More than half of all adults in Ireland are now using online services, according to a new survey, with internet usage overall up 6%.
The total number of Irish adults connecting to the internet now stands at 1.8 million, or 51% of all adults.
Thirty-five percent of all adults, or 1.3 million people, are connecting to the internet every day or most days, according to the research, which was carried out by Behaviour and Attitudes for the Joint National Internet Research (JNIR) body.
Of those going online, more than half (54%) completed purchases online in the last month, with flights, cinema tickets and hotel rooms the most common purchases.
New media company Thomas Crosbie Media’s news and current affairs sites have performed strongly in the survey with both BreakingNews.ie and irishexaminer.com outstripping the overall growth rate of 6% for internet usage in Ireland.
Visitor numbers to the IrishExaminer.com site have grown by 17% - almost three times the level of growth in internet usage with BreakingNews.ie performing similarly with 16.4% growth.
Seventy-one percent of BreakingNews.ie readers visit at least once every two weeks with 61% of IrishExaminer.com users clicking through in the same timeframe.
Thomas Crosbie Media CEO Angela Crowley said: "We are very pleased with the consistently strong performance of Irishexaminer.com and BreakingNews.ie as demonstrated in the two JNIR surveys this year.
"We have completed a significant investment in the redesign of the BreakingNews.ie site and branding. The content and site design have improved considerably as s result of this investment and this is reflected in our JNIR performance. We will be investing in the development of Irishexaminer.com in 2009.
"The internet is really becoming a mass market medium and so it is great that our sites are growing even faster than the overall growth trend in internet usage."