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Christchurch shooting was most important story in March 2019

4 minute read

Finian Murphy, Marketing Director

by Finian Murphy, Marketing Director


When we asked 1,000 people about the news stories of March, the Core Cultural Index found that this tragic event not only had the highest awareness (92% of adults were aware), but also had the highest importance score, with 83% saying the story was important or very important to them.

Terror events often score very high in the Index, and as the world looked on, New Zealand unified across their diverse communities to address the grief and horror of the event.

Core Cultural Index
January 2019

Click on a dot to reveal the stories score.


Climate Strike

Another story with high awareness (with 74% of adults) was how Irish students went on strike over climate change. Two-thirds of Irish adults said this was important or very important.

This story demonstrates how climate change is important to young adults, and how their frustration has been noticed by the wider population. As students take part in this global movement, brands and corporations will have to respond to the attitudes and demands of this next generation of customers.

Laura Brennan

In March, HPV vaccine campaigner Laura Brennan passed away aged 26. Four in five adults said this story resonated with them greatly. Laura Brennan’s commitment to campaigning increased HPV vaccination rates in Ireland, and the general public are clearly very grateful to her.

Important Stories

Another important story was how a million people marched on London to demand a people’s vote. Brexit has consistently been in our Cultural Index, however the level of importance has peaked this month with 70% saying this event is important to them.

Two other tragic stories also had the same level of importance for Irish people – the hotel crush in Tyrone and how an Irish aid worker died in an Ethiopian Airlines crash.

Trivial News

While 77% of people were aware that Conor McGregor had been arrested again in the US, only 12% said this was important to them – indicating that his habitual behaviour is becoming less relevant to Irish people.

Over half the population had heard about how Copper Face Jacks is up for sale, and one in ten people felt this was an important story. After three months of dancing, two in five people were aware that Mairéad Ronan won Dancing with the Stars.

Finally, two TV comedies which resonated with people in March were Alan Partridge and Derry Girls. The majority of the population (69%) were aware of Derry Girls returning to our screens, while 39% of people were laughing at Alan Partridge singing Come Out Ye Black and Tans on the BBC.

March Comedy

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