Tag Archives: irish

Twitter as an election tool: How the main Irish Political Parties fared on Election Announcement Day – #GE2020

For those who don’t know me, I, @Beanmimo, have been running social media and twitter accounts for businesses in Ireland since 2012 (50+ campaigns).

The following is my analysis on how well the political parties engaged with social media via twitter on the day of the announcement of #GE2020 – January 14th.

There are several keys to a successful social media presence especially in the face of an election: My criteria are: frequency, focus, precision, consistency, and alignment.

The Twitter conversation is dynamic which means that political account messages need to be sharply focused, correct, strongly aligned with the current contexts and carefully tagged/labelled and connected with each party’s brand, values, and other aspects of their campaign.

Here is my rating of how the political parties have fared in those early stages of their election campaigns on January 14th in relation to their ‘original’ tweets (retweets not taken into account):

In first place are Sinn Fein, tweeted throughout the day with the best balance of Election tweets while also keeping the parties’ other activities front and centre. A fully rounded approach. 

Losing points for not having an original announcement text tweet besides their video and failing to add account tags (one) and links (all) for media slots Fianna Fail were the second most organised, well structured and on point throughout the day.

The Labour Party come in a close third, losing out mainly because of no video tweet.

Social Democrats land in fourth place as they hit all the main marks, a written launch post and a video launch – but lost out by not tweeting more frequently and having a typo in one of their tweets.

Fine Gael are in fifth place mainly due to the fact that they should have had a much more prepared and structured approach to the day.

With so much to gain The Green Party should have burst out of the gates but instead they were the last to announce via text tweet shortly followed by a video tweet. This puts them in sixth place. 

People Before Profit bring up the rear with only one election related ‘original’ tweet.

Original Tweets on 14th January

(Parties listed alphabetically – Video tweets dealt with separately below)

Declaration of 2020 Irish General Election 2 pm on the 14th January.

Fianna Fáil

@fiannafailparty 37.7K Followers

FF were the earliest party active on twitter.
7 am A tweet about Seán Fleming on RTE’s Morning Ireland.
9.54 am FF Leader Micheál Martin on Pat Kenny NewsTalk.
11.53 am FF shares information about General Election ticket in Cork North Central being completed.
Followed by a number of Election interview slots.
1.04 pm Lisa Chambers TD on RTE News At One.
4.16 pm Marc MacSharry TD on Ivan Yates NewsTalk.
5.40 pm Stephen Donnelly TD on RTE’s Drive Time.
9.20 pm Lisa Chambers TD on RTE PrimeTime.
10.33 pm Dara Calleary TD on Virgin Media One TV. 
(Points lost for no original Fianna Fail launch tweet besides video discussed below, RTE’s Morning Ireland account not tagged, no links to radio/tv station spots, not using #GE2020 in first few tweets of the day)

Fine Gael

@FineGael 38.5K Followers

1.41 pm Fine Gael chose not to post any actual ‘original’ content but instead shared their party leader – Taoiseach Leo Varadkar‘s tweets.
“The General Election will be held on Saturday February 8th. I hope the Saturday vote will cause less inconvenience to parents than a weekday, and will make it easier for students and people working away from home to vote. Next stop the Áras to see the President ! #LookForward”
Followed by three more retweets (shares) of the Taoiseach’s tweets.

The Green Party

@greenparty_ie 32K Followers

10.05 pm, The Green Party, arguably the party with the most to gain in this election, are the last to pitch in.

“On February 8th, Ireland will decide. Are we going into this decade as leaders or laggards in the fight to protect our planet? The choice is yours.

Vote to make this the #GreenDecade. #VoteGreen”

(Points lost for not using #GE2020 hashtag and for this being their first tweet of only two ‘original’ posts for the day)

The Labour Party

@labour 50.3K Followers

LP shared a Storm Brendan Howlin’ pun from the Sun newspaper followed by an 11.25 am tweet letting their followers know about an upcoming interview with their Dublin South candidate Kevin Humphreys
11.32 am Senator Ivana Bacik is LP Director of elections.
1.09 pm Senator Ivana Bacik to be on RTE News.

