PR's of the week
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PR's of the Week 13/01/23

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Coverage examples: Every week we take a look at the stories sent through MediaHQ’s press release distribution tool and post the best covered ones in a weekly blog. For this week, the European Commission,National Lottery, Murrays Consultants and Trinity College Dublin made it to the top of our list.

1) European Commission

Title: State aid: European Commission approves €2.8 million Irish scheme to support the fishery sector in the context of Brexit

Author: Peter Petrov

Email delivery rate: 100%

Time of release: 11:28 on the 6th of January 2023

The European Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, a €2.8 million Irish scheme to support the fishery sector affected by effects of the withdrawal of the UK from the EU.

The aim of the scheme is to compensate owners of fishing capacity for voluntarily returning their off-register capacity (i.e. capacity held in the owner’s account but not assigned to a vessel). The scheme will run until 31 December 2023.

Under the scheme, the aid will be granted to Irish-registered capacity owners holding off-registered capacity in the form of direct grants to compensate them for returning their off-register capacity to the Irish Sea Fisheries Board. The aid amount will be calculated on the basis of the market value of the off-register capacity returned. Under the scheme, the returned off-register capacity will be permanently withdrawn.

The measure is planned to be financed under the Brexit Adjustment Reserve, established to mitigate the economic and social impact of Brexit, subject to approval under the specific provisions governing funding from that instrument.

The Commission assessed the scheme under Article 107(3)(c) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, which allows Member States to support the development of certain economic activities or regions under certain conditions, and under the Guidelines for the examination of State aid to the fishery and aquaculture sector. The Commission found that the scheme facilitates the development of an economic activity and does not adversely affect trading conditions to an extent contrary to the common interest. On this basis, the Commission approved the Irish measure under EU State aid rules.

The non-confidential version of the decision will be made available under the case number SA.103256 in the State aid register on the Commission's competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved.

Press contacts:

Daniel Ferrie – Tel.: +32 2 298 65 00

2) National Lottery

Title: Dublin Daily Million player becomes 2nd National Lottery millionaire of 2023!

Author: Sarah Ruane

Email delivery rate: 98%

Time of release: 16:19 on the 9th of January 2023

Coverage examples: 

Media Release

9th January 2023

Dublin Daily Million player becomes 2nd National Lottery millionaire of 2023! 

“Happy Days” for Dundrum player who claimed €100,000 prize from Millionaire Raffle draw


Daily Million players are being urged to check their tickets carefully after a player in Dublin won the top prize of €1 million in Sunday’s 2pm draw. The National Lottery will reveal details of the winning store location tomorrow, Tuesday 10th of January.

The Daily Million winner has officially taken the title of 2nd National Lottery millionaire of the new year.

The winning numbers in Sunday’s (8th January) Daily Million 2pm draw were:  17, 20, 21, 23 32, 36 and the bonus was 12.

The Dublin winner is advised to sign the back of their ticket, which is now worth €1 million, and keep it in a safe place. The winner should contact the National Lottery prize claims team on 1800 666 222 or email and arrangements will be made for them to claim their prize.

A National Lottery spokesperson said: “A Daily Million player in Dublin is kicking off the new year in style after becoming Ireland’s latest National Lottery millionaire following Sunday’s 2pm draw. We are encouraging all of our Daily Million players in Dublin to check their tickets carefully and the winner is advised to sign the back of their ticket and to make contact with our prize claims team so that arrangements can be made for them to claim their life-changing prize.”

Daily Million draws take place twice a day, seven days a week at 2pm and 9pm and costs just €1 per play.

Meanwhile, a player from Dublin who scooped €100,000 in the Millionaire Raffle draw on December 31st, claimed their prize at National Lottery HQ this afternoon.

The player, who wishes to remain private, threw both hands in the air and bellowed, “Happy Days”, as they were presented with their cheque.

“My brother actually bought the ticket for me as a present. I bet he’s wishing he held on to it now! I got my daughter to ring up the National Lottery claims team to find out how much I’d won, and I thought she was messing with me when she said it was €100k, I just couldn’t believe it! Here I was walking around with the ticket in my pocket for days not bothering to check it and then, just like that, overnight its worth €100k”, she said.

