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Darkness Into Light is now a key cultural moment

4 min read

Finian Murphy, Marketing Director

by Finian Murphy, Marketing Director


According to Core’s Cultural Index, the local and European elections, alongside the divorce referendum was the most engaged with story of May 2019. While turnout was only 50%, 91% of all adults were aware of the political campaigning and voting. Of those aware, 71% said it was important or very important to them, leading to this political event scoring an Index of 69.5.

The second most engaging story in May was Pieta House’s Darkness into Light event, when over 200,000 people walked to support those who have been bereaved by suicide. The event aims to “create a world where suicide, self-harm and stigma are replaced by hope, self-care and acceptance.” 83% of people were aware of the event taking place, and scored it high on importance in their life. This annual event, which now takes place in multiple locations worldwide, is now a key cultural moment in Irish life.

Crime in top spots

Sadly, murders held the third and fourth stories of May 2019, with 85% of people aware of the three men shot in Dublin related to criminal gangs, and 77% of people aware of the continuing trial in relation to the murder of Ana Kriegel. Both stories have shocked Irish people and had significant news coverage.

Trump was not important to us.

The last story in the top five stories of May 2019, was the resignation of Theresa May. After 1,000 days in office, with failed Brexit negotiations, the UK Prime Minister announced her exit. 89% of Irish people were aware, but unlike the other top stories, just under half of people (49%) said it was important to them.

One of Theresa May’s last appointments was to host US President Donald Trump. In between trips to visit the Queen and Europe, Trump stayed in Doonbeg in Ireland. When he announced his intention to visit, only 28% of Irish people said it was important to them. While nearly every Irish person (94%) was aware of Trump’s visit, he had one of the lowest importance scores, with the majority of people not caring about his visit. 58% of people were aware of another US story, Alabama’s amended abortion laws, and of those, one in two said this story was important to them.

Silly Season begins

The Summer season traditionally provides plenty of trivial news stories and events, and it began early in May. While political journalists and commentators spent hours talking about Maria Bailey TD falling off a Dublin hotel swing, not everyone was aware of the story, particularly younger voters. More people were aware about the Spice Girls in Dublin (85%) and the final episode of Game of Thrones (78%) than they were aware of the swinging TD (68%). Similarly, possibly fortunate for the Minister of Housing, more people (particularly younger renters) were aware of Love Island returning than they were about the Minister claiming co-living was an exciting opportunity.


The full analysis of the Cultural Index for May and all news stories since 2015 is available now.

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