Irish news sites and Facebook among popular searches by Government departments

Irish news websites, Facebook and tabloid website dailymail.co.uk all feature in the top 10 sites visited across government departments.
Irish news sites and Facebook among popular searches by Government departments

Video-sharing platform Youtube features in the top 10 sites visited at the Department of Agriculture along with BreakingNews.ie.
Video-sharing platform Youtube features in the top 10 sites visited at the Department of Agriculture along with BreakingNews.ie.

Irish news websites, Facebook and tabloid website dailymail.co.uk all feature in the top 10 sites visited across government departments.

Social Democrats co-leader Catherine Murphy asked parliamentary questions of each minister and the Taoiseach requesting the top ten most-visited websites by officials and political staff in their charge.

Minister of State for Defence Paul Kehoe said the Department of Taoiseach was not in a position to give its list "as it would have required a detailed analysis of Department’s web filtering software logs" by staff who are focusing on preparing ICT systems and equipment to allow staff to work remotely as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

At the Department of Finance, a number of news websites feature, as does accommodation site Airbnb and forum site Boards.ie.

Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan said "the vast majority of links accessed do not arise from direct or intentional visits by web users, but are rather indirectly accessed through the display of advertising on other websites" while delivering his list, which features a number of web traffic monitoring sites as well as internal work pages and the Daily Mail website.

The Department of Health also reported a number of work-related sites, but social media site Facebook was at number two in its list.

Video-sharing platform Youtube features in the top ten sites visited at the Department of Agriculture, with Boards.ie and BreakingNews.ie. At the Department of Communications, where information is held for a month, Twitter features in the top 10.

At the Department of Children, news sites irishexaminer.com, irishtimes.com, theJournal.ie, rte.ie, and independent.ie all feature, as does English newspaper The Guardian's website.

Rural Affairs Minister Michael Ring said that at his department so far this year, news sites as well as amazon.co.uk, boards.ie and ryanair.com all feature.

At Simon Coveney's Department for Foreign Affairs, Youtube, Facebook, LinkedIn, the Daily Mail and Aer Lingus all feature in the top ten.

A number of departments were not in a position to provide a list of websites.

Transport Minister Shane Ross said his department does not keep such records: "Our internet browsing systems within the Department do, however, categorise websites and block those which we have deemed to be inappropriate or not suitable within our work environment."

The Departments of Employment Affairs and Arts also did not have the records, while the Minister of Housing said he will send Ms Murphy the list directly.

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