“I wrapped it up, placed it in a box and stored it away, but I made sure to take a picture of where I hid it and send it to my daughter, as I’ve lost things before doing that!” she added.

The Dublin player revealed how they hope to spend their winnings: “The family are telling me I should go on holidays or buy a new car, but I’m actually just hoping to buy a new worktop and cooker for the kitchen. If I get that sorted I’ll be happy”, she said.

The winning ticket was purchased at Daybreak store on Main Street in Dundrum, Co Dublin.

Also, claiming as substantial amount at National Lottery HQ today was a family syndicate from Ballyshannon in Co. Donegal. The syndicate of eleven won €50,000 in the EuroMillions Ireland Only Raffle, ’12 Draws of Christmas’, promotion on Tuesday 22nd of November.

The winning ticket was purchased in Centra service station on Assaroe Road, Ballyshannon, Co.Donegal.

Nearly 30 cent in every €1 spent on all National Lottery games goes back to Good Causes in the areas of sport, youth, health, welfare, education, arts, heritage, and the Irish Language. In total more than €6 Billion has been raised for Good Causes since the National Lottery was established 35 years ago. In 2021 alone, €304 million was raised for local Good Causes in communities across Ireland.   

Play National Lottery games responsibly, play for fun.    


For more information:

Sarah Ruane 

National Lottery Press Office  

P: 086 739 6656  


3) Murrays Consultants 

Title: PRESS RELEASE: Irish food and drink exports reach record high of €16.7 billion despite challenging year

Author: Joanne O’Sullivan

Email delivery rate: 97%

Time of release: 06:01 on the 11th of January 2023

Coverage examples: 

Photography will be syndicated later today

Irish food and drink exports reach record high of €16.7 billion despite challenging year

Value and volume growth boost exports by 22% in 2022

Wednesday 11th January 2023: The publication today of Bord Bia’s Export Performance and Prospects report 2022/23 by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue, TD reveals the value of Ireland’s food, drink and horticulture exports increased by 22% last year to reach a new record high of €16.7 billion. 

The significant increase in food and drink exports, up €3 billion since last year and almost 30% on pre-pandemic levels (€13 billion in 2019), can be attributed to both increasing unit prices, due to inflation and rising input and operational costs, and an increase in the volume of goods exported. The volume of exports for sectors such as Irish beef and dairy increased in 2022; while prepared consumer foods (PCF) and drinks achieved new milestones in the value of their respective exports. Value added meat and seafood exports, captured under PCF, reached over €1 billion in 2022. This represented an increase of 30% compared with the previous year, with exports surpassing pre Covid-19 levels by 23%.  Within meat, this subcategory represents a vitally important outlet for traditionally lower value cuts. 

Speaking at the launch of the report, the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue, TD, welcomed the sector’s impressive results in the face of significant global challenges. “I’m proud to announce today’s excellent results, which were delivered amid a profoundly challenging year for the sector, most notably the impact of the war in Ukraine, inflationary pressures on producers, and ongoing Covid-19 disruptions to the global supply chain. Against the backdrop of this difficult global trading environment, Ireland has continued to maintain its reputation as a world-class sustainable food producer and supplier, while also successfully securing new business in new markets around the world. I would like to congratulate the companies, farmers, fishers, and producers who have contributed to this performance, which would not have been possible without the strategic support that Bord Bia provides to the sector.” 

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, estimates that total Irish agri-food exports, including non-edible products not included within Bord Bia’s report, to have been worth €18.7 billion in 2022, representing a 21% year-on-year increase.  

Bord Bia Chief Executive Jim O’Toole echoed the Minister’s sentiments and said the industry’s performance in the face of such challenging market conditions has been highly commendable. 

“In my first Export Performance and Prospects Report as CEO of Bord Bia, I’m delighted to welcome the highest ever value of exports by the Irish food, drink and horticulture sector. Following two years of profound disruption, 2022 brought a new range of cost and sourcing challenges, making this year’s export performance even more impressive. Today’s results are testament to the resilience of one of Ireland’s most important export industries.” 

Looking ahead, Mr O’Toole said that the industry needs to be responsive to a range of oncoming challenges in 2023, as the challenging trading conditions of this year will endure and evolve. 

“As 2023 is predicted to be another disruptive year of economic difficulty and challenging supply chains, Bord Bia will continue to be agile and responsive to client and sector needs in what is likely to be a period of ongoing volatility. For Irish food and drink exporters, it will be increasingly important to be aware of how consumers respond to the current cost of living crisis and to position their products accordingly.”


2022 Export Performance - Sectoral Highlights  

Irish dairy exports were valued at €6.8 billion last year, a year-on-year value increase of 33% or €1.7 billion, driven mainly by Irish butter (up 26% in value) and cheese (up 25% in value). Dairy remains the largest element within Irish food and drink exports, with over 1.7 million tonnes of product shipped to over 130 markets worldwide. 


This was followed by the meat and livestock sector, with exports valued at over €4 billion representing a 15% value increase (+€520 million) compared to 2021. Although product prices increased across all meat species, this robust performance also reflects increases in output levels and average prices within the beef and sheepmeat sectors. Irish beef exports were the largest contributor to the meat sector, valued at €2.5 billion, an increase of €384 million or 18% on 2021 levels. The value of Irish livestock exports grew by 8% in 2022 to reach an estimated €230 million. There were approximately 285,000 head of live cattle exported, which represented a 15% year-on-year increase.


In 2022, prepared consumer food (PCF) export values exceeded €3 billion, in a performance that was largely driven by the reopening of foodservice as Covid-19 restrictions lifted in early 2022 across key markets. Inflation played a significant role in this value increase, which was up 17% compared to 2021 levels, as volatility in input costs and rising energy prices curtailed new growth opportunities in the UK and European markets. 


Meanwhile, Irish drink exports reached almost €2 billion (+22% year-on-year) for the first time, a 25% value increase on pre-pandemic (2019) levels, which reflects the extraordinary recovery and now growth of the sector following difficult years in 2020 and 2021. North America continues to be the key export market, representing 52% of overall exports at just under €1 billion. Irish whiskey exports accounted for 60% of the overall value growth last year, with exports valued at almost at €1 billion (up 25% on 2021) for the first time. 


Improved prices helped drive the performance in Irish seafood with export values increasing by 3% (or €17 million) year-on-year to reach €530 million. This was despite a 19% decrease in volumes exported, reflecting the challenging situation faced by Irish seafood exporters in securing supply.


Finally, exports of Irish horticulture and cereals exceeded €300 million, with mushrooms, largely destined for the UK, accounting for 50% or €152 million (-6% on 2021), while cereals exports were valued at €73 million (+10% on 2021).  


Export Destinations 

Maintaining a diverse range of markets and channels around the world has been key to the success and continued growth of Ireland’s food and drink exports. In 2022, more than one-third (34%) of Ireland’s total food and drink exports in value terms were destined for international markets, while the EU and UK accounted for 34% and 32% respectively. 

The UK remains the largest single country market for Irish food and drink exports, with exports valued at an estimated €5.4 billion in 2022, an increase of 20% on 2021 levels. Irish exporters have navigated their way through considerable uncertainty in terms of the new trading environment with the UK, and more recently a rapidly slowing British economy. 

In value terms, Irish food and drink exports to the EU increased by 29% to reach €5.7 billion last year, and for international markets, the value increased by 23% to reach €5.6 billion. 

Exports to the US increased by almost 40% to more than €2 billion, and while China’s Covid restrictions contributed to a decline in exports to China, growth in the value of exports to the Philippines, India, Malaysia and Japan more than offset this decline. Overall, Ireland’s food and drink exports to Asia increased by 9% to €1.5 billion. 





