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News In Pics

2012: a year in striking images

The year’s biggest news stories…in pics.

THE BIGGEST NEWS stories of the year gave us some of the best photography of the year – be it by capturing a moment of joy or sadness or conveying a message more than a thousand words ever could.

Here are some of the year’s biggest moments, presented with the most striking images of the year.


Across the water, the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin on 26 February sparked outrage over claims that police were motivated by race as they conducted their investigation. The unarmed teen was shot at close range following an encounter with the neighbourhood watchman George Zimmerman, who says he shot the victim in self-defence. The case garnered so much attention, US President Barack Obama even made an emotional statement, saying that “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon. He vowed to “get to the bottom of what happened.” The Skittles package was used during rallies in memory of the victim because he was returning from the convenience store with a bag of the sweets and an iced tea when he was shot. (Image: David Goldman/AP/Press Association Images)


Here, Tibetan exile Jamphel Yeshi is seen screaming as he runs engulfed in flames after setting himself on fire at a protest in New Delhi, India on 26 March. He died two days later. He was not the first Tibetan to set themselves on fire…here’s Jen Wade to explain why it has become a symbol of the protest movement. (Image: AP Photo/Manish Swarup)

The Costa Concordia

Thirty-two people lost their lives when the luxury cruise ship, the Costa Concordia ran aground off the coast of Italy on 13 January. The ship’s captain Francesco Schettino now faces trial. He was initially accused of  multiple manslaughter, causing a shipwreck, failing to assist passengers, failing to be the last person to leave the ship, failing to relay the scope of the disaster to maritime officers and failing to help incapacitated passengers. (Image: AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)


The ongoing conflict in Syria has seen thousands of men, women and children displaced from their homes. Here, a Syrian woman and her daughter who fled because of fighting take refuge at Bab Al-Salameh border crossing on 12 September. They want to get across the border into Turkey. (Image: AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen)

A Syrian man cries outside the Dar El Shifa hospital in Aleppo after his daughter was injured during a Syrian Air Force strike over a school where hundreds of refugees had taken shelter on 4 October. (Image: Manu Brabo/AP/Press Association Images)


A young Everton and Liverpool fan pay tribute to the 96 people who died in the Hillsborough tragedy on 17 September. The report of the Hillsborough Independent Panel was released in September and revealed what has been described as the greatest cover-up in British history. The damning report detailed an inadequate emergency response to the stadium disaster which killed 96 Liverpool fans on 15 April 1989. During the aftermath, police wrongly shifted the blame onto the fans themselves. (Image: Mike Egerton/EMPICS Sport)


Although it was a year of protests across Europe, the size of the demonstrations seen in Ireland were much smaller than those making headlines on the continent. One of the biggest demonstrations in Dublin was organised by the Irish Farmers’ Association on 9 September, which saw up to 15,000 people assemble in the capital. (Image: Julien Behal/PA Wire/Press Association Images)

X Legislation

Thousands of people took the streets again this year, twenty years after the X Case, to call for the Government to legislate for the Supreme Court ruling. Here, a woman is pictured on Parnell Square on 17 November following the death of Savita Halappanavar. (Image: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland!)

Members of Pro-Life groups also organised rallies and demonstrations in the weeks following Savita’s death, urging the Government to protect the life of the unborn. The purpose of this 4 December vigil was to remind Fine Gael of its pre-election promise not to legislate for abortion. (Image: Julien Behal/PA Wire/Press Association Images)

Earlier this year, took a look at the issue, including current laws, constitutional rights, past legal challenges and the situation in other jurisdictions. Here is Ireland and abortion: the facts. (Image: Julien Behal/PA Wire/Press Association Images)

Silvio’s Woes

2012 was not a good year for Italian billionaire Silvio Berlusconi. The 76-year-old officially resigned as Prime Minister of Italy late last year but things just kept getting worse, legally speaking. On 26 October, he was sentenced to four years in prison for tax evasion. He will serve just one year thanks to an amnesty law. But he’s not a man to be kept down. The media tycoon announced in December that he will run again for the premier post. (Image: Luca Bruno/AP/Press Association Images)

A Summer of Sport

The Euros were OK – for some (Spanish) people – but the summer definitely belonged to the men and women competing in the Olympic and Paralympic Games in London. (Image: David Goldman/AP/Press Association Images)

One of the most impressive human beings of all time, Usain Bolt secured his place in sporting history during the London Olympic Games this summer, taking three gold medals home to Jamaica. (Image: Martin Rickett/PA Wire/Press Association Images)

Bolt’s ‘Man of the Games’ title though could be challenged by Great Britain’s Mo Farah who lit up the track on Saturdays, winning both the 5,000m and 10,000m titles. (Image: Martin Rickett/PA Wire/Press Association Images)

The Savile Scandal

The fallout from the Savile scandal looks set to rock the BBC and its historic workforce for some time to come. Police in London believe they are dealing with more than 400 victims, with the chief in charge of the investigation into the late presenter and ‘others’ stating his team are dealing with “alleged abuse on an unprecedented scale”. Savile’s headstone was removed and his cottage vandalised when details of the abuse allegations emerged in an ITV documentary on 3 October. (Image: Danny Lawson/PA Wire/Press Association Images)

Alan Ryan

The number of so-called gangland shootings this year has shocked many Irish people. But the events seen at the funeral of Real IRA member and father Alan Ryan on 8 September were even more shocking to most. Described as “reprehensible” by Justice Minister Alan Shatter, mourners dressed in paramilitary-style uniforms and shots were fired in salute. He said:

Paramilitary trappings should not blind people to the fact that what is at issue is criminal terrorism carried on by people who, for their own reasons, want to drag the people of this island back to a dark past.

