The nurses strike was the most important news story of 2019 according to Core Cultural Index

  • Stories that generated greatest public awareness included the Amazon rainforest fires, New Zealand mosque shooting and 39 bodies found in a trailer
  • Nine in ten people were aware of the death of Gay Byrne
  • Rebekah Vardy and Coleen Rooney’s argument, the sale of Coppers Face Jacks and Spice Girls playing in Croke Park were of low importance to Irish people in 2019

The nurses strike, the Amazon rainforest fires and the death of Gay Byrne were some of the most important news stories in Ireland in 2019. This is according to research undertaken as part of the Core Cultural Index 2019, compiled by Ireland’s largest marketing communications company, and based on the views of 10,000 participants discussing 176 news stories across nine categories.

Core’s research asked interviewees which stories they were aware of across the year and which they believed were most important to them personally. Analysis of the responses indicated that the top ten stories for public awareness captured the attention of over 80% of the population, with stories relating to health, climate and local Irish stories dominating the list.

Top 10 most important stories of 2019:

  1. Nurses Strike
  2. Amazon rainforest fires 
  3. New Zealand mosque shooting               
  4. 39 bodies found in trailer linked to Irish company            
  5. Hurricane Lorenzo on course towards Ireland                 
  6. Terror attacks kill hundreds in Sri Lanka                         
  7. Two boys found guilty of murder of Ana Kriegel              
  8. Journalist, Lyra McKee shot dead in Derry by new IRA   
  9. Children’s Hospital costs increase                                 
  10. Local and European elections and referendum               

Stories around health and well-being topped the list with 94% of the population aware of the nurses strike and 87% saying it was important to them. In addition to the nurses strike, another health related story that scored well in awareness was the cost of the Children’s Hospital.

Top five health & well-being stories of 2019:

  1. Nurses go on strike
  2. Children’s Hospital costs increase
  3. HPV vaccine campaigner Laura Brennan dies aged 26
  4. HSE launch HPV vaccine programme to include boys in secondary school
  5. HSE warns people about Meningitis

Climate change and the green movement also scored high in awareness with 90% aware of the Amazon rainforest fires while 85% said it was important to them. This happened two months after the Green Party won significant seats in the local elections and a month after Europe experienced one of

the highest heatwaves on record. Similarly, climate activist Greta Thunberg who has generated a greater consciousness about our planet resonated strongly with 78% aware she addressed the UN in September while 72% of young adults (people aged under 40 with no children) said this was important to them.

Top five green & climate change stories of 2019:

  1. Amazon rainforest fires
  2. Hurricane Lorenzo on course towards Ireland
  3. Heatwave across Europe
  4. Europe experiences heatwave
  5. Greta Thunberg speaks to UN about climate crisis

Global stories that scored well in awareness included the Christchurch mosque shootings were two consecutive terrorist shooting attacks resulted in 51 people being killed, which captured the attention of 90% of the population. Another tragedy related story that received significant attention was from October when 39 bodies were found in a trailer linked to an Irish transport company.

Top five global stories of 2019:

  1. New Zealand mosque shooting
  2. 39 bodies found in trailer linked to an Irish company
  3. Terror attacks kill hundreds in Sri Lanka
  4. Nora Quoirin’s body is found in Malaysian jungle
  5. Plane crash involving Emiliano Sala

Stories in Irish life that dominated the list included the murder trial of Ana Kriegel with 88% of the population aware of the outcome. The story has ignited the debate about bullying, pornography and teenager’s use of mobile phones as a result. Other stories that resonated with the people of Ireland was the murder of journalist, Lyra McKee who was shot dead in Derry by the new IRA.

Top five local stories of 2019:

  1. Two boys found guilty of the murder of Ana Kriegel
  2. Journalist, Lyra McKee, shot dead in Derry by new IRA
  3. Local and European elections and referendum take place
  4. Young men die in tragic Donegal car crash
  5. The annual Darkness into Light walk takes place

In culture and entertainment, the most important story was the death of Gay Byrne, with nine in ten people aware of his passing followed closely by the passing of Irish Comedian Brendan Grace.

Stories that received less attention included the Rebekah Vardy and Coleen Rooney argument, the sale of Coppers Face Jacks, Spice Girls playing in Croke Park and the announcement of this year’s Love Island contestants.

Finian Murphy, Marketing Director at Core, says: “The culture of Ireland is influenced by traditions from the past, but also stories of today. Every day, Irish people read, watch, listen and share news stories which shape their thinking and the culture of the nation. At Core, we analyse monthly news stories, by asking people what stories they were aware of, and more significantly, what stories had the greatest emotional connection with Irish people.”

Core employs a team of 310 people and consists of nine practices – Creative, Data, Investment, Learning, Media (comprising of Mediaworks, Spark Foundry, Starcom and Zenith), Recruitment, Research, Sponsorship and Strategy. Core has been voted Agency Network of the Year for the last six years at the Media Awards and the company was also recently voted one of the top workplaces in Ireland by the Great Place to Work Institute for the tenth year running.

To view the full findings of the Core Research Cultural Index 2019, please click here: https://onecore.ie/intel/research/a-review-of-2019/