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

  • Stories that generated greatest public awareness included the New Zealand mosque shooting and President Trump announcing his visit to Ireland
  • Only 27% said President Trump’s visit was important to them

he nurses strike, the New Zealand mosque shootings and the terror attacks in Sri Lanka were the three most important news stories in Ireland in the first half of 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 6,000 participants discussing 97 news stories across 15 categories.

The Cultural Index, generated by the Research Practice of Core, examines awareness amongst the general public of the top news stories making headlines, and the importance of such stories in the context of Irish society and culture. 94% of Irish people were aware of the strikes, and 87% said it was important or very important to them personally. As a result, these events scored the highest Culture Index of 2019 at 82.1.

Another terror-related story that scored high in awareness was the tragic death of activist journalist Lyra McKee in April with 83% saying it was important to them.

Series five of Love Island was also high on the agenda for Irish people generating 60% of overall awareness amongst respondents with 40% of young adults saying it was important to them.

Core Cultural Index

  1. Nurses go on strike, fourth highest score since Index started in 2015                    82.1
  2. New Zealand mosque shooting, tenth highest score                                            78.5
  3. Terror attacks kill hundreds in Sri Lanka                                                              72.7
  4. Two boys found guilty of murder of Ana Kriegel                                                   72.6
  5. Journalist, Lyra McKee, shot dead in Derry by new IRA                                        72.1
  6. Children’s Hospital costs increase                                                                      70.2
  7. Local and European elections and referendum take place                                    70.1
  8. Young men die in tragic Donegal car crash                                                         67.9
  9. Darkness into Light takes place                                                                          65.6
  10. HSE workers go on strike across the country                                                      64.8

While the most important stories often did not rank as highly in terms of public awareness, participants highlighted the importance of stories focusing on social issues, particularly with regard to health, terrorist attacks and politics. Despite being consistently in the news, only 27% said President Trump’s visit was important to them, with people ranking Supermac’s trademark legal case higher.

Stories that received less attention included the return of Love Island, the announcement that grime artist, Stormzy, was a headliner at Glastonbury, and the sale of iconic nightclub Copper Face Jacks. 

Finian Murphy, Marketing Director at Core, says: “When a story resonates in a way that strikes an emotional chord it forces us to sit up and take notice. The Cultural Index is unique in that way as it allows us to understand the news stories that connect Irish audiences by keeping them engaged and leaving them with an emotional impact.” 

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 from the first half of 2019, please click here: ,