A Look Back At 2018 | A Year In Review
We can all agree that 2018 was one of the most eventful years in a long time; between unexpected weather conditions and political issues, there was no shortfall of consequential scenarios. Take a look back…
Storm Eleanor swept across Ireland causing gusts of up to 130km/h and serious flooding around the Country. Roughly 55,000 ESB customers were left without power. The counties worst affected were Mayo, Leitrim, Sligo, Galway, Cavan, and Monaghan.
The world mourns – Dolores O’Riordan, lead singer of The Cranberries died suddenly at the age of 46 in January this year. Her body was found at a hotel in central London and an inquest determined her death as unexplained. Dolores was a legend in her own right, and her memory will live on through her music that will serve as an inspiration to all young Irish women hoping to make it in the music industry.
Nancy Pelosi makes history by delivering the longest address to the chamber in 108 years. 77-year-old Nancy spoke for more than 8 hours about protecting young undocumented migrants, known as “Dreamers”, from deportation.
Irish Footballer Liam Miller died at the age of 36 after battling cancer. Liam was a former Republic of Ireland, Celtic and Manchester United midfielder. Over 43,000 people turned up for his tribute match this year which raised €1.5 million. May he rest in peace.
Snow storms brought Ireland to a standstill! Met Éireann issued its highest-level Status Red weather warning advising the citizens of Ireland to stay indoors for several hours. Blizzard-like conditions brought businesses and transport services to a halt for days. The severe weather conditions also caused power outages throughout the country.
Cambridge Analytica was investigated over a data breach. British owned Cambridge Analytica best known for assisting the 2016 presidential campaign of Donald Trump, reportedly harvested personal data from Facebook users. The revelations lead to searches of the company’s offices, and calls for Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg to appear before political committees in both the UK and US to explain data breaches at the social network.
Professor Stephen Hawking, one of the world’s finest scientific minds, died at the age of 76. Professor Hawking’s work first hit the scene on a large scale in 1988 when he released his book ‘A Brief History of Time’, a simplified theory of the universe aimed at nonspecialist readers.
A large piece of Inis Mór cliff fell into the Atlantic as a result of the base eroding from the waves over a period of time. The pressure of overhanging rock on the base caused the collapse of a portion of the cliff face.
Cervical Check issues came to light by Vicky Phelan. Vicky settled in High Court action against a US laboratory for €2.5m after being given incorrect smear test results. Following the incorrect results of the 2011 smear test, she became terminally ill with cancer. A review of cases from the Cervical Check programme identified 221 women who may have benefited from a different intervention.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle tied the knot at Windsor Castle. The new Duke and Duchess of Sussex were joined at the ceremony by celebs from around the world. The world sat on eggshells anticipating the first view of the couple on their wedding day, we were in awe of Megan’s beauty and swooned by Prince Harry’s romantic words to his new wife, showing us that real princes do exist.
Putin was sworn in for a 4th term as Russia’s President.
Pope Francis apologised for dismissing accusations of a cover-up of clerical sex abuse by Catholic bishops in Chile. Three men, all of whom are survivors of clerical sex abuse, had four days of private meetings with the Pope. One of the abuse survivors shared that the pope admitted he was part of the problem.
Eighth Amendment repealed! Ireland voted to repeal the Eighth Amendment, with 66.4% voting ‘Yes’ and 33.6% voting ‘No’, paving the way for new legislation to allow for the termination of pregnancies.
An illegal immigrant climbed the facade of an apartment block in Paris to save a young boy, was awarded residency. Mamoudou Gassama, was dubbed ‘Spider-Man’.
Magdalene Laundry survivors were honoured by President Michael D. Higgins. It is the first time that over 220 survivors of Magdalene Laundries from Ireland, the UK, the US, and Australia were brought together.
Varadkar pays tribute to those criminalised because of homosexuality. Taoiseach Leo Varadkar says the wrong cannot be erased. At the Dail, he said: “What we can say is that we have learned as a society from their suffering. Their stories have helped change us for the better; they have made us more tolerant, more understanding and more human.”
Women are now allowed drive in Saudi Arabia. Well about time! There isn’t even a word for how ridiculous that ban was!
