Whatever happens, it happens on Twitter.
In 2018, people on Twitter connected, campaigned, learned, laughed, debated, and had conversations. They came to share opinions and see other points of view. They turned six degrees of separation into one and they amplified the small, but powerful, voices far beyond their home shores.
As 2018 draws to a close, Twitter is reflecting on the year that was: from breaking news, entertainment, sports and conversations.
If it happened anywhere, it happened on Twitter.
2018 was another year of political discourse on Twitter in Ireland. The referendum to repeal the eighth amendment was one of the most discussed topics this year, with #repealthe8th coming in as the top shared hashtag by Irish Twitter. Other popular referendum hashtags shared were #together4yes, #8thref, #savethe8th and #repealthe8th.
This was closely followed by discussion around #brexit and the Presidential election, with lots of people joining the conversation using #aras18. This hashtag also unlocked a special Presidential emoji, launched by Twitter, depicting Áras an Uachtaráin with the green, white and orange of the Irish flag.
We all know that Irish people love to chat about the weather and 2018 was no different - #beastfromtheeast was the next most popular hashtag of the year. Other popular weather related hashtags including #stormemma, #sneachta and #snowmageddon. And who can forget the fun that was #gdpr!
Of course, it wasn’t just homegrown topics which people reacted to and discussed during the year.
The #WorldCup was the sporting event of the year on Twitter, with fans and players alike tweeting about the best goals, misses, red cards and triumphs.
Another of this year’s most popular international stories happened in May when Harry and Meghan’s #royalwedding allowed us all to become enchanted in a real life fairytale.
Beyond the World Cup, sport continued to be one of the most hotly debated topics on Twitter during 2018. Manchester United, @ManUtd, and Liverpool, @LFC, were the most mentioned sports teams by Irish Twitter.
After a phenomenal year, not surprisingly, @IrishRugby was also up there in the most mentioned, followed by Conor McGregor, @TheNotoriousMMA, and @officialgaa.
Television / Entertainment
One of the most watched television shows of the year, #LoveIsland, was equally as popular on Twitter. The show which brought the summer’s favourite couple, Dani and Jack, together was the most used television hashtag on Irish Twitter where we could share the hot gossip and chime in on the drama.
Ireland is still the most successful country in Eurovision Song Contest history and although we didn’t relive the glory days of the 1990s, Ryan O’Shaughnessy made it through to the final in Lisbon in May and helped to make #Eurovision the second most used television and entertainment hashtag by Irish Tweeters.
Irish television viewers clearly love a good debate as the next three spots went to the Tonight Show (#tonighttv3), RTÉ Prime Time (#rtept) and Claire Byrne Live (#cblive).
KPOP continues to take over the world – Korean Pop Music for those not in the know – and the band BTS (@BTS_twt) is most definitely leading the charge. @BTS_twt was not only the most Tweeted about music handle by Irish Twitter, but the pop group also featured in the top four music hashtags spots with #bestfanarmy, #btsarmy, #bts and #bestboyband.
Irish Tweeters clearly have a grá for pop music and not forgetting our own, #niallhoran and #slowhands also appeared in the top music hashtags, along with his former bandmate #louistomlinson and #xfactor.
The Golden Tweets: Most Popular Retweeted and Liked
Twitter is the place to see what’s happening, whether it’s to enjoy some of that classic Irish wit or to see communities come together to support each other or acknowledge selfless acts of kindness. Some of the most popular Tweets from 2018 include:
#StormEmma was a tough time for many across Ireland, but this heart-warming Tweet from the Mater Hospital about their staff staying overnight showed the dedication of our medical personnel.
Many of our amazing hospital staff are sleeping overnight in the Mater so they can care for patients tomorrow. #StormEmma— The Mater Foundation (@TheMaterFoundat) March 1, 2018
Give this as many retweets as you can before they get up in the morning
Video cred to @cirdowling#ThankYou pic.twitter.com/DpiPLl9L73
The country came to a near standstill during the weekend of #beastfromtheeast, with workers staying home and schools and colleges staying closed.
Many people remember the Friday night events with a JCB at Lidl Fortunestown, and the @lidl_ireland account caused a bit of a stir when they lightened the moment with this witty Tweet the following Monday morning…
So err... anyone do anything nice over the weekend?— Lidl Ireland (@lidl_ireland) March 5, 2018
One of the biggest TV shows of the year was Ireland’s Got Talent, with Michelle Visage of RuPaul’s Drag Race fame on the judging panel. But @RuPaul herself got Irish Twitter into a bit of a frenzy and stole the show when she Tweeted the people of Ireland telling them that they must put in the work or sashay away - as gaeilge!
January saw one of Ireland’s most loved musicians, Dolores O’Riordan, pass away suddenly. Her Cranberries bandmates acknowledged her death, the loss of their friend and her extraordinary talent with a poignant Tweet which touched a chord with thousands of people.
We are devastated on the passing of our friend Dolores. She was an extraordinary talent and we feel very privileged to have been part of her life from 1989 when we started the Cranberries. The world has lost a true artist today.— The Cranberries (@The_Cranberries) January 15, 2018
Noel, Mike and Fergal
This year on Twitter we also learned that you don’t mess with a certain Irish great-grandfather. One of the year’s most popular Tweets from @rtenews showed 85 year old Denis O'Connor tackle and scare off two armed raiders who tried to rob this Cork bookmakers.