2016: It has been a tough year

Many of us will look back on 2016, and wonder what happened. At a macro-level, politics, war, terror and celebrity deaths made it a tough year. The stories of the year define our memory of 2016 and it was some rollercoaster.

The Ignite Score: Measuring the Stories which Matter

At Ignite, we have tracked over 120 stories across the year in terms of public awareness and the level of importance people applied to them. Our top five stories define 2016 - and interestingly, it doesn’t include Trump.

At number five, waiting times in Irish hospitals. Minister Harris continues to face the demands from Irish people to reduce how long we wait at our hospitals. At number four, a sad story which affected us all, the tragic story of a family drowning in Buncrana in March 2016. This human story resonated with 91% of Irish people. The third most impactful story was the terror attacks in Nice, France. After Paris in 2015, France was faced with further attacks on Bastille Day. The proximity to Ireland drove up the importance of this event.

Receiving constant coverage through out the year - Brexit was the second most important story to people. The shock of the UK leaving Europe has created uncertainty for Irish people and businesses. Another European story, at number one in 2016 - the terror attacks in Brussels. In March, the Brussels Airport was attacked and caused fear across Europe. For the second year running, terror has been listed as the number one story of the year.


The Donald still made it into the top ten news stories - at number 8, there was obviously a high level of awareness, but less people thought it was important in comparison to our own Parliament not forming a Government or the Gardai taking industrial action. Given the amount of news coverage, Trump vs. Clinton received, it seems Irish people don’t think it as significant story in their life.

Other top stories this year included Syria, Apple Tax and Dublin’s Ganglands. The 1916 commemorations were important to people, more so than the 2016 General Election. In sports, the football Euros topped the poll, and early on in the year David Bowie’s death resonated with a large segment of the population. Finally in brands, Samsung, the National Lottery and Unilever all made it into the top brand stories.