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle visited Dublin. The pair arrived in Dublin for their first royal engagement overseas as a married couple.
France won the FIFA World Cup in Russia after beating Croatia 4-2. This was the second time France became champions in the World Cup, the first was in 1998.
David Davis resigned as the UK’s Brexit Secretary after Theresa May’s cabinet agree on the outline of the UK’s future relationship with the EU. Boris Johnson also resigned as Foreign Secretary, declaring the “Brexit dream is dying”.
A WWII Éire sign was revealed on Bray Head. A fire on Bray Head in Co Wicklow revealed an Éire sign dating back from World War II. These signs were created around Ireland by locals to warn Allied and German airmen that they were flying over a neutral country.
‘Queen of Soul’ Aretha Franklin died aged 76. Aretha Franklin’s powerful voice made her the ultimate “Queen of Soul”. Franklin, who won 18 Grammys and earned 25 gold records, died at her home in Detroit surrounded by family and loved ones after battling pancreatic cancer.
Pope Francis arrived in Ireland as the first visit by a pontiff since 1979. He was greeted by thousands of well-wishers as he was driven through Dublin’s streets in a Popemobile. He visited the homeless at the Capuchin Day Centre and also met victims of clerical sex abuse where he describes abusers as “filth in the toilet”. Some were disappointed with how the pope addressed the issue of abuse, saying it was “a missed opportunity”.
Figures released in August showed there were 9,891 people living in emergency accommodation in July. The numbers include 6,024 adults and 3,867 children. Focus Ireland’s statistic showed that four families became homeless every single day in Dublin in July.
Summer 2018 in Ireland was one of the hottest and driest in decades! Shannon Airport recorded the highest daily air temperature since 1946. Absolute drought conditions prevailed from late June until mid-July for most parts of the country resulting in a hose-pipe ban in place until the end of September.
Great-grandfather fights off armed raiders at bookies. Three men, armed with hammers and a sawn-off shotgun, fled empty-handed from a bookmaker after manager Tim Murphy and customer Denis O’Connor fought off the robbers! This is my favourite story of 2018 #grandadkicksass Watch it again below.
Raise the Roof housing crisis protest – Thousands of people from around the country took part in a Dublin protest to highlight the housing crisis. Students joined trade unions, housing, and homeless charities, and civil society groups to highlight the impact of the accommodation crisis in the ‘Raise the Roof’ rally. Well done all!
Meanwhile yet another storm hit – Flights disrupted over Storm Callum. The country was on alert yet again as several flights and ferry crossings were cancelled as Storm Callum passed over Ireland bringing high winds in excess of 110km/h. At the height of the storm, around 60,000 customers experienced disruption to their power supply.
Connemara donkey goes viral. Harriet, the singing donkey, charmed viewers around the world with her opera singing voice which became an internet sensation overnight. The McGraths from Toureen, who own Harriet the Donkey say they were quite shocked that their loving pet was watched over 300,000 times. Check out her pipes below.
California’s deadliest-ever wildfires claimed the lives of over 50 people with over 200 still missing one week later as they tried to control the blaze. A terrible tragedy. 100,000 people were forced to evacuate and 5,000 buildings were destroyed making it the most devastating event California has ever experienced.
Mick McCarthy was announced as Republic of Ireland manager with Terry Connor and Robbie Keane as part of his team. Everyone loves Mick Mc Carthy, a win win situation for all!
David Attenborough urges world leaders at the COP24 summit to deal with “our greatest threat in thousands of years”. “Leaders of the world, you must lead. “The continuation of our civilisations and the natural world upon which we depend, is in your hands,” he said. Love this man!
Former US President George HW Bush is laid to rest, alongside his wife Barbara who died earlier this year. Mr Bush, 94, was the 41st US president serving between 1989 and 1993. He also served as vice-president under Ronald Reagan and was Director of the CIA.
Abortion bill was signed into law – Irish President Michael D Higgins signs the Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy Bill into law which legalises abortion in Ireland. Minister for Health Simon Harris describes it as an “historic day”.
2018 was full of momentous triumphs for Ireland especially, but also numerous tragedies around the world. Lets hope 2019 brings more triumphs than tragedies.
Happy New Year to you all, here’s to 2019!