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# Looking Back
Catalonia, Ophelia and Dublin's three-in-a-row: The most read articles on this year
These were the most popular posts on the site in the last 12 months. Thank you for reading.

OUR TRADITIONAL END-OF-YEAR list of most read stories on always throws up a few surprises, and this year’s is no exception.

As you might expect, breaking news stories responding to developing events were among the most popular on the site and across our social media channels.

Interestingly, however, the most-clicked story by a country mile was one of our daily morning polls, on the subject of Catalan independence.

Why? More on that below. Here’s the list of headlines…

1. Poll: Do you support Catalan independence? 

Catalonia National Day - Barcelona Isabel Infantes / EMPICS Entertainment Tens of thousands of Catalan separatists march in protest in the centre of Barcelona in September. Isabel Infantes / EMPICS Entertainment / EMPICS Entertainment

  • Views: 2,368,970 

At more than 2.3 million views, this poll had almost twice as many views as the next-most-read article on the site this year.

If you think that number seems unusually high, you’d be right. The post was picked up by Facebook groups from both the pro- and anti- independence sides, and was also widely shared on Whatsapp by other groups with strong views on the future of the Spanish region, before making its way to Spain’s largest forum site.

In short (and through no specific extra effort on our part) it went viral.

2. As it happened: Country in lockdown as Storm Ophelia kills three people

OPHELIA SUMMER COVE 758A7128_90526714 Eamonn Farrell / Hurricane Ophelia displays her power as she attacks the coast at Summercove outside Kinsale in County Cork. Eamonn Farrell / /

  • Views: 1,236,035

Schools and colleges were closed, transport systems shut down and employees encouraged to stay at home as Storm Ophelia swept across the country on Monday 16 October.

Three people lost their lives. At the storm’s peak 330,000 households and businesses were without power. This was our liveblog covering the events of the day from before 6am to just before midnight.

3. Status red weather alert issued for entire country ahead of Ophelia’s arrival

oph National Hurricane Centre National Hurricane Centre

  • Views: 457,654 

Met Éireann upgraded its warning to a ‘red alert’ for the entire country the evening before the storm hit.

This article, which was updated throughout Sunday night 15 October, also included details of the decision to close schools and colleges and storm arrangements being made by the HSE.

4. Ex-Hurricane Ophelia has battered Ireland. Here’s what you need to know

3 trees_90526761 Trees fall on an apartment block on Clyde Road, Ballsbridge in Dublin.

  • Views: 389,342

Yes, well, there was a lot of interest in Storm Ophelia, as you may recall. This was a ‘main points’ update from the Monday afternoon, at the peak of the storm.

5. 58 killed and over 500 hospitalised in Las Vegas gun attack 

U.S.-LAS VEGAS-SHOOTING-INVESTIGATION Xinhua News Agency / PA Images Xinhua News Agency / PA Images / PA Images

  • Views: 330,996 

58 people died and almost 500 were wounded when mass killer Stephen Paddock opened fire on a country music concert in Las Vegas from a hotel window on 1 October.

6. As it happened: Dublin v Mayo, All-Ireland Senior Football Final Oisin Keniry / INPHO Oisin Keniry / INPHO / INPHO

  • Views: 304,505

The play-by-play from our sister site as Dublin beat Mayo to complete the three-in-a-row.

7. Security operation ends at Blanchardstown Shopping Centre Sam Boal / Gardaí at the shopping centre in Blanchardstown. Sam Boal / /

  • Views: 294,889

The Blanchardstown Shopping Centre in West Dublin was evacuated for several hours on the evening of Wednesday 1 November as gardaí responded to reports that an armed person was suspected to be on the premises.

8. London fire: Death toll rises to 12 following tower block blaze

gren Matt Dunham AP / PA Images Matt Dunham AP / PA Images / PA Images

  • Views: 267,673

At least 80 people died in the Grenfell Tower disaster in London in June of this year. Residents had complained for years about fire safety in the 24-storey social housing tower. This article was last updated at 5pm on the day the fire broke out, having been updated since the morning.

9. London terror attack: Pedestrians knocked down, people stabbed and attackers shot dead


  • Views: 258,694

Three assailants wearing fake suicide vests ploughed through pedestrians in a van before going on a stabbing rampage in bars near London Bridge.

The three assailants were shot dead by police after killing eight people – three French citizens, two Australians, a Canadian, a Spaniard and a Briton. This article covered the developing story from Saturday night until shortly before 5am on the morning of 4 June.

10. As it happened: Police name man accused of Manchester attack as thousands turn out at vigil for victims

United Kingdom: People commemorate the Manchester Arena attack SIPA USA / PA Images People attend a vigil for the victims of the Manchester Arena attack. SIPA USA / PA Images / PA Images

  • Views: 253,988

Suicide bomber Salman Abedi, a 22-year-old British man of Libyan origin, blew himself up outside a pop concert in Manchester on 22 May.

The attack killed 22 people – a third of them children – and injured scores more in an attack claimed by the Islamic State group. This was our liveblog from the following day, which included updates from 5.30am to shortly before 8pm.

Read:  The 10 most read stories on in 2016 > 

Also: The 10 most read stories on in 2015 >

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