(Image: Julien Behal/PA Wire)


It was a hurricane, then a Frankenstorm, then a superstorm…whatever it was, Sandy created havoc and devastated areas of the Caribbean and the east coast of America. This image shows a flooded parking lot full of yellow cabs in Hoboken, New Jersey on 30 October. (Image: Charles Sykes/AP/Press Association Images)

As the death toll rose (to at least 92), devastating stories started to emerge. Damian Moore, pictured here, is an Irish emigrant living in Staten Island, New York. His two young sons – two-year-old Brandon and four-year-old Connor – were swept away by swirling waters as their mother Glenda tried to rescue them. Their bodies were discovered days later on 1 November. (Image: Seth Wenig/AP/Press Association Images)

Amid the destruction, some things remained in tact and some moments of joy captured. Here, Rosemary McDermott and her husband Anthony Minor react as they open a safe containing a family genealogy they were able to salvage from the basement of her mother’s home in the Breezy Point section of the Queens borough of New York on 15 November. (Image: Mark Lennihan/AP/Press Association Images)

A royal year

It was a bit of an up-and-down year for Britain’s Royal Family. There were many highlights – the Queen’s Jubilee and the Olympics provided stand-out moments.

(Image: John Giles/PA Wire/Press Association Images)

But there was also the nakedness.

First, Harry got all the wrong kind of attention after snaps of him playing naked billiards (yes, naked billiards) in a Las Vegas hotel on 22 August were widely published. Unfortunately for the Prince, not everything that goes down in Vegas, stays in Vegas. Here, he makes his first public appearance since the scandal and, in true playboy fashion, he made a joke of it. But not before six-year-old Alex Logan got the first laugh. He told ITV news what he intended to say to the Prince when he met him: “I’m glad you’ve got your clothes on Prince Harry.” (Image: Lewis Whyld/PA Wire/Press Association Images)

Then the world went crazy over the publication of a number of pictures of the Duchess sunbathing topless while on holidays in a private villa in France on 14 September. Kate and Will were on a royal tour of the Far East and South Pacific at the time…and did a good job of looking unphased by it all. (Image: Chris Jackson/PA Wire/Press Association Images)

Space Invasion

There hasn’t been this much excitement amongst the scientists and astronauts of NASA since Buzz and Neil walked on the moon. On 5 August, the Curiosity team landed a rover on the surface of Mars. (Image: AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

The Rover has been able to send back amazing images of the planet, such as this panorama. (Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell Univ./Arizona State Univeristy)

Summer fires

Colorado in the US was destroyed by wildfires in early-summer. Here, emergency teams work to put out a fire that has moved into home in Colorado Springs on 26 June. (Image: Galon Wampler/AP/Press Association Images)

What the…?

The sight of an aircraft carrying a space shuttle confused a number of people across the US, including Mario Vasquez and his tw0-year-old son in California on 21 September. Endeavour was making its final journey to the California Science Center after being retired by NASA. (Image: AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

South Africa’s Miners

It was a turbulent year of violence and strikes for South Africa’s miners. In August, police opened fire on a group of protesting workers, killing 34 people. On 18 September, miners at Lonmin Platinum Mine near Rustenburg accepted the company’s offer of a 22 per cent pay increase after five weeks of industrial action. (Image: AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)

Fallen Heroes

James and Justin McGinley, sons of Philadelphia firefighter Paul McGinley, not pictured, salute during a funeral service for fallen firefighter Daniel Sweeney, 25, in Philadelphia. (Image: AP Photo/Joseph Kaczmarek)

The Middle East

Violence in the Middle East intensified toward the end of the year as Israel reacted to Palestine’s diplomatic victory at the United Nations. Palestinians won state recognition during a vote on 29 November but Israel responded with plans to build 3,000 new settlement units in east Jerusalem and other parts of the West Bank. Here, a Palestinian protester hurls a stone at Israeli security forces in Nabi Saleh. (Image: AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)

A Palestinian girl tries to punch an Israeli soldier during a protest against the expansion of the nearby Jewish settlement of Halamish, in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh near Ramallah on 2 November. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)


The next four years will be important ones for Ireland as it will mark important centenary milestones in its history. Here, Fianna Fáil’s Micheál Martin gives the annual 1916 commemoration address on 29 April. (Image: Julien Behal/PA Archive/Press Association Images)


On 15 June, Nik Wallenda became the first person ever to walk a tightrope across the broadest stretch of Niagara Falls. *shudder* (Image: Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press/Press Association Images)

Daredevil Felix Baumgartner created history this year, setting a new world record for the highest ever skydive. The Austrian jumped from a scary 24.2 miles above Earth on 14 October. (Image: Ross Franklin/AP/Press Association Images)

2012 = the year of 1D

Zohra Shaukat, 13, of New York, shows off her One Direction nails she purchased at the 1D World pop-up store on 17 November near Madison Square Garden. The four British lads and one lucky Irish fella have taken the world by surprise, becoming the biggest boy band since…well, the Backstreet Boys maybe? (Image: Diane Bondareff/AP/Press Association Images)

The only thing bigger in the music world was…

Gangnam Style

It took over everything in 2012…even South Korean police officers, seen here dancing in the grandstand of the Korean Formula One Grand Prix on 11 October. (Image: Mark Baker/AP/Press Association Images)

If you think we missed something, you might find it here (in our political pics of the year) or here (in our pics that made us cry in 2012).

MORE: The 45 images that made us cry this year

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