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Dublin: 10°C Wednesday 18 May 2022

14 people you (probably) hadn't heard of this time last year

We’re better for knowing about some of these people. The others? We wish we hadn’t heard of.

EVERY YEAR, SOME people explode into the national and international conciousness.

Some by design, some by accident and others are thrust there by circumstance.

Some have enriched lives, such as inspirational teenager Donal Walsh.

Others, however made their names through cruelty or evil, such as the Tsarnaev brothers who bombed the Boston Marathon.

Whether they were taking over the charts, taking over the reins as leader of a religion or simply by being born, here are some people who we hadn’t heard about last year, but are name dropping over Christmas dinner.

14 people you (probably) hadn't heard of this time last year
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  • Shane O'Donnell

    O'Donnell didn't start the All Ireland Final, but made the replay his own. His three goals led Clare to a Liam McCarthy Cup and drew thousands of female admirers. Not bad for a 19-year-old.Source: ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy
  • Robin Thicke

    Thicke has been making music for a long time. But his Blurred Lines was omnipresent for a few months in the summer before he appeared on the VMAs with Miley Cyrus and caused global headlines.Source: AP/Press Association Images
  • Rob Ford

    The Mayor of Toronto was little known outside of Canada at the start of this year. Then a video of him smoking crack surface and all hell, naturally, broke loose.Source: Chris Young/AP Photo
  • Rhona Mahony

    The Master of the National Maternity Hospital had received some press attention after she took up her post. However, her role at the centre of the abortion debate and the row over top-up payments to hospital chiefs put her firmly on the country's radar.Source: Niall Carson/PA Archive
  • Prince George of Cambridge

    At just a couple of months old, the future King of England has dominated the headlines twice: once by being born and once by being christened.Source: AP Photo
  • Pope Francis

    Last year he was an Argentinian cardinal named Jorge Bergoglio. Now, he is Pope Francis, head of the Catholic Church.Source: AP/Press Association Images
  • Tom Barry

    Few outside Cork East had heard of the Fine Gael backbencher until the night of the abortion debate in the Dáil. Then he pulled a female colleague onto his knee and Lapgate was born.Source: Screengrab
  • Stephanie Meehan

    When former Priory Hall resident Stephanie Meehan's partner Fiachra Daly took his own life, it sparked public outrage. Meehan's dignified, courageous performance on The Late Late Show furthered the cause.Source: Leon Farrell
  • Edward Snowden

    The former NSA contractor became Public Enemy Number One in the US after he leaked confidential files.Source: AP/Press Association Images
  • Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

    The brothers were responsible for the deaths of two people at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Tamerlan died in a shoot out with police, while his younger brother awaits trial.Source: AP/Press Association Images
  • Ariel Castro

    Castro had plead guilty to imprisoning three women in his Ohio home. He was found hanging in his cell days later.Source: AP/Press Association Images
  • Commander Chris Hadfield

    The Canadian was already an accomplished astronaut before the end of last year. His social media exploits made him a star this year.Source: AP/Press Association Images
  • Donal Walsh

    16-year-old Walsh became a national hero when he spoke of his battle with cancer. He sadly succumbed to his illness in May.Source: RTÉ

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