4.41 pm The official election kick off announcement.
“We’re kicking off our General Election campaign – we are ready to build an equal society. 🌹 #GE2020 #AnEqualSociety”
4.44 pm A quote from Leader Brendan Howlin TD’s launch press conference,
Later they let their followers know that LP Leader Brendan Howlin TD would be on RTE Prime Time (will be discussed below).
(Point lost for not taking the frivolous first post down)

People Before Profit

@pb4p 11.9K Followers

10.11 am Pb4P criticise to potential dates for the election.

1.22 pm Announcement their election campaign.
“On Saturday Feb 8th vote to break the cycle of Fine Gael and Fianna Fail.

From housing to health we need sensible left policies that work.

Vote for our future. Take it back from the landlord parties. On Feb 8th vote People Before Profit.

#ge20 #GE2020 #ireland”
(Points lost for not capitalising ‘Ireland’ and posting only one election-related ‘original’ tweet)

Sinn Féin

@sinnfeinireland 99.9K Followers

9.15 am, Declan Kearney welcoming the tackling of sectarianism, but their second 11.09 am was the announcement of Pearse Doherty TD as Director of elections.

11.27 SF start their twitter election campaign.
“#GE2020 is on!

Sinn Féin want to give workers & families a break, deliver for local communities & stand up for ordinary people

For the biggest public house-building programme in the history of the State, for solutions to the health crisis, for Irish Unity: Vótáil Sinn Féin #1🇮🇪”

They followed this with two SF committee appointees tweets and information about an upcoming radio appearance by Pearse Doherty TD.
1.33 pm Karen Mullan welcomes £45m education investment.
3.13 pm An election message “This is the first time there will be a General Election on a Saturday since 1918 We topped the poll that day, let’s do it again! Vótáil Sinn Féin #1 #GE2020”
4.34 pm An election message ‘Sinn Féin will give workers and families a break – @MaryLouMcDonald http://sinnfein.ie/contents/55737 #GE2020’
7.03 pm They tweeted about @PaulMaskeyMP calling for the release of Catalan political prisoners.
7.35 pm They informed us of Pearse Doherty’s upcoming appearance on RTE’s Prime Time.
They finished off the night with a tweet about John Finucane MP meeting US political leaders in Washington and from an Irish Diaspora event in London.

Social Democrats

@SocDems 17.5K Followers

1.13 pm, the SD’s preempt the 2 pm #GE2020 announcement, with the message
“#GE2020 is a chance for people to change the direction in w which Ireland is going.”
3.25 pm A tweet promoting Cian OCallaghan.

4.13 pm The official announcement their election on twitter.
“#GE2020 Don’t be stuck on the sidelines!

(Points deducted for not spotting or correcting the typo in their first tweet and lack of more frequent ‘original’ tweets)


14th January Video #GE2020 Election Day Announcement Tweets

7.30 pm FF leader Micheál Martin TD delivers a polished video broadcast.

Videos on the day retweets (shares) of Taoiseach Leo Varadkar’s tweets – ‘owning’ the party’s election campaign launch perhaps?
4.36 FG’s first video is a strategic clip from the earlier #GE2020 announcement which focuses mainly on the deal on Brexit and what needs to be done next to protect Ireland’s economy.
9.07 The Second FG video is The Taoiseach kicking off the campaign trail from earlier in the afternoon.

(FG have coined their own hashtag for the election #LookForward but lose points for only using the #GE2020 hashtag in one of the video tweets and not having any sort of structured strategy for the day)

10.38 pm Green Party Leader Eamon Ryan delivers a casual video broadcast.
(points lost for no text with video)

10.28 pm With no official video launch The Labour Party, instead, show a clip of Labour Leader Brendan Howlin TD clashing swords with Simon Coveney on RTE’s Prime Time.
(points lost for no official video launch)

no video

4.48 pm Leader of Sinn Fein, Mary Lou McDonald TD, gives a visceral opening video launch.
10.37 pm They posted a clip from Pearse Doherty TD’s performance on RTE’s Prime Time.

