After a year of news dominated by the London Olympics, the US Presidential Election, international financial crisis, Hurricane Sandy, and most recently the Newtown massacre, we took a step back and looked at which news stories have been most popular on IrishCentral this year.
Here’s the rundown:
1. We reveal what secret Donald Trump is planning to announce about Barack Obama
Just days before the United States Presidential election, billionaire property man Donald Trump made a dramatic announcement declaring he had secrets about Barack Obama. Turns out he was yet again on a “birther” trip. Although this story certainly grasped our readers' curiosity, even his own children cringed.
2. Murdered Irish student’s heartbreaking text to mother -- friend remembers little of tragic night
In July news of the tragic murder of Irish student Nicola Furlong in Tokyo emerged. Furlong and her friend were attacked after a night out at a Nicki Minaj concert. Two Americans, a backing dancer, James Blackston (23) and a musician, Larry Perry (19) were charged. The court case is ongoing.
Irish priests vowed to defy new legislation which would force them to report details of sexual abuse revealed in the confessional box. This April, despite the 10-year jail sentence, the 800-strong Association of Catholic Priests said they would flout the law if it was introduced.
Dubliner Zak Gilsenan and his family have moved to Spain after the nine-year-old was snapped up by the European soccer kingpins Barcelona. Zak will follow in the footsteps of his favourite player Lionel Messi and Spanish Euro 2012 winners Xavi and Iniesta at the famous FCBEscola football academy.
5. New sonar images show Titanic in its ocean grave 100 years on – PHOTOS
New sonar images show the sunken Titanic 12,500 feet below sea level. April’s edition of the National Geographic Magazine featured these images for the first time to honor the centenary of the tragic ship’s sinking.
A social worker visited Maureen O’Hara, the star of “The Quiet Man” after abuse allegations were made concerning her care, with relation to her PA, Carolyn Murphy. Following this story O’Hara denied the claims.
7. Top ten facts and figures about Hurricane Sandy -- New York’s worst storm in decades - VIDEO
In late October this year the post tropical storm hit the northeast coast of the United States with devastating effects. Although hundreds of homes and businesses were destroyed, the Irish people in New York have shown the true meaning of community spirit in helping their neighborhoods recover. Little by little New York, New Jersey, and the affected areas are getting back on their feet.
8. Irish woman trapped in a 12-year-old girl’s body, pleads for medical help
At the beginning of 2012 a brave Kilkenny woman, Kate Quinn, went public to reveal her torment at being trapped in a 12-year-old’s body – at the age of 25. Quinn suffers from a rare medical condition called Caudal Regression Syndrome (CRS) which results in an abnormal development of the lower spine. The rare disease, which affects one in 25,000 people worldwide, has ensured she has never hit puberty, never had regular periods and never needed to buy a bra.
The ongoing tragedy of the high rate of suicide in Ireland was highlighted this year with the deaths of Ciara Pugsley (15), Erin (13) and Shannon Gallagher (15) and Lara Burns (12). This story revealed that Lara Burns, suspected to have been a victim of cyber bullying, had sought help from a counselling service in the period before she took her own life.
Just in time for St. Patrick's Day, footwear giant Nike launched a sneaker called, incredibly, 'The Black and Tan.' It appears the company was totally unaware of the implications of the name for millions of Irish who connect it to the notorious paramilitary force that terrorized Ireland during the War of Independence.