The Week On Twitter: Hozier Defends SSM and VinB Baffles

With the exception of hysterical One Direction fans, this week’s Twitter trends featured some important topics. Unusually, the majority of Irish Tweeters were very politically aware and discussed everything from Irish politics and world news, to depression and murder trials. Here is the best of this week’s trends and tweets.


Heroic Hozier #SSM

Two weeks ago, on Mother’s Day, Fine Gael Senator Fidelma Healy Eames received a backlash from Twitter users after she tweeted an alarming comment, which linked same sex marriage to the banning of Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.

The Irish politician defended her comments and said she had did not intend to slur same sex marriage. She then confirmed that only two schools have banned celebrating Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, but this did not stop negative responses to her tweet which continued to be posted this week. Just after last weeks Twitter Review was posted, Hozier joined the discussion and made a stand for all those who support same sex marriage.


Irish Water Continues To Sink #irishwater #not1pipe

Last Saturday’s anti-water protest demonstrated that tens of thousands of people continue to support non-payment of the charges. The subject continued to trend on Twitter this week as newspapers reported that legislation to force payment of water bills by taking money directly from people’s wages and social welfare payments may come into place. This is the method the Government used to prevent the non-payment of the Household Tax, but it is unclear if a utility company could legally do this. Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly also trended as he appeared on RTÉ’s Claire Byrne Live to discuss the issue. He refused to confirm or deny the possibility of such legislation, but admitted that payment would have to be ensured some way.

The Socialist TD, Paul Murphy, took the opportunity to compare the Labour Minister to a bully by crudely photo-shopping his face on to the body of The Simpsons‘  Nelson Muntz.

The hash tag ‘not1pipe’ began to trend on Monday as those who do not support water charges criticised the lack of improvement in water infrastructure, despite the amount of money invested in Irish Water.

This hash tag continued to trend on Wednesday as Irish Water came under fire after it was revealed that it took the utility company took six days to warn the residents of a Galway housing estate that their water supply was undrinkable due to kerosene contamination. How the kerosene got into the water supply is still unclear. Residents and sympathisers took to Twitter to voice their concerns and anger after the warning, which took six days to arrive, came in the form of a leaflet.


Global Trends #GermanWingsCrash #YemenUnderAttack #BattleForNumberTen

On Tuesday afternoon #Germanwings trended as news broke of a Germanwings Airbus A320 crashing into the French Alps. Devastatingly, the crash killed all 150 people who were on board. The plane was making a short flight from Barcelona to Dusseldorf and the reasons for the crash were a complete mystery to aviation experts. Later in the week, it emerged that the co-pilot deliberately crashed the plane after the pilot left the cockpit. The German media has been painting a picture of a man who had a mental illness, as well as a physical illness that would end his career. Some newspapers have claimed he crashed the plane so that his name would be remembered. Some Tweeters have shown their disgust at the co-pilot, while others have used the incident as an example for the need to openly talk about mental illness and depression.

On Wednesday Yemen began to trend in Ireland as Saudi Arabia led airstrikes against areas of the country held by Shiite rebels, known as the Houthis. The rebels made a move to take over the city of Aden, which resulted in the Yemeni President fleeing to Saudi Arabia. According to The Washington Post, many citizens fear the conflict will lead to a land invasion as other Middle-Eastern countries get involved. Many citizens have been wounded in the airstrikes, which has inspired many tweets. Many others have been tweeting about the lack of coverage the story has been getting in the media.

#BattleForNumberTenCameron, Miliband, Paxman and Tories were all trending in Ireland on Thursday night, as Jeremy Paxman grilled the Conservative British Prime Minister, David Cameron, and the opposition Labour leader, Ed Miliband. The show, which aired on SkyNews, was not a debate as the two leaders were questioned separately. The two men were questioned on the usual topics; cutbacks, taxes, the health service, and Ed Miliband tried to convey his tough side to the audience as he attempted to dismiss the view that he is a ‘North London geek’. This was the Prime Minister’s first live debate before the May election, although he recently refused to partake in other ones. It is surprising how many Irish viewers tuned into the English debate, it will be interesting to see if Irish debates trend before the 2016 election too.


Vincent Browne Rocks Meath #VinB

Of course not all of this weeks trends were focused on politics, not even those related to the nightly news show Tonight With Vincent Browne. As part of The People’s Debate series, Mr. Browne was in Meath on Wednesday night but it was not the lively debates that had the show trending, but rather a performance by Irish singer Dickie Rock. For those who are too young to know who he is, the 79-year-old was a popular show band singer in the 1960s. Dickie Rock also trended as viewers tweeted about the bizarre crossover between serious politics and romantic music.


Minus One Direction #RIP1D #AlwaysInOurHeartsZaynMalik

While Ireland’s over 50s enjoyed Dickie Rock serenading Vincent Browne, tweens and teens everywhere mourned the loss of One Direction’s Zayn Malik. To be clear the One Direction star did not pass away… nor did the world end. Despite the misleading reaction of his fans he simply left the boy band so that he could live life as a normal 22-year-old. Social media was quickly filled with drawings of the band crying, as well as videos of fans sobbing.


Guilty Verdict Brings Relief To The Entire Population #grahamdwyer

On Friday, after a long trial, Graham Dwyer was convicted of Elaine O’Hara’s murder and given a life sentence. The 46-year-old architect who was arrested back in October 2013 seemed to be surprised by the verdict, but Twitter users were not and they seem to be relieved that they can finally call him a murderer without the risk of being sued for defamation.

In one of Ireland’s most disturbing murder trials, Graham Dwyer’s extreme S&M fetishes were revealed in court and the jury found him unanimously guilty largely due to evidence retrieved through laptops and mobile phones. Unusually, even the judge agreed with the verdict in court. The O’Hara family have said that justice has been served and thanked the Gardaí for “its sensitive and exemplary investigation”.


Photo by: Paul Reynolds