4.29 A retweet (share) of leader Roisin Shortall’s personable video announcement.

Twitter Shares of Announcement and Video Tweet (at time of blog posting).


No announcement tweet


Video 2






no video


Video 2



Thanks to Bill Gleeson for letting me know the exact timing of the announcement of the election. 

You can follow me @beanmimo on twitter. 



Irish Film Trivia Round 11

They were the first Filmmaking Father and Daughter to be nominated for an Oscar for the same film, which Irish family are we talking about?


Which Irish television series was mentioned in the movie Once as how one of the characters learned to speak English?


In 1961 President Eamon de Valera, who said in his speech: “Never before was there in the hands of men an instrument so powerful to influence the thoughts and actions of the multitude.” What was he talking about?


The daughter of which Irish front man appeared in This Must be the Place?


Which 2012 Irish made film begins with the lines “My story can never be told. I write it over and over, wherever we find shelter. I write of what I cannot speak: the truth. I write all I know of it, then I throw that pages to the wind. Maybe the birds can read it.”?

Guess The Film

He was part of a comedy duo, has appeared in a number of highly successful Irish television comedies and played it straight and tragic in Garage, who are we talking about?


Which Irish Actor was offered a role as the first Doctor Who (1962)


Which 2007 Irish television series was a spin-off from “Adam & Paul” (2004)?


Which Irish actor/writer/producer currently enjoying success and television and movies is quoted as saying “I’ve always been conscious of the fact that there aren’t enough Irish voices on British television compared to the amount of Irish people who live there.”

Guess The Film

For which British sketch show did Graham Linehan begin his comedy writing career?



(scroll down for answers)
















Jim and Kirsten Sheridan were the first filmmaking father and daughter to be nominated for Oscars the same film for In America.

Fair City was mentioned in Once.

Eamon De Valera spoke those word about the opening of RTE on New Year’s Eve of that year.

Eve Hewson, Bono’s daughter was in This Must Be the Place.

Saoirse Ronan speak these words at the beginning of Byzantium. 

Pat Shortt played it straight in Garage.

Cyril Cusack turned down the role as the First Doctor Who.

Prosperity was the television spin off of Adam & Paul (both written by Mark O’Halloran and both directed by Lenny Abrahamson).

Chris O’Dowd said those words about the Irish in the UK

Graham Linehan first wrote for Alas Smith and Jones.


Thanks you for reading!

If you enjoyed those here are more rounds…

Irish Film Trivia

Irish Film Trivia Round 2

Irish Film Trivia Round 3

Irish Film Trivia Round 4

Irish Film Trivia Round 5

Irish Film Trivia Round 6

Irish Film Trivia Round 7

Irish Film Trivia Round 8

Irish Film Trivia Round 9

Irish Film Trivia Round 10

Irish Film Trivia Round 10

Care of my monthly newsletters from MovieExtras.ie  test your random Irish Film Trivia here…

Which Irish writer born on February 2nd was the subject of a biopic in 2000 starring Ewan McGregor?


Which Irish Actor plays Jim Moriarty in the current BBC series Sherlock?


The character Mrs. Brown, famously portrayed by Brendan O’Carroll, has also been played by which actress?


Which 2003 Irish film is as follows… “A hapless civil servant gets more than he bargained for when he moves into an apartment with a gay fashion student and finds himself on the catwalk.”

Guess The Film

Which multi-award winning actor is quoted as saying “Interviews are God’s great joke on me.”?


Which Irish Actor had purchased the rights to Gerry Conlon’s book “Proved Innocent” and had intended to play Gerry himself but decided to let Daniel Day-Lewis play the part and just serve as executive producer instead?


My debut was in The Commitments, I have appeared in Father Ted, Dexter, The Tudors Albert Nobbs, Byzantium and more. Which Irish Actress am I?


