The Week on Twitter: Apple Event, 9/11 & the Junior Cert

This week on Twitter, we remembered those who lost their lives at the World Trade Centre, engaged with World Suicide Prevention Day, and watched Apple unveil some new, very expensive things that we definitely don’t need. We also learned a little bit about Islam, and a lot about our collective intolerance towards homophobia.

@Ireland Twitter account causes a stir

Curated by a different person each week, the @ireland Twitter account has been delighting us with its vast variety of individuals, perspectives, and tweets for 185 weeks now. Directors of the account began their ‘rotation curation’ back in 2012, based on the notion that “a single voice cannot represent a country.” This week, Muslim cleric and founder of the Irish Muslim Peace and Integration Council, Dr. Shaykh Umar Al-Qadri, took to our timelines to tell us all about Islam.

It started off fairly well, as Al-Qadri presented some common misconceptions about Islam, shared some photos of his children, and expressed his appreciation towards those who have been so generous during the #refugeecrisis. But things quickly turned sour when Al-Qadri began discussing his views on homosexuality.

His claim that “Islam teaches to hate sin, not the sinner,” accompanied by a picture of openly gay Minister for Health, Leo Varadkar, provoked some warranted criticism from almost everybody who responded to the tweet. While many chose to engage with Al-Qadri and question his religious judgments, most were simply offended by the suggestion that involving oneself in homosexual activities is a sin.

But the (rather quite uncomfortable) discussion didn’t stop there, as Al-Qadri decided that he wanted to learn more about the LGBT community and homosexuality as a whole. Which would have been alright if it hadn’t ended with him stating that he was “keeping an open mind” about whether or not people can ‘choose’ to be gay.


A lot of people were outraged, some were confused, but most were simply offended by the cleric’s outdated view of homosexuality. While Al-Qadri did invite the LGBT community to the Islamic Centre, his inability to understand that sexuality exists on a spectrum and is not a choice, took precedence over practically every other valid point about Islamic extremists, refugees, and prejudice he had made before the debate began.

A single voice cannot represent a country. But as it turns out, neither can one that thinks sexuality is a choice.

Apple unveil lots of new products: lots of people are excited #AppleEvent

On Wednesday, Apple had an event in San Francisco where CEO Tim Cook and his team spent 2 and a half hours telling us about all the new and expensive things they’d be making us buy over the next year. These included the iPhone 6s, and iPhone 6s Plus (which also comes in rose gold!), a newer Apple Watch, some charging docks, the iPad Pro (that has a screen that’s basically the same size as an actual MacBook), and the Apple Pencil.

Lots of people who have lots of money and presumably just enjoy buying things were very excited by the announcements. Others… Weren’t so bothered.

RIP Steve.

Twitter talks #WorldSuicidePreventionDay #LetsGoOrange

Yesterday, many major landmarks around the country lit up orange as part of World Suicide Prevention Day. Cycle Against Suicide launched their #LetsGoOrange campaign with Solus to promote the idea that it’s okay not to be okay. Some of the buildings, streets, and landmarks included in the project were Trinity College, Grafton Street, Belfast City Hall, Blarney Castle, and NUI Galway.

According to a report filed last year, Ireland has exceptionally high rates of suicide among young people, with the rate among young women being the highest in Europe, and the rate among young men being second highest.

Many in Ireland, and around the world, took to Twitter on Thursday to share their stories, mental health awareness, helpline numbers, and the message that it’s okay to ask for help if you need it.

The world remembers the victims of #September11 #NeverForget911

14 years ago, 2 hi-jacked planes were flown into the North and South towers of the World Trade Centre. A third plane was flown into the Pentagon, and a fourth crashed in a field near Pennsylvania. Today, Twitter commemorated the lives of the 2,996 people who were killed in the initial attacks, the hundreds of others who died trying to save those who were trapped, and the thousands affected by the War on Terror.

Everyone’s celebrating their #juniorcert results

The Junior Cert results came out this week and it got a lot of people very excited to celebrate their achievements, show off their honours, and probably go under-age drinking in a park somewhere. For a few days, Twitter was wrought with 16 year olds being nervous, 16 year olds being happy, and finally, 16 year olds being hungover.

It was a momentous occasion. Here’s some tweets about it.


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