It was an amazing year in both Ireland and Irish America with massive changes, especially in Ireland. Here are our top ten news stories.

No. 1. The complete meltdown of the Irish economy -- from Europe’s poster boy to unwanted bastard child, Ireland was the focus of incredible attention from the Wall Street Journal, The New York times and every other major publication. Unfortunately the attention was all bad.

Read more: Ireland is 'banjaxed' after IMF deal announced

No. 2. Phoebe Prince, the young Irish girl who moved to America, to school in Massachusetts  was mercilessly bullied and took her own life. The subsequent national debate over what had occurred has given huge new impetus to efforts to stop school bullying.

Read more: Bully writes ‘accomplished’ on Phoebe Prince’s Facebook page on day of death

No. 3.  The downfall of Fianna Fail. Ireland’s leading political party, which has been in power 22 of the last 24 years. Now, because of how they mishandled the economy they may well disappear as a political force for a generation in the upcoming election.

Read more: Stunning opinion poll shows Fianna Fail support at just 17 per cent

No.4. Bridie Murphy detained: 80-year-old irish woman was held for five hours by immigration authorities when she returned from Ireland after visiting her son there. Even though she had a green card and had two sons serving in the military she was still questioned and threatened with losing her status.

Read more: 80-year-old Irish woman detained by U.S. immigration

No. 5. Murphy Commission Report: The report into abuse in the Archdiocese of Dublin was an extraordinary document, laying bare all year long the incredible cover-up of abusers by the archdiocese. Much of the material was truly sickening.

Read more: New Murphy report section shows evidence of Dublin priest pedophile ring

No 6. Irish ship runs Gaza blockade. The Rachel Corrie , sailing from Ireland was stopped outside Israeli territorial waters in a tense stand off just days after nine Turkish sailors were shot dead aboard a similar ship.

Read more: Israeli commandos ready to board the 'Rachel Corrie'

No. 7. End of the Kennedy era. Patrick Kennedy stepped down from his seat in Rhode Island and for the first time in 47 years there would no longer be a Kennedy in Washington.

Read more: Kennedy era over as Patrick Kennedy leaves Capitol Hill

No. 8 The Irish weather. The year opened with an incredible spell of bad weather in Ireland followed by a blazing summer and now an even worse end of the year as winter bares its fangs.

Read more: It’s official, coldest winter in 130 years in Ireland - SEE PHOTOS

No.9 Irish president turns down St.Patrick’s Day parade Grand Marshal in New York. Mary McAleese decided that upsetting gay groups in Ireland ,with whom she has excellent relations, was not worth the price of leading the 250th parade up Fifth Avenue.

Read more: President Mary McAleese declines St. Patrick's Day NYC Grand Marshal invite

No 10.  Icelandic volcano. For weeks on end it seemed the U.S. and Europe were back in the steam ship era as the eruption of a volcano in Iceland prevented Transaltantic flight. Fortunatey it did not last too long.

Read more: Irish airspace reopens after six days of grounding by volcano