Covid-19 tops Twitter topics as Brexit relegated to fifth place

Golfgate, general election, Normal People and Love Island dominated Irish tweets

In a year when our social lives ground to a halt and face masks became the new fashion accessory, coronavirus was unsurprisingly the main topic of online discussion.

Twitter's annual round-up of the year's news stories showed a list dominated by the pandemic and its impact on our lives. The UK's exit from the European Union was relegated to fifth spot in the list of most popular hashtags on the social media platform, with the general election earlier this year taking second place.

In May, the death of George Floyd in the US during an arrest and the subsequent protests fuelled conversation on the Black Lives Matter movement, making it the third most-discussed hashtag on Twitter in Ireland during the year.

Turning back to coronavirus, the ongoing Golfgate saga also captured the attention of Irish Twitter users, while hashtags such as #ActsOfKindness and #SelfIsolationHelp co-ordinated volunteers, as thousands of people across Ireland signed up to help.



Irish Twitter also showed its appreciation to @CMOIreland Tony Holohan when he announced he was stepping back from his role temporarily to spend time with his family early this summer, with Ronan McGlynn stepping into the role until his return in October.

Covid-19, Black Lives Matter and Brexit dominated the international news discussion too, but Liverpool FC’s first league title win in 30 years also sparked discussion online.

Covid also featured on the entertainment list, with Irish comedian Alison Spittle creating the #CovideoParty community, watching movies such as Clueless, Matilda and Jumanji with thousands of virtual friends.

Also high on the entertainment list was Sally Rooney's Normal People, with the added boost from the controversy surrounding the claiming of Emmy-nominated Paul Mescal by some UK-based media outlets. His "I'm Irish" tweet was the most liked on Irish Twitter during the year.

But once again Love Island seemed to capture the nation’s attention, topping the list of most talked-about entertainment topics for the year. Twitter also mourned the passing of Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman.

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien is an Irish Times business and technology journalist