The Week on Twitter: Horses, Yokes and Jeremy Clarkson

This week there wasn’t much good news on Twitter. With the exception of Frozen fans, pill poppers and Jeremy Clarkson haters, tweeters were much more subdued than usual. But despite these more sombre trends, we have a look at the best of this week’s tweets.

Why The Long Face? #CheltenhamFestival

On Tuesday, Twitter was abuzz as this year’s Cheltenham Festival kicked off. As well as it being one of the longer hash tags to catch on, the misspelled #CheltehamFestival was also trending throughout the day.

Four horses trained by Ireland’s Willie Mullins and ridden by jockey Ruby Walsh were also trending on Tuesday. A spokesperson for betting shop Ladbrokes admitted it was fearful of how expensive it would be for bookies if Douvan, Faugheen, Un De Sceaux and Annie Power all won in what he described as the most popular accumulator bet of all time. The first three horses won, but hot favourite Annie Power lost after falling on the last jump in the Mare’s Hurdle. It looked like a terrible fall, but fortunately both the horse and jockey were okay afterwards. However, many punters were devastated.


When Irish Es Are Smiling #Yokes

On Tuesday an Irish court ruling resulted in the legalisation of class A drug possession for two days. The legalisation of ecstasy, crystal meth, ketamine and magic mushrooms, among others, attracted the attention of the worldwide media, as well as many Irish tweeters who dubbed the incident #yokegate and #yoketuesday.  A number of pop up parties in Dublin also ensued as a result of the loophole.

The Rubber Bandits also contributed their fair share of tweets on the subject, including a request to appear on Joe Duffy’s Liveline while on yokes. RTÉ didn’t take them up on their offer, but NewsTalk did and Blind Boy featured on Tom Dunne’s show at 11pm supposedly ‘yoked ouhravit’. However, the interview he gave was impressive as he took the opportunity to talk seriously about drugs and their link with mental illness.


Jeremy Clarkson Punches Above His Weight #BringBackClarkson #fracas

On Tuesday #BringBackClarkson was trending here in Ireland, but even more so in the UK after Jeremy Clarkson was fired from Top Gear for what the BBC described as a ‘fracas’ (which was also trending). At that early stage nobody was quite sure what fracas meant, but The Telegraph later revealed that Jeremy Clarkson called one of the Top Gear producers, Oisin Tymon, “lazy” and “Irish” before punching him in the face. A petition quickly began circulating the internet asking the BBC to reinstate Mr. Clarkson, but there is no sign of this happening any time soon. The petition, which is aiming for one million signatures, has currently reached almost 900,000.


Trendy Sequels #Frozen2 #Zoolander2

It was a big week for movies on Twitter due to the announcement of some major sequels.

On Monday Ghostbusters was trending in the US and the UK as it was announced that there would be a new Ghostbusters film featuring an all-male cast. This came in response to criticism from internet trolls about the current remake, which features an all-female cast. This announcement may keep the trolls happy, but it has also received much criticism from people who believe that sexist internet trolls shouldn’t be given in to. Reports suggest that Channing Tatum and Chris Pratt will star in the all-male cast.

Tuesday saw #Zoolander2 trend with a boom after Owen Wilson and Ben Stiller announced their return by making an appearance on the Valentino catwalk at Paris Fashion week.

Frozen 2 was also trending on Twitter this week because Disney has finally confirmed a sequel to the much loved/ much hated children’s film. Since the announcement Disney shares have surged.


Frozen 2 Came to Ireland Early #TerenceFlanagan

On Friday TD Terence Flanagan got a bit of stage fright (or like as many tweeter’s pronounce it ‘a mental break down’) during a live interview on RTÉ Radio One’s Drivetime. He was supposedly on air to talk about Lucinda Creighton’s new political party, Renua, of which he is now a member. He was expelled from Fine Gael in 2013, along with Deputy Creighton, after defying the party whip to vote in favour of The Protection of Life during Pregnancy Bill. On Friday, the same day of Renua’s launch, he went on air to promote the new party but completely froze instead. It was difficult to listen to it. Speaking on The Late Late Show, Lucinda Creighton put this incident down to his inexperience, despite the fact that he has served as a TD for nine years now.

The TD’s name has been trending on Twitter ever since the interview took place, with some users pitying his poor performance, while others haven’t held back their criticism. Many others have praised RTÉ’s Mary Wilson for her professional handling of the situation. The interview has certainly over shadowed Renua’s launch.


Tweets in Tribute #SamSimon #tonyfenton #Terry Pratchett

The entertainment industry suffered the loss of some fine men this week and many people took to Twitter to pay their respects.

In the US Sam Simon, the co-creator of The Simpsons, trended on Twitter as news of his death broke on Monday morning. At the age of 59, he died in his LA home accompanied by his family after suffering from cancer since 2012. Sam Simon, who was known for his animal rights campaigning, left his vast fortune to charity.

On Wednesday the death of Tony Fenton was announced and his fans took to Twitter to mourn his death. Among those paying tribute were Ian Dempsey, Matt Cooper, Mario Rosenstock, Brian Kennedy, The Script, Delorentos, Des BishopKeith Duffy, Ronan O’Gara and David McWilliams. The DJ who started his career on pirate radio, before becoming popular nationwide as a DJ on 2FM and, later, Today FM died at the age of 53 after a long battle with prostate cancer. His last interview with U2’s Bono will air on Today FM some time soon.

On Thursday beloved author Sir Terry Pratchett passed away in his English home aged 66. After being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2007, he donated a lot of money to the cause and raised awareness of the disease through interviews and a BBC documentary. Since his passing, a fund has been set up in his name to raise money for a charity that cares for those with the disease. It has already raised more than £35,000. After his death many of his fans paid tribute to his work and influence, including HeadStuff’s Ronan Daly, as well as thousands of tweeters around the world.


Photo by: Tony Harrison via Flickr.

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