Conor McGregor’s up-and-down year in MMA made him Ireland’s most googled sports personality, edging out Gareth Bale and the worldwide clicks leader, Oscar Pistorius.
Having signed a multi-fight deal at the UFC, a devastating knee injury at the back end of the year halted McGregor’s meteoric rise in the octagon.
Premier League football dominated the list for individual athletes in Ireland, while universal fascination with murder and scandal once again drove the international google trends.
Pistorius came in ahead of NFL star Aaron Hernandez, both athletes fighting high- profile murder charges. The Boston Marathon was the most googled event of the year.
Lions rugby, Arsenal soccer and Dublin GAA were the teams that drove most interest in Ireland while Cork City enjoyed the honour of being the League of Ireland’s most googled.
McGregor was one of only two Irish people on the top 10 list for clicks in Ireland. The tragic death of former Galway hurler Niall Donohue in October creating a spike of interest in October.
South African runner Pistorius, formerly a hero in his country for his superhuman exploits on the track, caused peak searches in February when he was arrested for the killing of his partner Reeva Steenkamp.
That southern region of Africa delivered the most interest via the search engine while the internet users in the UK and Ireland came in fifth and sixth in terms of clicks.
Lance Armstrong, dominated January when he finally admitted his career-long use of performance-enhancing drugs, while Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson occupied the minds of the all-powerful NFL fan ahead of a college basketballer at the University of Louisville, Kevin Ware, whose horrendous leg break shocked TV viewers in a huge national tournament game in March.
The top soccer player was unsurprisingly Gareth Bale who made a big money switch to Real Madrid over the summer while retiring NFL star Ray Lewis went out with a bang, winning the Super Bowl for the Baltimore Ravens on his last evening of professional football.
The Boston Marathon was more searched than Typhoon Haiyan and next year’s World Cup was fourth, a glimpse of what will dominate the Google zeitgeist in 2014.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved