Blog Post

Twitter and Droichead

There was a lot of talk about Droichead on social media over the last couple of months and I thought it might be interesting to analyse the data. I searched the hashtag #droichead to see if there were any patterns on Twitter. To be honest, the strangest thing for me was that the hashtag wasn’t used as much as I thought it would. However, it still gave a good yardstick to the attitudes of teachers towards Droichead before, during and after the ballot.

The key dates I was looking at were tweets the week before the ballot, during the ballot, after the ballot and since July 1st when the directive of non-cooperation came into place.


It was interesting to note that the Teaching Council (including the NIPT) promoted Droichead during the balloting 16 times using the hashtag #droichead but outside of these times, they never used the hashtag.

If one looks at the other tweets with the same hashtag during the ballot, there were 15 from Voice for Teachers and 25 tweets from others (including one from me).


All Teaching Council / NIPT tweets were positive towards Droichead as you would expect and the tweets from Voice for Teachers were negative, also as you would expect. Tweets from the others were varied but almost half were negative.


It was also interesting to see how many tweets were published during the ballot each day. I’m not sure if there’s much to analyse from this data but others might see some sort of interesting patterns. There was a lot more action at the beginning of the ballot, a lull for a few days in the middle and then a petering out towards the end.



I also searched for the keyword Droichead to see if there was anything remotely interesting.

The Teaching Council mentioned Droichead from January 2016 to before the ballot 21 times (over 5 months.) On May 9th, they tweeted about Droichead 5 times, the day the ballot opened. From the 10th May to the end of the ballot, there were 10 tweets from their account. Since the 2nd June, the Teaching Council has not mentioned Droichead on the Twitter account. One comparison that stood out to me was during the ballot, Droichead was tweeted 15 times in 23 days and the 15 tweets before the ballot took place over 79 days.


Since the directive on July 1st, there has been one tweet about Droichead, which was a response to an INTO tweet from Gerard Reilly, warning them not the fudge on the issue.

It is interesting that there has been no other tweets mentioning Droichead since the directive and everything has gone very quiet. Perhaps no one wants to bring it up again or perhaps there are plots going on in the background from the higher echelons of the INTO and the Teaching Council as to how to rise it again from the overwhelming and embarrassing defeat.




Comments (2)

  1. Pat Gately 9th July 2016 at 10:33 pm Reply

    Simon, I’d say that you were looking for conspiracy theories unnecessarily, except you are probably not far from the truth. Droichead will rise like a Phoenix from the ashes, be vigilant. Just like you I always saw lots of merit in the basic premis of us being our own gatekeepers ( but not exclusively), but the stunts that were pulled to try to force us along a path that we were never properly consulted upon and then expected to take on for nothing made sure I was strongly against it.

    1. admin 9th July 2016 at 11:24 pm Reply

      Hi Pat, thanks for the comment. I think you’re right about my search and, ultimately, I don’t think there’s much in the data to suggest anything very sinister. It took me a good while to go through the data so didn’t want it to go to waste! However, I do feel the Teaching Council’s use of social media during the ballot wasn’t cool. I think we’re both on the same page re: Droichead so hopefully when it does rear its head again, the TC might consult with the naysayers rather than the people who just tell them what they want to hear.

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