Which 2014 movie release was shot in Ireland, Afghanistan and Morocco?

Guess The Film

The First and Second series of which recent BBC television show employed 5,000 Irish cast, extras and crew and contributed €20m in total to the Irish economy?


Which Irish actor has played Guy Fawkes, a German POW, a character with an interest in Lawrence of Arabia, Carl Jung and a mutant?


The Answers

James Joyce was played by Ewan McGregor

Andrew Scott played Moriarty

Angelica Houston also played the character of Mrs. Browne

Cowboys & Angels was the 2003 film

Daniel Day-Lewis has that attitude to interviews.

Gabriel Byrne was first going to play Gerry Conlon

Maria Doyle Kennedy (the Commitments etc.)

A Thousand Times Goodnight (shot in Afghanistan & Morocco).

Ripper Street contributed 20million to the irish Economy.

Michael Fassbender has played Guy Fawkes etc.

Thank you for reading!

If you enjoyed those here are more rounds…

Irish Film Trivia

Irish Film Trivia Round 2

Irish Film Trivia Round 3

Irish Film Trivia Round 4

Irish Film Trivia Round 5

Irish Film Trivia Round 6

Irish Film Trivia Round 7

Irish Film Trivia Round 8

Irish Film Trivia Round 9

History of the Rain by Niall Williams – Book Review

Bedridden bookworm, Ruth Swain, spins a story focused on the paternal genealogy of her family aided by the insights from the inhabitants of her rural Irish village and some famous literary characters.


I am not surprised that this book made the long list for the ManBooker 2014. Niall Williams has created a work which is both deeply insightful, emotionally rich, evoking universal themes through a parochial lens and above all it is so beautifully written that you could imagine that each sentence might have taken a week to sculpt.

While it is set in the present day the story has a classic edge and is told by the agoraphobic, ill-stricken and well-read narrator Ruth as she occupies her time in the attic of her family home trying to paint a literary picture of her father. To do this she explains, she must begin with her Great-Grand Father. We are treated to their rich history which she patches together by borrowing from voices of long dead authors.

Ruth’s narrative is full of lovely ironic humour which underlines the regret she feels her ancestors sensed about their own offspring.

Even though the story is set in post-economic-bust Ireland the style is classic in nature. It is a first person internal monologue from the self-confessed unreliable narration from Ruth. She admits very early on that she knows little about her ancestors but manages to bring them alive through the many references from literary authors, their characters and gossipy allusions from the ‘real’ people who live in her village of Faha. It is these devices which breathes life and grounds William’s novel and its main character.

Like a song the music of the sentences lures you in and like a river the winding story carries you to the end.

Her own character is an amalgam influence of the classic texts of Charles Dickens and Robert Louis Stevenson to which she alludes often. She is externally bitter at her confinement but her softly jumbled internal voice proves that lives can be lived and created through literature. Ruth Swain’s character exemplifies the differences between the way people think and the way we act.


This is a novel about seeking and revealing truths about the world, about families, about community, about isolation, the overcoming of obstacles, loss and about writing.

As well as all of the above “History of the Rain” is a novel that speaks directly to readers and writers about how stories are put together. The allusions to literary characters are treated in such a way that readers familiar with them will warm to their memories but Williams introduces them with a style that will not alienate those unfamiliar with the texts. This combined with the narrator’s comic use of the colloquialisms from her neighbours throughout the story makes the novel in some ways a subtle guide to writing.

He is proving the point that he makes in this sentence which arrives toward the end of the novel.

“Each book is the sum of all the others the writer has read”.

This is a wonderful sum.


Irish Film Trivia Round 9

Care of my monthly newsletters from MovieExtras.ie  test your random Irish Film Trivia here…

The Questions

Before working with her which Irish actor described Meryl Streep as “that gorgeous blonde I fancied terribly in Drama School.”


How many Irish filming locations were used during the shoot of The Tudors?


