Irish politicians have caused a frenzy on TikTok over the last year – some of the videos published have ranged from the slightly embarrassing to the downright heinous. It begs the question, should TDs be legally allowed to have access to TikTok? Is the whole concept of a political party with a TikTok account made exclusively to attract young voters morally reprehensible as I, a young voter, sit here tearing my hair out over making my rent next week? You tell me.
Here are some of the best, worst, and most bizarre Irish political TikToks. I’ve ranked these on a physical discomfort level based on how long I had to spend walking around my house breathing deeply after watching them.
Never in my life have I seen anything like this. A prolific TikToker, the ‘Government Minister. Wicklow TD. Optimist.’ has posted over 60 videos since he joined in March. These range from the inane to the embarrassing to the downright confusing. The majority of them are slideshows of photo ops with a couple of gifs placed on top – no more threatening or concerning than my elderly aunt’s Facebook posts, you might say.
However, Harris doesn’t stop there. By far my favourite video is this one about needing a haircut, posted on the 9th of May. The dulcet tones of Haircut by childrens’ band Songeez combined with the angle, the gifs, the facial expression, the weird filter – this is dystopian art at its finest.
This Happy Birthday President Higgins video did the rounds a couple of months ago. It speeds up rather ominously towards the end – Michael D Blink Twice If You Need Help.
My overall discomfort rating is 9/10.
Slightly more aware of younger audiences, Sinn Féin have been praised for their growing social media presence over the last few years. They have hopped on many of the trends to a degree that is, naturally, still mildly embarrassing, but didn’t make me break out in a nervous sweat as Harris did.
This particular Gerry Adams feature went viral in May.
And this slightly more cryptic one where he treats us to a rendition of Óró sé do bheatha abhaile. But then again, there’s a vague sort of a dance involved, so it might get extra points for relevance.
Sinn Fein’s videos have an overly positive comment section, and they seem mostly to have made the account work in their favour. Will this last? Or will they soon be forced into asking their followers to like for a h/o <3 in a desperate attempt to remain relevant?
Gerry gets a 5/10 for discomfort.
That One Cursed Leo Varadkar Video
Despite not technically being a TikTok account, it would be remiss not to include this video. Made in 2020 before the Tánaiste met with representatives from the company, it involves him pointing at different statements on the screen following a trend that was popular at the time.
Was this the worst error of judgement made throughout the COVID pandemic? Probably not. But did the significant potential for parody mean that he probably should have thought it through slightly more? Yes it does. And parodied it was.
And one of the many parodies:
In an outstanding finale, this one gets an 11/10 embarrassment rating. Leo, you outdid yourself.