In a month which is usually marked by silly season stories, July 2016 was dominated by serious and sad stories. Only one story in the top five was an Irish based story and the majority tended to be related to tragic and uncomfortable events. Syria, Nice and the US elections were all viewed as important to Irish people while trivial news items such as Pokemon Go and Fine Gael's leadership were of less interest.
Terror in Nice: 94% of people were aware
France was struck with tragedy again in July when a terrorist drove through crowds celebrating the country's national holiday. 85% of people said this was important or very important to them which was just above the number of people who said the story of a Jihadist killing a French priest was important - the story which was second on our list.
Syria and The US Presidential campaign
The continuing horror in Syria was third on our list, with 89% of Irish people being aware of this news story. While those who were aware said it was very important, more people (94%) were aware of the US Presidential campaign, suggesting mainstream media and social networks provide more coverage of Trump vs. Hilary than the tragedy in Syria. Trump tops Google searches compared with Syria.
Console: shut down of charity
72% of the population were aware of the investigation into the charity Console. The story was for an older generation. There was less awareness with those under 35, with only 51% of this cohort aware and nearly 9 in 10 people over the age of 50 aware of the story. In comparison to the other main Irish news story - the launch of the Government's Housing Plan - it scored 58.5 versus 52.0 in our Ignite Score as more people were aware of Console.
The Housing Plan will be covered in our latest Property report.
Poor Enda... Happy Bus Drivers
As political hacks struggle to find summer stories, the question of Fine Gael's leadership was up for debate in July, however only 47% were aware of this in comparison to the 81% of those aware that Theresa May was elected as UK Prime Minister.
Finally, 22 bus drivers celebrated when they won the Euromillions. This story captured the minds of Irish people, with 85% of people aware, but only 18% saying it was an important story. However the story was more important than the release of Pokemon Go - the mobile gaming app which took the world by storm. While 89% of people were aware of this, particularly women between 34 and 50, it was not a story which was viewed as important.