media in as media-friendly a format as possible.
Nothing you tell us will appear anywhere and nobody will be approached about it unless you are 100% happy with a) who is going to be approached and b) what information they will be approached with.
At any stage in the process up to the point at which media are about to be approached, you can pull out and that’s the end of the matter.
But once you see a) the questions that are going to have to be asked so as to give your employer a right-to-reply (or any other pre-publication approach to anybody) and b) then see the final proposed article (and you’ve had 24 hours to reconsider your position) there really isn’t any way of going back.
As an organisation, we can’t get into the business of asking papers to pull stories – unless of course a serious factual error or a threat to your personal safety comes to light after the story has been sent to a media outlet. But even then, we cannot guarantee what the media outlet will do with the information they receive, even if we ask them not to publish. We can ask them not to do anything or to sit on the information but we just can’t make any promises.
This is why we try and be as thorough as possible with you every step of the way up to putting something forward for publication. And this is why you will be repeatedly asked if this is something you want to do.
Ideally, you will have taken your own legal advice as we do not offer legal advice. Yes, we do have occasional access to a barrister but that is as much about making sure any copy that is to be put out has had the benefit of a legal eye cast over it.
Ideally, you will not only have read the Protected Disclosures Act thoroughly but you will have tried to make a Protected Disclosure or at least gone through or tried to go through some kind of a process internally to draw attention to the issues you want to blow the whistle about and have ended up coming here because you couldn’t get anybody to do anything you blew the whistle about or – worse – your bosses tried to (or managed to) sack you or pay you off form a job you still want to keep regardless of how your boss is alleged to have behaved.
Why is this important? It helps convince us you are serious and you have thought this through over a period of time. And speaking of time, this also shows us you have put your own time into this matter before contacting us and appreciate that we and others will then have to put time into making you whistle blowing efforts see the light of day.
Please don’t ever think for one second that the people of Ireland will line the streets and applaud you for blowing the whistle. It’s a very lonely thing to do and almost always has an impact on your future ability to earn a living.
And the reality is this: there is absolutely no guarantee that once your story is out there, anybody will pay a blind bit of notice. It might ruffle a few feathers for a day (or a few days, if you are lucky) but that might be the end of it.
Worse still, it can become an all-consuming thing – sorely testing the patience of friends and loved ones who can eventually get very tired about hearing every minor detail of your personal crusade and update, however laudable your stance may be.
But here at Whistleblowersireland.com, we absolutely believe that if there is a whistle to be blown, we’ll help you do it on your terms and in the strictest of confidence and do so in the belief that sometimes this is the only way to either make a difference or to right wrongs.
You can either sit on your hands, and let yourself be defeated or you can do something, however small.