Irish politicians have been lukewarm about Twitter over the past few years, having periods of high activity before going completely off the radar. This is still the case of Ireland’s president Michael Higgins. On the other hand, 2014 proved to be an absolute turning point for Prime Minister Enda Kenny, who completely changed the communication tone and strategy of his Twitter account, by starting to tweet personally in October 2014. Charlie Flanagan, Ireland’s Minister of Foreign Affairs is also active on Twitter. Apart from these personal accounts, the Irish government @MerrionStreet and the Foreign Ministry @dfatirl have very interactive accounts and use Twitter as a mass communication tool to disseminate news about Ireland.

Tweets from Ireland leaders

President of Ireland Michael D Higgins

Irish President Michael Higgins has not been active on Twitter since the day before he was elected as President in November 2011, despite having over 20,000 followers. From January 2010 until October 2011 Michael Higgins’ Twitter account was active on a daily basis. During the last three weeks of the campaign until the day of voting in November 2011, his Twitter account was updated on average 28 times a day. From October onwards his campaign team consistently used the hashtag #aras11. His account was also very conversational with his audience as over a quarter of his tweets are @replies. Michael Higgins also used his Twitter account to make his campaign more visible tweeting snapshots of his campaign bus, campaign posters as well as images of him meeting with supporters. His last tweet from 11 November 2011 is a thank you to his followers: “President Michael d Higgins, thank you all #pres9.” The Irish president unilaterally follows the Taoiseach @EndaKennyTD, the @WhiteHouse and @Number10Gov but they don’t follow him back.

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Michael D Higgins


President of Ireland

Peer connections (as of April 2015)

Tweet analytics (as of April 2015)

Joined Twitter: 01/12/2010
Language: English
Status: Dormant since 11.11.2011
Tweets/day: 0.78
Retweets: 20%
Mentions/Tweet: 0.54
Replies/Tweet: 0.28
Tweets retweeted: 37%
Most mentioned @md_higgins (65), @SpunOut (9), @LaineyHughes (9), @carldevlinwhyte (9), @MaybeRory (7), @poshknacker (7), @kencurtin (7), @plantingtheoar (5), @Sharon_Corr (5), @sawdoctors (5).
Average of retweets 5

First tweet

Prime Minister of Ireland Enda Kenny

The Irish Taoiseach’s (Prime Minister’s) started off with a very active account in 2011 during the general election, going quiet on the 8 July 2011 and remaining completely silent until 19 October 2014. This meant a fresh start for Enda Kenny’s account as all the old tweets were deleted. His first tweet in this new phase was “Twitter it’s been a while… but it’s time to talk about the #littlethings”, which also remains his most popular tweet. Enda’s tweets are mainly related to world politics and economics, with a particular focus on the development of the Irish economy, the entry of foreign companies into Ireland and the subsequent creation of jobs. The hashtag #allaboutjobs is continuously used. The importance of the relationship between The USA and Ireland is also very present, especially during St. Patricks Day with the Taoiseach posting the photo where he offers Barack Obama a bowl of shamrock. Most of the tweets include photos or videos of Enda engaging in public events, venue openings and work trips. He occasionally tweets in the native Irish language. There is a strong attempt to bond with his followers and peers by tweeting about his personal life and interests, as can be seen in tweets like this one “No better way to clear your head than an old spin on the bike”. Enda Kenny uses his Twitter account to support causes which are either related to politics, such as the French terrorist attacks using hashtag #JeSuisCharlie or the more recent attacks on the students in Kenya tweeted on the 9 April 2015. He also tweets about health related issues such as Autism, using the hashtag #WorldAutismAwarenessDay and about Mental Health Organisation using hashtag #littlethings. Enda Kenny’s Twitter comeback is all about Enda Kenny as an individual not just as a politician, this account acts almost like a blog about his daily life. It is a verified account and its header picture shows the Loop Head Lighthouse in county Mayo in Ireland, where Enda is originally from.

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Enda Kenny


Taoiseach, Leader of @FineGael, husband and father.

