Sinn Féin TD Gerry Adams has the most followers on his Twitter handle (circa 30,800), Independent TD Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan appears to send the most tweets, Fine Gael has a 100pc take-up on Twitter, while Thursday evening (between 9pm-10pm) seems to be the most popular time for Ireland’s politicians to engage with the Twittersphere – possibly while congregating in the Dáil bar in Rialtas na hÉireann, Dublin 2, for some light refreshments.
This could be after a day’s meandering journey, announcing new jobs, welcoming multinationals to Ireland, or debating about new bills that are being brought to the Senate.
Eamonn Bell is the individual behind the following infographic. Using the Twitter handle @_eamonnbell, Bell, a music and maths graduate from Trinity College Dublin (TCD), who is about to start a PhD at Columbia University in New York City, released his findings about Ireland’s TDs on 30 July.
Bell says he was not paid, or supported, by any Irish political party during his Twitter research carried out between January and July.
What’s the story?
So, here’s a flavour of what Bell has uncovered about how Irish TDs are embracing, or indeed, shying away from the digital age and microblogging …
- 88pc of all TDs has opened a Twitter account.
- 146 TDs have a Twitter account.
- 100pc of Fine Gael TDs has joined Twitter.
- Sinn Féin would appear to have the lowest Twitter take-up at 63pc, although – interestingly – Gerry Adams seems to have the most followers of all the TDs with Twitter handles.
- 32pc of all tweets by TDs are retweets.
- Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan appears to be an avid Twitter user, seemingly sending out around 2,299 tweets in a sample period.
- EU2013.ie was one of the most popular hashtags in the past seven months.
- Thursday night is when the Twittersphere is most hopping with tweets from the TDs. Perhaps this is an evening when TDs like to mingle in the Dáil bar for, perhaps, a bottle of Club Orange or a glass of Coca-Cola (or maybe something a wee bit stronger) and a packet of Tayto to go over the finer details of the week in politics.
So, we will let you check out what Bell has uncovered here: