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Dublin: 10 °C Friday 28 November, 2014

When politicians let loose on Twitter: top 5 political posts

As new research suggests that 40% of TDs are now on Twitter, TheJournal.ie looks at how some politicians have been using the site.

Image: Twitter

NEW RESEARCH FROM Murray Consultants suggests that 40% of TDs are now on Twitter.

But how has Twitter been working out in the hands of elected representatives?

Schwarzenegger v Palin

In September, the Governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger published a photo of himself flying over Alaska on Twitpic with a caption referencing Sarah Palin’s comments that she could see Russia from that state:

Over Anchorage, AK. Looking everywhere but can’t see Russia from here. Will keep you updated as search continues.

Palin’s response had a little less zing:

Arnold should have landed; I could have explained our multi-billion dollar state surplus & US energy security efforts. What’s he been up to?

Paul Gogarty and “Gutless Gilmore”

Last week, Green Party TD Paul Gogarty let loose on Twitter with a tirade against Labour leader Eamon Gilmore… and a number of people who reacted to his comments.

One of the less profane tweets read:

Doing the right thing ain’t easy, unlike Gutless Gilmore. It’s not about the election – it’s about the next generation stupid!

The election candidate

In April, a Labour Party candidate in Scotland apologised for a spate of negative Twitter posts about a range of celebrities and politicians, which were allegedly posted before he decided to run for office.

Stuart MacLennan, whose account has since been closed, was reported by the Scottish Sunto have made insulting remarks about David Cameron, Nick Clegg, and Labour MP Diane Abbot, among others.

He was subsequently dropped by the Labour Party as a candidate.

Dan Boyle pushes O’Dea

The day before Defence Minister Willie O’Dea resigned from his post on 18 February 2010, the Dáil passed a motion of confidence in O’Dea.

That same day, despite the motion, Green Party chairman Senator Dan Boyle said he wasn’t happy with how the situation had been handled, and let his feelings be known by posting:

As regards to Minister O’Dea I don’t have confidence in him. His situation is compromised. Probably be a few chapters in this story yet.

Is it still Simon Coveney’s fault?

Responding to the Taoiseach’s interview on Morning Ireland during the Fianna Fáil parliamentary party think-in, Fine Gael TD Simon Coveney wrote on Twitter:

God, what an uninspiring interview by Taoiseach this morning. He sounded half way between drunk and hungover and totally disinterested…

The message was one of the first in a spiralling story that let to a glut of international coverage, a Jay Leno skit, a possible bond market spike, and apologies from Cowen for not giving a better performance live on air.

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