What Matters to Irish people

Any news? Any gossip? Irish people love a good story.

We read, listen or watch stories about politics, brands, sports, business, people and entertainment.

We search for news and share stories - but what really matters to Irish people?
What stories, brands and  themes really connect with us and impact on our lives?

In January 2015, we have launched
The ig Score - measuring the content that matters.

Top 3 Stories in January 2015

Worries over waiting times


In January, Irish people were most concerned about waiting times in Irish hospitals.

Despite less news coverage than Irish water protests and the atrocities at Charlie Hebdo, people scored 'waiting times in Irish hospitals and patients on trolleys' as the story they were most aware of and the story which was of greatest importance to them.

People over the age of 55 scored this story even higher with an ig score of 87
- understandably as they are the cohort most likely to fall ill in January.

So what's the ig Score?

Every month, we look back on the top read stories, articles shared online, and radio discussions, to create a list of topics which people may have been aware of. In January 2015, we tested:

  • Waiting times in Irish hospitals and patients on trolleys

  • Discussions about and reactions to water charges

  • Public reactions to the Charlie Hebdo attacks

  • The effects of our stormy, cold and wet winter weather

  • Disputes over educational reform and teachers strike

  • The same sex marriage referendum debate

  • Central Bank's proposals for new mortgage lending rules

  • Irish banking inquiry

  • IMF post-bailout review for Ireland

  • Footballer Stephanie Roche reaching the Fifa Puskás final

  • IMF quantitative easing and bond buying programme

  • Formation of Lucinda Creighton or Shane Ross new political groups

  • Reactions to changes in how Cadbury Creme Eggs are to be made

We ask 1,000 Irish people...

  • if they are aware of any of these stories - this gives us our Awareness metric.
  • the level which they believe these stories had an importance in their life - Importance metric.

From this analysis we can provide a context of what stories had true impact and cut through in a world where everyone is competing for our attention.


#4 Winter Weather

ig Score: 60.5

The most read news stories online in January were weather related. 

The forecast today:


#5 Disputes over educational reform and teachers strike

ig Score: 58.5

Parents were 23% more aware of this news story and 9% more likely to score it as important.


#6 The Same Sex Marriage Referendum

ig Score: 58.27

Much of the discussion in January was sparked by Minister of Health, Leo Varadkar, speaking on RTE Radio 1 about how he is gay. For many, it was deemed a brave moment, but they believed it shouldn't define him and he should carry on doing his work as a Minister.


#7 Central Bank's proposals for new mortgage lending rules

ig Score: 50.78

There was plenty of commentary about these lending rules, which has driven to the largest spike in searches relating to mortgages in the past 12 months.

We developed our own research to investigate the effects of these new rulings.


Read more about this research

Economics viewed as important
but only by half of the population.

ig Scores

#8 Irish banking inquiry: 44.91
#9 IMF post-bailout review for Ireland: 42.01
#11 IMF quantitative easing: 36.22


Only half of the population were aware of these economic news stories, but scored them high on importance level. Men are 11% more engaged with these topics, and under 35 year olds are 55% less likely to be engaged compared with the general population.

So what mix goes into the ig Score. We measure awareness and level of importance.

We can see from these two graphs, which topics people were aware of and the level of importance (a scale of 1 - 100) that Irish people attributed to them.

Looking to next month, we will keep an eye on Lucinda's new party and remember the crisis over creme eggs and the stunning performance of Stephanie Roche.

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