Readers like you keep news free for everyone.

More than 5,000 readers have already pitched in to keep free access to The Journal.

For the price of one cup of coffee each week you can help keep paywalls away.

Support us today
Not now
Saturday 2 December 2023 Dublin: 0°C
on the upside

The moments that made us smile in Ireland this year

One of the world’s better small-island nations.

HAPPINESS IN IRELAND in 2014. A concept that may jar with the 400,000 odd Garth Brooks fans out there.

All the same – the last year has had its moments. Through the Irish Water rain cloud there has shone quite a few rays of sunshine – some genuine happy moments that make us feel like everything is going to be ok.

Here’s some of our favourite moments from the last 12 months. What did we miss? Let us know in the comments.

The good weather 

On the weather front – things have been pretty good. In July we got our obligatory minor heatwave.

the met office sunny Note: No clouds.

Around the country on July 22 things managed to hit 25 degrees – making Ireland hotter on that day than San Francisco, Capetown and Sydney. Go us.

heat gif finder gif finder

The best thing about the weather this year was the seemingly never-ending Indian summer we got to enjoy. Come Halloween, temperatures in parts of the country were hitting 17.9 degrees. 

Michael D’s State visit to the UK 

In April, President Higgins paid a visit to the Queen and spent a few days hobnobbing with the Royal Family. The Irish national anthem was even played by the Sovereign Escort.

President Higgins state visit to Britain - Day Four Luke MacGregor / PA Archive/Press Association Images Luke MacGregor / PA Archive/Press Association Images / PA Archive/Press Association Images

Hugh O'Connell / YouTube

An Irish animation killed it at the Emmys 

Back in May, Brown Bag Films, the largest animation company in Ireland, won three daytime Emmys and an additional five nominations for their take on classic childrens’ story Peter Rabbit.

No more makeup for under-10s Irish dancers

In January the Irish Dancing Commission decided to take action against the ‘pageant style’ that had began to dominate Irish dancing by banning fake tan and fake eyelashes for the under-10s.

irish dancers Sam Boal / Photocall Sam Boal / Photocall / Photocall

Couple in Limerick have quadruplets 

Back in May, the couple, who had experienced four miscarriages, had four children in one birth.

quad babies limerick James Slattery via Facebook James Slattery via Facebook

Aidan O’Mahony’s boots

In October, the boots worn in the All-Ireland football final by Aidan O’Mahony sold at auction for €28,000. The boots had initially been given to 11-year-old Diarmuid De Bhillis, who has special needs.

His family later asked the footballer if they could raffle the boots for charity – to which he said yes - allowing them to raise money for the “Home from Home” after-school care facility that Diarmuid attends.

Brent Wylie / YouTube

Tiny Dancer

Lily-Mae, an Irish 5-year-old who had been diagnosed with an extremely rare form of cancer, was declared cancer-free. As part of a fundraising campaign for her, Lily-Mae’s parents released a cover of Elton John’s Tiny Dancer that hit No.2 in the Irish charts.

lily mae facebook Lily-Mae with her parents and brother Evan facebook

Enda Kenny doing the dad dance the Bloom festival

No matter what ups and downs Enda Kenny’s political career may take – there is one thing he is sure to be remembered for - dancing to Pharrell William’s ‘Happy’ with a bunch of teenagers at the Bloom Festival. / YouTube

enda dancing

John O’Shea’s last minute equalizer 

On October 14, John O’Shea struck in the final minute of extra time of Ireland’s European championship qualifier against Germany as we beat the world champion 1:1. 

Joanne O’Riordan had a robot built for her

In 2012, the 18-year-old disability rights activist Joanne O’Riordan put it to United Nations to build her a robot to assist her in her everyday life. This year Professor Kevin Kelly and his team in the School of Engineering in Trinity built Joanne a robot. 

robot being built Professor Kelly and his team with the robot

joanne o'riordan Bebeto Matthews / AP/Press Association Images Bebeto Matthews / AP/Press Association Images / AP/Press Association Images

Partying like it’s March 17

Every year St Patrick’s Day rolls around and, for one day only, people around the world get to be a little bit Irish.

We all got a collective gift from NASA astronaut Douglas H. Wheelcock – who tweeted this picture from the International Space Station.

space station Douglas H. Wheelcock Douglas H. Wheelcock

Also an Irishman in Tokyo decided to join in the Japanese capital’s festivities armed with nothing more than a hurl.

Carlos Quinn / YouTube

We’re spending money again

Consumer confidence is on the up. This year it hit its highest point since January 2007.

burning money giphy giphy

Till death do us part 

Back in May, two wedding rings that went missing in 2002 were returned to their owners after 12 years.

The rings showed up in the lost and found box of a car park in Wicklow.

wedding rings picture

Little girl leading leading the pack 

Bradley Wiggins? Chris Froome? Alberto Contador? How about Dublin-based cycling enthusiast Maggie O’Dwyer – pictured here battling in the peloton of the Giro d’Italia, which came to visit in the summer.

sarah hudson girl picture Sarah Hudson Sarah Hudson

The animals came in two by two

There has been a big boost in visitor numbers in Dublin Zoo this year. In October, the zoo welcomed their 1 millionth visitor.

Increased visitor numbers are thought to be down to new arrivals at the zoo – which this year include two Asian lion cubs, a Rothschild giraffe calf, a Goeldi’s monkey and Meerkat pups.

elephants Dublin Zoo / Facebook Dublin Zoo / Facebook / Facebook

Ed Sheeran at the Toy Show

We all just bloody loved Ed Sheeran after he surprised Aimee. In fact, the entire Toy Show.

The Late Late Show / YouTube

Read: Little girl leads Giro peloton into Malahide in best picture of the weekend

Also: Enda Kenny dad-dances to Happy with some teenagers

Your Voice
Readers Comments
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.