Tragic killing of Detective Garda Colm Horkan was the most important news story of June 2020 – Core Cultural Index

  • Re-opening of pubs, hairdressers and hotels, the formation of the Government and the Black Lives Matter protests among stories that generated greatest public awareness
  • Stories that received less interest include Liverpool winning the league

The tragic killing of Detective Garda Colm Horkan in Castlerea, Co. Roscommon was the most important news story in Ireland in June 2020 according to the latest Cultural Index research compiled by Core, Ireland’s largest marketing communications company.

The research, which asked interviewees which news stories they were aware of, and of them, which they deemed most important, shows there was greater diversity and interest in the news stories which received coverage in the month of June. Based on the views of 1,000 participants, the Culture Index shows that as Ireland began to re-open, there were also significant political, economic and social issues which people were engaging with.

Covid-19 related stories ranked high in awareness with the re-opening of pubs, hairdressers and hotels the second highest story to resonate with people. Unsurprisingly 96% of people were aware of these re-openings, and 66% of people said it was a significant moment.

Similarly, the same number of people believed the formation of a Government coalition was an important event in June. However, the Government formation was not viewed positively by all. Sentiment analysis shows that the majority of those aged over 40 years old feel positive towards the Government formation, while the majority of those aged under 40 feel negative towards the coalition. Despite strong Government approval throughout COVID-19, a young generation will need convincing that this Government will address their concerns.

The fourth most significant news story for people living in Ireland were the Black Lives Matter demonstrations with 92% aware of these events with young adults (aged under 30) in particular, believing this activism was an important moment. 71% said this was an important news story to them, and 70% said they were positive about the demonstrations demanding societal change.

Speaking about this month’s update, Naomi Staff, Managing Director of Core Research said:

As people slowly return to a life beyond their homes, they are also engaging with news beyond COVID-19. The Cultural Index provides us with important insight into what matters to people. As we approach over 1,000 news stories analysed since 2015, this latest month reveals further political, economic and societal stories which will shape Irish culture in the months and years to come.”

Stories that received less interest included Ireland securing a UN Security Council seat, the RTÉ Comic Relief, GAA finals taking place later in the year, and Liverpool winning the league.

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.

People can gain access to the report by subscribing to Core Connect at