Born to an Irish mother and English father, she grew up in USA, Germany and Switzerland. She was named one of Screen Internationals Stars of Tomorrow in 2011, and was awarded the Berlinale Shooting Star award in 2012. Who is she?


In The Commitments one character mockingly sings the theme tune to another of director Alan Parker’s Films, which film is it?



Roddy Doyle has 9 writing credits on IMDB, how many are adaptations of his novels?


Which 2000 Irish film contains this line? “Eamon… women are like microwave ovens. You need them to heat up your noodles, but you have no idea how they work.”

Guess The Film

Who played Noel Curley in The General, Maguire in the Crying Game, and Peter in My Left Foot?


How many of director Alan Parker’s films have been set (and shot) in Ireland?


While doing research for what Irish movie did Michael McElhatton find that real prisoners often quoted one of his characters?


My first role was a soldier in Mystic Knights of Tir na Nog, since them I have appeared in Paths to Freedom, Ballykissangel, Batchelor’s Walk, Intermission, This Must be The Place, The Fall, Moone Boy etc. who am I?




Pierce Brosnan (he worked with Meryl Streep in Mammia Mia!)

The Tudors used 9 Irish Locations
Ardmore Studios, Herbert Road, Bray, County Wicklow, Ireland
Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, Christ Church Cathedral, Christchurch, Dublin, County Dublin, Ireland
Drimnagh Castle, Drimnagh, Dublin, County Dublin, Ireland
Dublin Castle, Dublin, County Dublin, Ireland
Dublin, County Dublin, Ireland
Kilmainham Jail, Dublin, County Dublin, Ireland
Kilruddery House, Bray, County Wicklow, Ireland
(season 4)
People’s Gardens, Phoenix Park, Dublin, County Dublin, Ireland
Powerscourt Estate, Enniskerry, County Wicklow, Ireland

Antonia Campbell-Hughes was the actor in question.

The theme tune mocked in the Committments was Fame

Rodday Doyle had adapted three of his books for the screen, The Commitments, The Snapper and the Van.

The quote was from The Most Fertile Man In Ireland

Adrian Dunbar played those parts in The General, The Crying Gane and My Left Foot.

2 of Alan Parker’s films were shot and based in Ireland The Commitments and Angela’s Ashes.

Michael McElhatton was researching for Spin The Bottle in an Irish Prison when he found out that inmates often quoted his lines. (The character was Rats who had first appeared in the RTE Series Paths To Freedom.)

Simon Delaney is the actor in question.

Thanks for reading,

If you enjoyed those here are a few more rounds…

Irish Film Trivia

Irish Film Trivia Round 2

Irish Film Trivia Round 3

Irish Film Trivia Round 4

Irish Film Trivia Round 5

Irish Film Trivia Round 6

Irish Film Trivia Round 7

Irish Film Trivia Round 8

Irish Film Trivia Round 10

Irish Film Trivia Round 8

Care of my monthly newsletters from MovieExtras.ie  test your random Irish Film Trivia here…

The Questions

Which production was shot in Dublin over 34 days in 2011 and starred a leading Hollywood actress who adapted it from a one ‘man’ show?

Which Irish filmed television series was the first small screen appearance for Eva Green?


What connection does the organ like instrument featured in This Must Be The Place have to David Byrne in reality?


Which outspoken Irish actor said this about Ardmore Studios “It’s proximity to Dublin, a myriad of diverse locations, facilities and first rate crews, make it Grade A. It’s track record over the years speaks for itself. Unhesitatingly, I would recommend it as a first class studio”?


Which 1978 Irish filmed movie starred Sean Connery, Donald Sutherland and Leslie-Ann Downe?


How did Director John Wright help actors Richard Coyle and Ruth Bradley prepare for the filming of ‘Grabbers’?


While Hurricane Hugo was causing extensive damage in Puerto Rico on 18th September 1989 what program did RTE air for the first time?


What is the Costume connection between Northanger Abbey and Becoming Jane?


Name the movie: shot in 2000, in Dublin, cast includes Kate Hudson & Tommy Tiernan?


