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17 images that made us cry this year

There’s something in my eye.
Dec 31st 2013, 6:30 PM 39,024 11

STRANGERS CAUGHT ON camera in a particular moment can pull on our emotions. Sometimes, in a way, that even happenings close to our lives and hearts don’t.

It can be for different reasons – a tragic loss, needless hardship, a triumph over adversity, the bonding of a community or an unexplained evil.

This collection of photos from the past 12 months is an emotional mix. Some are happy memories shared with us through the power of photography. Others are images of loss and pain.

Often, we could not sympathise or thank the men, women and children who we connected with but these are just some of the stories that have touched us during 2013.

1. He just wanted to go to the zoo…

But the US government shutdown stopped him in his tracks. (Image: Imgur)

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2. Coming face to face

“I get to feel my mother’s skin again, I get to see my mother’s freckles, and through you, I get to see my mother live on. This is truly a blessing.” – Marinda Righter on meeting the woman who received her mother’s face in an extraordinary transplant procedure in Boston this year.

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(Charles Krupa/AP/Press Association Images)

3. One true love

“Without you my heart is a lonely iceberg. #ValentineFromSpace,” tweeted Commander Chris Hadfield, along with this image on 14 February this year.

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4. Speaking of one true love…

Norrie Coakley (87) and Bill Short (90) met on a CIE bus tour in 1962. Three children and six grandchildren later, they celebrated the 50th anniversary of their Shelbourne hotel wedding on 23 August.

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Image: John T Ohle Photography

5. Heartbreak

A sea of blue outside the Dundalk church where the funeral mass for Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe was being held on 30 January.

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Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

6. A global loss

A man of words and wisdom, Seamus Heaney’s sudden passing came as a shock to those who loved him in Ireland and across the world.

Here, his sons Michael and Christopher bring him to his final resting place on 2 September.

Heaney’s last words were sent by text message to Maire, just minutes before he passed away, said his son. They were in Latin, and devastating in their simplicity: “Don’t be afraid”.

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(Image: Liam McBurney/PA Wire/Press Association Images)

7. Good deeds don’t go unnoticed

Just before Christmas, Carrick Dog Shelter let us know about this gentleman who saves up his pension each year to drop a delivery of dog food for the rescued animals.

After the shelter said ‘Thank You’ on Facebook, Lidl recognised their own brand of dog food in the photo – and then headed to Carrick now with some goodies for the dogs and a “little something” for the kind local.

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Image: Carrick Dog Shelter

8. Tough times

He needs a towel to dry off and a cup of tea, stat.

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Picture taken in Borneo via Imgur

9. Life goes on

Even in the hardest of circumstances, children will rally and find ways to make it through violence, poverty and homelessness.

These two young Syrian sisters, Fatima and Sara, take solace in a book as they sit in their tent at a refugee camp in Jordan.

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(Image: Mohammad Hannon/AP/Press Association Images)

10-11. Tata Madiba

Young and old, black and white; the whole of South Africa joined together to mourn its father, Nelson Mandela, during the month of December.

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Four-year-old Bokamoso warms her hands over candles placed between flowers outside of the house of former South African President Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg. (Image: Markus Schreiber/AP/Press Association Images)

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A single flower rests on the roof of the car carrying the coffin of former South African president Nelson Mandela as it makes its way through the streets of Pretoria. (Image: Ben Curtis/AP/Press Association Images)

12. Hell and hope

It was a mixed year for Magdalene Laundry survivors but it eventually culminated in a heartfelt apology from the State, given through the Taoiseach Enda Kenny.

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Survivor Maureen Sullivan at a press conference following the launch of the McAleese Report into State involvement in the institutions. (Image: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland)

13. Married bliss

Sea-lion wedding? Yes, that happened this year.

The photos don’t show the aftermath when they playfully mashed fish cake into each other’s faces, danced drunkenly to Sweet Caroline and tearfully told their new in-laws how much they loved them.

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(Image: ChinaFotoPress)

14. Boys will be boys

Which is often a sweet, sweet thing. These two lads reminded us of what true sportsmanship is all about on 21 November while playing in a schools GAA match.

In the heat of their final, played in Páirc Uí Chaoimh on Tuesday, Riain Ó Cathail (black jersey) was quick to console Ciarán O’Connell after his team scored a goal.

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Image: Paraic English

15. The power of sport

Winning only comes after dedication, toil and, often, heartbreak. Nobody knows that more than Galway camogie player Therese Maher who cherishes an All-Ireland medal for the first time this year…after 16 years of trying.

This was the moment of realisation.

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The enormity of the victory sinks in for Therese Maher. (Image: INPHO/Dan Sheridan)

16. Twenty seconds can change a lifetime

As sport can bring boundless joy, it can also dole out the misery. In bucketfuls.

No more than on 24 November when Ireland narrowly (oh so narrowly) missed out on being the only team to beat the All-Blacks this season.

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Brian O’Driscoll watches as Ryan Crotty scores a last minute try. (Image: ©INPHO/Billy Stickland)

17. Gone too young

There should never be a reason to see young primary school pupils mourn their peers. In August this year, local children brought flowers to St Lazerian’s Church in Ballinkillen, Carlow for the funeral mass of Eoghan and Ruairi Chada.

“Every day the boys lived with joy and energy, and they loved their Mam and Dad deeply,” Father Declan Foley, the local parish priest, said in his homily.

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Image: Laura Hutton

2012: 45 images that made us cry this year

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Sinead O'Carroll

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