The recent series of breaking news stories concerning Roma children in Ireland was the most frequently trending Irish news topic within the social networking site Twitter.
The lists were unveiled as the company released their top trending stories for 2013. The Irish news category had some very interesting items trending online. Irish politics being one of the favorites. #Seanref was one of the dominant trending political stories of the year. It concerned a bid by the Irish government to abolish the second house of parliament, the Seanad, in an, ultimately lost, referendum.
Up there in trending news, according to the Irish Times was the death of “Seamus Heaney” after news broke that the 74-year-old Nobel Laureate had passed away on August 30.
Among international stories and the Syrian conflict trended most frequently, followed by the financial collapse of Cyprus.
In celebrity news trending in 2013, humanitarian and actress Angelina Jolie's announcement that she had undergone a double mastectomy to prevent the risk of cancer topped the list. This revelation created much discussion across social media platforms and won the actress international acclaim for opening up on the sensitive subject across the globe.
Popular celebrity names that trended on Twitter in Ireland were Justin Beiber, Brian O’ Driscoll and controversial former Disney star Miley Cyrus. The birth of England's much-anticipated newest royal family member, Prince George, edged in at number 10 just behind the election of Pope Francis.
The top trending sports-related hashtags in Ireland were #GAA, #RAW, #MUFC, #LFC and #NFL.
The Irish Times also reports that Irish Broadcasters dominated the top trending stories with BBC broadcaster Graham Norton at four and Pat Kenny at five following his move from RTE to Newstalk after 40 years. He pipped his replacement at RTE, Sean O'Rourke by one place. Former Fine-Gael-Minister-turned-broadcaster Ivan Yates' return from Britain after filing for bankruptcy there also made the list.
One of the top tweets of 2013, came from teen sensation Niall Horan from Co Mullingar who has become a global hit with band One Direction.
He tweeted “Yesss! I’m 20! Wohooo! No More Teens!” Clearly to the the delight to his millions of fans worldwide.
The report in the Irish Times explained that “Twitter points out in its description of trends that they 'don’t give any indication of sentiment'."
The leading Irish government scandal on Twitter was was #lapgate, the infamous incident during the all-night abortion debate in the Dáil (Parliament) when Fine Gael TD (MP) Tom Barry of Cork pulled fellow Cork deputy Aine Collins onto his lap. The incident broke on social media when it was spotted by an eagle-eyed member of the public on the lightly-viewed parliament TV station in the early hours.