Name the programme that Dermot Morgan and Pauline McGlynn worked  on before Father Ted?


The Answers

Albert Nobbs was filmed in Dublin (with Glenn Close).

Camelot was where Eva Green made her first screen appearance. 

It is based on an installation David Byrne created, where he hooked an organ to old pipes in a a factory allowing people to ‘play the building’.

Gabriel Byrne spoke those words about Ardmore.

The Great Train Robbery starred Sean Connery, Donald Sutherland and Leslie-Ann Downe.

He got them drunk and then filmed them so that they know how they would have to act drunk in “Grabbers”.

Fair City started on the same day Hurricane Hugo was raging.

The white overdress with pink and green stripes Carey Mulligan (Isabella Thorpe) is wearing when she first meets Catherine Morland in “Northanger Abbey” is the same costume worn by Jessica Ashworth’ (Lucy Lefroy) to the Laverton Fair in “Becoming Jane”.

Hudson & Tiernan appeared in “About Adam”

Morgan & McGlynn worked together on Scrap Saturday (radio)

Thanks for reading,

If you enjoyed those here are a few more rounds…

Irish Film Trivia

Irish Film Trivia Round 2

Irish Film Trivia Round 3

Irish Film Trivia Round 4

Irish Film Trivia Round 5

Irish Film Trivia Round 6

Irish Film Trivia Round 7

Irish Film Trivia Round 9

Irish Film Trivia Round 10

Irish Film Trivia Round 7

Care of my monthly newsletters from MovieExtras.ie  test your random Irish Film Trivia here…

The Questions

Eva Birthistle plays Cillian Murphy’s mother in “Breakfast On Pluto”, in reality how many years apart are they in age?


While contracted to play James Bond what specific wardrobe restrictions caused a bit of trouble for Pierce Brosnan’s role in “The Thomas Crown Affair”?


Which Irish Actor summed up acting quite simply as “Be the person I’m playing. That’s what acting is. You’re pretending to be someone else.”?

Guess The Film

Which Thaddeus O’Sullivan movie script was altered when he found out about a similar themed John Boorman production?


Which in which Irish film starring Brendan Gleeson did the director ask Calexico if would they write part of the score to sound like Ennio Morricone?


Which Irish Film did the late Roger Ebert describe as “ a very funny movie about the people packed into small houses on a small street in a tight little neighborhood in Ireland.”


How is the Irish made title “Nothing Personal” connected to the years 1995 and 2009?

Guess The Film

Which Irish made film started out when Martin Sheen was given a book at the celebration of what would have been his late Mother’s 100 Birthday?


Which Irish actor has played the following characters; Danny, Liam, Jason, Ray, Tim, Nicky, Billy and Burglar 1 etc.?

Guess The Film

Which Lenny Abrahamson film made the 2013 European Film Award’s Film Selection long list?


The Answers

While she played his mother in “Breakfast On Pluto” Eva Birthistle is only 2 years older than Cillian Murphy.

The Bond contract forbade him to wear a tuxedo in any other films.

Saoirse Ronan spoke those words about acting.

“Ordinary Decent Criminal” (O’Sullivan’s film was going to be directly about Martin Cahill until they found out about Boorman’s “The General”)

“The Guard” had music written by Calexico made to sound like Ennio Morricone.

The Snapper was described thus by Roger Ebert.

Two different films of the same name “Nothing Personal” made in Ireland in those two years.

“Stella Days” was the film eventually made with Martin Sheen.

Robert Sheehan played all of those characters. 

“What Richard Did” made the 2013 European Awards Selection Long List.

Thanks for reading, if you enjoyed those here are a few more rounds…

Irish Film Trivia

Irish Film Trivia Round 2

Irish Film Trivia Round 3

Irish Film Trivia Round 4

Irish Film Trivia Round 5

Irish Film Trivia Round 6

Irish Film Trivia Round 8

Irish Film Trivia Round 9

Irish Film Trivia Round 10