Tweet analytics (as of April 2015)

Joined Twitter: 04/21/2010
Language: English
Status: Dormant since 08.07.2011
Tweets/day: 0.75
Retweets: 25%
Mentions/Tweet: 0.51
Tweets retweeted: 75%
Most mentioned @nyse (2), @business (2), @yfg (2), @NASDAQ (2), @IrishRugby (2), @WebSummitHQ (2), @facebook (2), @KatieTaylor (1), @AVIVAStadium (1), @ComhairleNaNog1 (1).
Average of retweets 37

Government of Ireland

@Merrionstreet is the official Twitter account of the Irish government named after the location of the government buildings on the south side of Dublin. The account tweets on average six times per day, frequently sharing videos and pictures of the government’s activities. The account rarely retweets or @replies and occasionally mentions other Twitter users including the @BritishMonarchy during Queen Elizabeth’s II first official state visit to the Republic of Ireland in May 2011 which is also one of its most popular tweets. The most used hashtag is #allaboutjobs (as Enda Kenny) and the most retweeted user is @NESCIreland, the National Economic and Social Council (NESC) which advises the Taoiseach (Prime Minister) on strategic policy issues relating to sustainable economic, social and environmental development in Ireland.

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@merrionstreet - Irish Government News Service is a service provided from Government Buildings in Dublin. RT's not an endorsement.

Tweet analytics (as of April 2015)

Joined Twitter: 05/25/2010
Language: English
Status: Active
Tweets/day: 6.74
Retweets: 20%
Mentions/Tweet: 0.27
Replies/Tweet: 0.04
Tweets retweeted: 64%
Most mentioned @RichardbrutonTD (60), @Paschald (46), @CharlieFlanagan (42), @SimonHarrisTD (36), @EndaKennyTD (22), @Entirl (22), @SBCIreland (21), @geraldnash (20), @JanOSullivanTD (18), @FitzgeraldFrncs (17).
Average of retweets 4

First tweet

Foreign Minister of Ireland Charlie Flanagan

The Twitter account of Charlie Flanagan, Ireland’s foreign minister was created on 4 November 2009 but he only started to become active in early 2011. @CharlieFlanagan tweets on average five times per day, a third of which are retweets mainly of the Foreign Ministry @dfatirl and his own party @FineGael. Flanaghan often tweets personal observations and policy statements. @CharlieFlanagan is not yet well connected to his peers, mutually following only two other foreign ministers, namely @PHammondMP, and @eu_eeas.The most popular hashtag used by Charlie Flanagan is #senead, referring to the Senate of Ireland. Curiously, most of his tweets are sent from an Iphone or Ipad, which suggests that he is tweeting himself on the go.

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Charlie Flanagan


Minister for Foreign Affairs & Trade. Dail Deputy for Laois/Sth Kildare

Tweet analytics (as of April 2015)

Joined Twitter: 11/04/2009
Language: English
Status: Active
Tweets/day: 5.25
Retweets: 39%
Mentions/Tweet: 0.46
Replies/Tweet: 0.30
Tweets retweeted: 29%
Most mentioned @electionlit (46), @noelwhelan (30), @LFSR2 (25), @EamonDelaney10 (24), @IrishTimes (23), @thejournal_ie (20), @dfarrell_ucd (19), @Karlbroph (19), @ronanlupton (17), @coylesme (16).
Average of retweets 4

First tweet

Foreign Ministry of Ireland IrishForeignMinistry

The Twitter account of the Irish Foreign Ministry acts as a platform to share valuable social and political information about what is happening in Ireland and around the world relative to Ireland. It represents therefore an important information tool for the Irish diaspora. Almost half of its tweets are retweets mainly from @Irish_Aid, and its embassy @IrelandEmbGB and ambassador to London @DanMulhall. The account maintains a useful Twitter list of its 52 ambassadors, embassies and consulates on Twitter. @dfatirl is well connected with their peers, mutually connected with 23 other foreign ministries.

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\\News from the Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade, Ireland// Twitter Policy:

Tweet analytics (as of April 2015)

Joined Twitter: 08/29/2011
Language: English
Status: Active
Tweets/day: 8.53
Retweets: 44%
Mentions/Tweet: 0.59
Replies/Tweet: 0.07
Tweets retweeted: 47%
Most mentioned @CharlieFlanagan (438), @seansherlocktd (89), @EamonGilmore (86), @PassportIRL (71), @Irish_Aid (65), @JimmyDeenihanTD (64), @JoeCostelloTD (40), @Paschald (25), @Entirl (22), @officialgaa (14).
Average of retweets 7

First tweet