Trump, Bowie and the Euros top the list of Ireland’s most Googled

Search engine reveals most popular topics among its Irish users in 2016

What is a hung Dail? How do I register to vote? What is a Pokemon? And how on earth do I catch one?

These were some of the queries Irish people typed most frequently into Google in 2016, according to the internet search giant, which has released its annual list of trending topics.

Donald Trump, Brexit and the Irish general election all figured prominently in this year's lists, but the single most searched-for subject was this summer's Euro 2016 football championships, which beat Pokemon, Trump and the late David Bowie to the top spot.

Somewhat surprisingly, the most Googled male celebrity in Ireland in 2016 was Steven Avery, the Wisconsin man whose disputed murder conviction was the subject of Netflix's popular documentary series Making a Murderer. Avery topped an eclectic list that included Bruce Springsteen and Rowan Atkinson.


Less surprisingly, Hillary Clinton was the most Googled woman in a list that included Prince Harry's girlfriend Meghan Markle and Olympic-turned-pro boxer Katie Taylor.

Dramatic arrest

Apart from the Euros, other sports stories ranking highly included UFC fighter Conor McGregor and the Ireland versus New Zealand rugby match. While the Olympics were a popular search term, so too was OCI chief Pat Hickey, who figured in his own right as one of the most searched-for news events of the year following his dramatic arrest in Rio.

In a year which saw an unusually high number of celebrity deaths, David Bowie, who died in January, topped Google’s Irish list of “Losses”. Another musical superstar, Prince, who collapsed and died of a drug overdose at his Paisley Park home in April, was second.

Munster rugby legend Anthony Foley and broadcaster Terry Wogan were the only Irish names in that top 10, which also included actors Alan Rickman and Gene Wilder, boxing great Muhammad Ali and singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen.

Political dramas

Despite the general election at home, Irish Googlers were more focused on the political dramas underway abroad, with more searches for the main protagonists in the US presidential contest and the post-Brexit turmoil in the UK than for Irish political figures.

Nobody in the current Government made the political top 10 at all, although two former party leaders – Labour's Joan Burton and Renua's Lucinda Creighton – were on the list, along with Sinn Féin's Gerry Adams.

An invaluable insight into what questions are troubling the nation in 2016 is provided by the list of queries beginning with the words “What is . . . ”.

The queries included “What is my Eircode?”, “What is COYBIG?” and “What is a Bae?”

If you don’t know the answer to any of these, well, you know what to do . . .

Hugh Linehan

Hugh Linehan

Hugh Linehan is an Irish Times writer and Duty Editor. He also presents the weekly Inside Politics podcast