RTÉ expenditure hearings crashed Oireachtas website after “connection storm” as “malevolent” attack was ruled out by IT staff

The Oireachtas website crashed during the first hearing of the RTÉ spending controversy because of a “connection storm” with Leinster House ruling out any “malevolent” effort to overwhelm their internet page.

Internal records explained how their website normally gets 4,000 requests per hour. However, in the space of five minutes on the day of the very first committee meeting on RTÉ, it received a massive 10,000 such requests.

Emails detailed how there had not been enough computer processing power to scale up for such high demand leading to what was described as a “connection storm” scenario that ultimately caused the website to crash for almost an hour.

A message from one official said: “Christ above. Ok work through and let me know.”

The web manager at the Oireachtas Karin Whooley said the outage had lasted around fifty minutes although the actual livestream of the hearings continued to work as normal behind the broken home page.

An email from Ms Whooley said: “Essentially the website should scale automatically to cope with large volumes of traffic, but it seems it didn’t do so yesterday and users were unable to get to the site.”