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All we want for 2012 (and what we won’t miss from 2011)’s writers have each picked one thing that they are glad to see the back of – and one thing they are looking forward to this year.

THANKS TO ALL our readers in 2011 who have commented and shared tips and feedback on the stories that have been important to them throughout the year.

We thought we would kick off 2012 here in and by sharing some of our own hopes for the coming year – and a quick snapshot of what we found challenging in 2011. As always, feel free to leave your own thoughts in the comments section below.

And in no particular order (well, alphabetical…)

Aoife Barry

Glad to see the back of: 2011 as a whole! It was a pretty rough one at times – riots, floods, earthquakes, emigration, unemployment, austerity Budget, etc – and I’m hoping 2012 will be a more positive and calm affair. Although if the Mayan predictions are true then we could be in for a rather interesting year, ahem.

Looking forward to: The outcome of the government conference How to Elect More Women, which will be held in Dublin Castle in January. That and the gender quota bill both show that the government is finally putting the issue of gender balance on the table (rather than the long finger) which is something to be excited about.

Christine Bohan

Glad to see the back of: Can the eurozone crisis just end now? Please?

What I’m looking forward to: The US presidential election has already been filled with gaffes and controversies as the Republicans battle it out between themselves to decide on a nomination. Once they roll in behind a candidate (*cough* Mitt Romney), expect things to get even more dramatic as the GOP tries to wrest back the presidency from the Democrats while Obama fights for four more years. Can’t wait.

Susan Daly

Glad to see the back of: Fear itself. We spent 2011 lurching from crisis to crisis, bracing ourselves for the next one to hit. That constant ache in your neck and shoulders? That will have been the permanent state of tension.

Looking forward to: The Olympics – specifically, the performance of Irish boxer Katie Taylor should she qualify. I hope that her years of dedication, training and her innate talent get their just reward. And no matter what the outcome in the medals, for her efforts to get women’s boxing recognised as an official Olympic sport, she is already my hero.

Niall Kelly

Glad to see the back of: All the haters who said that the Dublin footballers were destined to choke forever. The Jacks are back, baby (*removes tongue from cheek*).

Looking forward to: After crossing the Heineken Cup and All-Ireland Football finals off my sporting “bucket list” in 2011, I’ve already got plans in place to tick off Cheltenham and the European Championships in 2012. The Super Bowl will have to wait for another 12 months, I’m afraid…

Michael Freeman

Glad to see the back of: “Amazeballs”. If I declare that this word is in the past, perhaps it will just go away.

Looking forward to: An election-free year. Not only will our heads get a little peace, but the decrease in hot air will also have climate change benefits.

Sinéad O’Carroll

Glad to see the back of: Emigration. As for many 20-somethings across the country, my year was marred by the emigration of a number of close friends – some to the not-so-distant lands of London and Scotland, others to Germany and some as far away as Singapore and New York. However, heading into 2012, I have started to shed that feeling of being “left behind” in Dublin. Instead, I look forward to adjusting to having friends across the world and not just in this small city.

Looking forward to: The new job. In December, I signed a full-time contract with, making the shift from freelance journalist to staff writer. As first and foremost an early reader and fan of, I feel I have really got to fulfil the site’s ambition to read, share and shape the news.

Hugh O’Connell

Glad to see the back of: This current government blaming the last government for all the economic woes afflicting us. As accurate and as easy as it may have been in 2011, we will see the impact of the current administration’s economic policies in the coming year. We will be able to make a fair judgement as to whether it is what is going to get us out of this mess as we are being promised or drive us into further turmoil. If the poor economic growth of the last quarter continues and sparks a full-grown recession it will be interesting see how Enda Kenny and co respond.

Looking forward to: Seeing how Iraq copes without US forces and on its own two feet for the first time since it was, er, liberated in 2003. Early signs are that it’s going to be very difficult for the country to avoid descending into the kind of sectarian divisions that sparked a full-on civil war in 2006. While this is of course not something to necessarily look forward to, it will be a situation that will be closely watched as will other events in the Middle East not least Syria and the budding if troubled democracies of Tunisia, Egypt and Libya. Events there may well shape the international news agenda in 2012.

Gavan Reilly

Glad to see the back of: Elections. I’m all for democracy, but covering an election is bloody hard work! Bring on the referendums, where campaigning is more about the actual ambitions we have for our country and less about tweets/tyres/directors’ fees.

Looking forward to: An economic revival in the shape of green jerseys, plastic hammers, thoughts of Jackie Charlton and rousing choruses of Olé Olé Olé. The last time Ireland were in a major tournament and I wasn’t doing a set of State exams, I was 7 years old. Bring on the Spaniards!

Adrian Russell

Glad to see the back of: A southern hemisphere Rugby World Cup – the next time I’m liveblogging Tonga v Japan at 2am on a Sunday morning, it’ll be for fun; not because of a 12-hour time difference.

Looking forward to: Besides Euro 2012 and all the craic that will bring, Katie Taylor showing the world how special she really is and – hopefully – bringing home the gold medal at the London Olympics. It would be well deserved.

Susan Ryan

Glad to see the back of: I’ll be glad to see the back of last year’s elections. Although they were really interesting, they were a lot of hard work and I’ll be happy to get a break from them (at least until the US election…)

Looking forward to: Having managed to get tickets for the much-coveted (ahem) volleyball event at London 2012, I’m particularly looking forward to the Olympics next year. I’ve always wanted to go to the Summer Games – only several months to go!

Jennifer Wade

Glad to see the back of: Fianna Fáil left power in 2011, which was the right thing to happen. The party isn’t to blame for all of the country’s problems, but the position it has held in Irish politics over the years has been unhealthy. Hopefully lessons can be learned across the board.

Looking forward to: Seeing how the Occupy protests develop in the coming year. There’s no denying the movement is significant, whether you agree with the cause or not. The shocking photograph of Dorli Rainey, the 84-year-old woman pepper-sprayed in the face by Seattle police, grabbed the attention of people uninterested in the movement before that point – and raised serious questions about freedom of expression in the ‘western world’.

Read other Review 2011 stories on>

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