Ireland should be a good place to live. You might not believe it from looking around your own community, but the country is richer now than it has ever been, and people are healthier than any generation that preceded them. We’re better educated, our children are more confident, and most – though by no means all – of us live relatively secure lives, untouched by terrorism or famine or any of the other horrors that blight less fortunate countries. For all that we might feel dissatisfied with issues here or there, we are fortunate to be Irish and fortunate to be alive in a time of prosperity and well-being.

But beneath that prosperous surface, Ireland is often a country that is not wholly at ease with itself. Not everyone is benefiting from the progress we’re told we are making. We are also undergoing dramatic changes, and too often, it seems like we cannot talk about those changes openly. People who think immigration is too high are automatically denounced as racists. People who object to their young children learning in primary school that their own gender is a choice are afraid to speak up, for fear of being thought of as somehow backward. People who worry that they cannot afford a carbon tax are accused of having a personal hand in the destruction of the planet, and those who believe in a God often feel like they must keep it a secret for fear of being mocked.

In short, many people see their country changing unrecognisably before their eyes and feel like they are not allowed to speak up about it. For too many people, modern Ireland is a country where asking questions is discouraged and going with the flow is just the safest thing to do if you want a quiet life.

Our schools, our universities, our media, and our politicians sing from the same hymn sheet, and often, a person who feels like the world has gone a little mad can also feel like their right to say so is no longer protected.

If we have a mission here at Gript, it is to encourage and facilitate debate. Debate is healthy. And debate is necessary. Everyone should have the right to challenge the consensus, and the consensus in Ireland is no different. Moreover, issues are rarely settled, and public opinion on matters of national importance changes as new facts emerge. Rather than being viewed as dangerous, dissent should be recognised as an important aspect of free speech. Dissenters should not be shouted down when making a fair and reasoned argument, and Gript will be a platform for views which challenge establishment thinking.

The Irish media in its present incarnation does not facilitate debate. In many cases, it doesn’t even try. Constructive opposition is often presented as extreme or backward, and the rush to cast aside ideas that have served us well for generations often leads to people being excluded or denounced for holding to the same ideas that were in the majority just a decade ago. Pro-life people, for example, following last year’s referendum, are often made to feel like an extremist minority simply for holding the exact same view that the Taoiseach and Minister for health held as recently as 2012, while the truth is that many who voted Yes would be opposed to late-term abortion and uncomfortable with rising abortion rates or terminations on disability grounds.

This headlong rush to the most extreme forms of liberalism, facilitated by the stifling of any real debate, should be a matter of concern to the public, and if you’re one of those who is worried about it, this is the place for you.

What we are going to try to do in Gript Media is to report the news, and comment on it, in a way that is honest, frank, and open. This is News, Opinion, and Analysis – Unfiltered. We make no bones about the fact that we think Ireland is on the wrong path in some areas but will be clear too when we think genuine progress is being made. We do not, and we will not support any party, candidate, or side in a referendum. We will, from time to time, endorse ideas. We will not shy away from being controversial but being controversial for the sake of it is not our purpose.

We are funded by our readers and supporters, and we’d like to offer opportunities to new, fresh voices, especially those who wish to challenge the stale consensus. In time, with your support, we hope to grow Gript to fill the gap that has been left by the all-pervasive groupthink that exists across most Irish media platforms.