The year in pictures




July

* Concert horror: Nine people were stabbed at the Swedish House Mafia concert in Dublin’s Phoenix Park. Two of them were seriously injured. The incident occurred during the dance act’s headlining set.

More than 30 arrests were made on the night of the concert, which was marred by a litany of incidents, including public order offences, assaults and drugs seizures. Two men who had been at the concert also died after they became ill.

* Brits out: Roger Federer put paid to British hopes in Wimbledon when beating Scotland’s Andy Murray 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-4 in the men’s singles championship. With the win, Federer claimed his seventh Wimbledon singles title, tying the record shared by Pete Sampras and William Renshaw and becoming the world’s No 1.

Britain hasn’t had a men’s singles champion since Fred Perry in 1936.

* Reilly in Stubbs: Health Minister James Reilly was expected to explain to the Dáil why his name appeared in Stubbs Gazette over an unpaid debt.

Reilly was one of five investors who had a €1.9m judgment registered against them after agreeing but then failing to buy a Tipperary nursing home.

* Games on: Some 80,000 people in the Olympic Stadium and billions worldwide watch as Britain celebrated its milestones, from the industrial revolution to its national health system to Harry Potter in a hi-tech ceremony directed by film-maker Danny Boyle. One of the most talked about events featured stunt doubles for James Bond actor Daniel Craig and Queen Elizabeth jumping from an airplane and parachuting into the stadium.

* Death of a legend: Leading figures from the world of politics, the arts and journalism paid tribute to Maeve Binchy who died on Jul 30. She was 72.

Over 40m of Binchy’s books were sold worldwide and translated into 42 languages. Some of her work was also adapted for screen including the 1995 film Circle of Friends.

President Michael D Higgins said Maeve was “an outstanding novelist, short story writer and columnist”.

* Misjudged remark: The Integration Centre said it would make a formal complaint to the gardaí after a district court judge described the social welfare system as a “Polish charity”.

Judge Mary Devins made the remarks at a sentencing hearing at Claremorris District Court.

In a statement, Judge Devins said no offence was intended and apologised if any insult was taken from her comments. But the Integration Centre said her comments were “false, bigoted, and borderline racist”.

August

* Béal no blah: On the 90th anniversary of the death of Michael Collins, Taoiseach Enda Kenny gave the commemoration speech at Béal na mBláth in West Cork.

He was the first serving head of government ever to do so.

However, the speech failed to go off without a hitch — he wrongly credited Collins with bringing the Russian socialist revolutionary Vladimir Lenin to Ireland.

He referred to Collins, a former finance minister, as “the outstanding organiser who brought Lenin himself to Ireland to see how the National Loan worked”.

* Sanctuary: Ecuador announced that it was granting political asylum to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. The decision further strained relations between Ecuador and Britain.

Britain maintained it had a legal obligation to extradite Assange to Sweden where he is still wanted for questioning over sexual assault.

* Pussy protest: The three members of the all-female punk band Pussy Riot were convicted of hooliganism and sentenced to two years in a penal colony for performing an anti-Putin song on the altar of Moscow’s main Orthodox cathedral.

Police arrested dozens of protestors. Rallies supporting the three women were held in major cities around the world.

* Olympic hero: Katie Taylor beat Russia’s Sofya Ochigava 10-8 and won Olympic gold for Ireland.

The 26-year-old from Bray, Co Wicklow, came from behind to win the female boxing lightweight final at the ExCeL Arena in London.

It was the first Olympic Games to include women’s boxing and her fight attracted intense international attention.

* Bird flies the nest: RTÉ’S chief news hound Charlie Bird quit Montrose.

The veteran broadcaster decided to take an early retirement package on offer as part of the station’s cost-cutting plan. Industry estimates suggested he may have been entitled to a lump sum of more than €200,000 and a pension of up to €80,000 a year.

* Jobs lost: Ireland’s largest privately owned transport company, College Freight, announced it was to cease trading, with almost 400 people set to lose their jobs.

The firm operated as Target Express and employed 390 staff.

Target Express was started by Co Fermanagh man Seamus McBrien, and had depots in Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, and England.

Workers began sit-ins at its depots in Cork, Limerick, and Carlow.

September

* Gay vote: Dublin city councillors voted in favour of full marriage rights for gay couples.

The vote was carried by 38 votes in favour to four against with one abstention.

There were angry exchanges when Fine Gael councillor Bill Tormey said heterosexual and homosexual unions could never be equal.

* Envoy killed: Armed gunmen stormed the American consulate in Benghazi and shot dead Christopher Stevens, the US ambassador to Libya, and three other embassy officials. Stevens was the first US ambassador to be killed in the line of duty since 1979.

The attack coincided with violent protests at the US embassy in Cairo over the release of a YouTube film that criticises Islam.

* Star’s boob: The Irish Daily Star sparked uproar when it published topless photographs of Kate Middleton.

Editor Michael O’Kane defended the publication, saying it was a “a service to our readers”. He told the BBC that “from our point of view in Ireland, Kate Middleton is just another of the fantastic line of celebrities”.

He was suspended as media owner Richard Desmond threatened to close the newspaper.

O’Kane resigned in November.

* IRA’s big shot: A volley of shots was fired in salute outside the home of Real IRA man Alan Ryan hours before he was buried in Dublin.

The funeral was the biggest show of strength in the Republic to date by dissident republicans. Gardaí were present but did not intervene when seven people, in combat uniform with masks and sunglasses, were surrounded and shielded by supporters.

* Shorthall quits: Roisín Shortall resigned as juniorhealth minister over what she described as a “lack of support for the reforms in the programme for government and the values which underpin it”.

Shortall said the public has a right to expect that decisions on health will be made based on health need and not driven by other concerns.

* Judge judged: Travellers rights group Pavee Point called for a judge to resign over what it described as “prehistoric” comments made in a case with a Traveller defendant.

Pavee Point said Athlone District Court Judge Seamus Hughes commented that some people from the defendant’s ethnic background were “like Neanderthal men abiding by the laws of the jungle”.

Pavee Point said the judge’s comments “reflect a prehistoric mindset that has no place in modern Irish society”.


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