3) Trinity College Dublin

Title: Media Release: Voting behaviour in 2016 US presidential election not affected by foreign disinformation campaigns on Twitter

Author: Fiona Tyrrell

Email delivery rate: 97%

Time of release: 10:16 on the 9th of January 2023

Coverage examples: 


Voting behaviour in 2016 US presidential election not affected by foreign disinformation campaigns on Twitter

Exposure to Russian Twitter campaigns in 2016 US presidential race highly concentrated and largely limited to strongly partisan Republicans

Russian Twitter campaigns during the US 2016 presidential race primarily reached a small subset of users, most of whom were highly partisan Republicans, according to a new study conducted by an international team of researchers.

The research, published today [Jan 9th] in the journal ‘Nature Communications’, shows that that despite Russia’s disinformation operations on social media, there were no measurable changes in attitudes, polarisation, or voting behaviour among those exposed to the foreign influence campaign on Twitter. 

The study, which involved researchers from Trinity College Dublin, New York University, University of Copenhagen, and Technical University of Munich, examined social media users’ behaviours and attitudes between April and October of 2016. 

“Debate about the 2016 US election continues to raise questions about the legitimacy of the Trump presidency and to engender mistrust in the electoral system, which in turn may be related to Americans’ willingness to accept claims of voter fraud in the 2020 election and future elections,” explains Tom Paskhalis, Assistant Professor, Political Science, Trinity,  one of the co-lead author of the study. 

Previous research and US government investigations have concluded that Russian interference in the 2016 US election was designed to influence the voting behaviour of Americans in favour of Republican nominee Donald Trump, either by shifting support toward Trump himself or by encouraging disaffected liberals—often Bernie Sanders voters—to vote for a third-party candidate or to abstain from voting altogether.

“Despite this massive effort to influence the presidential race on social media and a widespread belief that this interference had an impact on the 2016 US elections, potential exposure to tweets from Russian trolls that cycle was, in fact, heavily concentrated among a small portion of the American electorate—and this portion was more likely to be highly partisan Republicans,” explains Professor Joshua Tucker, co-director of the Center for Social Media and Politics, New York University, and one of the authors of the paper. 

Potential exposure to Russian coordinated influence accounts, by the Internet Research Agency, an organisvation closely linked to the Russian government, was heavily concentrated: only 1% of users in the study accounted for 70% of exposures. In addition, those who identified as “Strong Republicans” were exposed to roughly nine times as many posts from Russian foreign influence accounts than were those who identified as Democrats or Independents.  

Despite these results, the researchers caution that Russian attempts to alter the outcome of the election may have had other effects.

“It would be a mistake to conclude that simply because the Russian foreign influence campaign on Twitter was not meaningfully related to individual-level attitudes that other aspects of the campaign did not have any impact on the election, or on faith in American electoral integrity,” says Gregory Eady, University of Copenhagen, one of the study’s co-lead authors. 

Notably, the study also found that exposure to the Russian influence campaign on Twitter was significantly eclipsed by content from domestic news media and politicians. On average, the study’s respondents were exposed to roughly four posts from Russian foreign influence accounts per day in October of 2016. But, over the same period, they were exposed to an average of 106 posts on average per day from national news media and 35 posts per day from US politicians. 

“In other words, online users saw 25 times more posts from national news media and nine times as many posts from politicians than those from Russian foreign influence accounts,” observes Jan Zilinsky, Technical University of Munich, one of the study’s authors, “to say nothing of what they might have learned about the election from other media, such as television or online news.”

The paper’s other authors were Jonathan Nagler, professor in NYU’s Department of Politics, and Richard Bonneau, professor in NYU’s Department of Biology and Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences. 

The study analysed a three-wave longitudinal survey of nearly 1,500 US respondents conducted by YouGov. The respondents, who consented both to provide their Twitter account information for research purposes and to answer questions concerning their political attitudes and beliefs at multiple points during the 2016 US election campaign, were surveyed in April 2016 and October 2016 as well as shortly after the election—to indicate whether they voted and, if so, for whom. The composition of the respondents was approximately representative of the demographic profile of the US voting-age public.


Note to Editor: a copy of the paper is available on request 

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Fiona Tyrrell, Communications, Trinity College Dublin, + 353 87 6169056

Tom Paskhalis, Assistant Professor, Political Science, Trinity College Dublin, +353 1 8963563

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