What were the Irish and Irish American stories that most captured your attention in 2017? We're here with a recap of the top stories on IrishCentral throughout the past year. 

Some of the top stories of 2017 were absolutely appalling, while some were light and fun. Some of the articles represented specific moments in time, while others are part of stories that are ongoing and will still be making our headlines in 2018. 

Did any stories in particular stand out to you in 2017? Share your thoughts in the comment section. 

5) Jim Carrey trial over death of Tipperary girlfriend to go ahead

Cathriona White

Cathriona White

Our fifth-most-read story of 2017 centered on new developments in the tragic death by suicide of Tipperary native Cathriona White back in 2015. 

White, a make-up artist living in Los Angeles, was in an on-again-off-again relationship with actor Jim Carrey, and it has been alleged that the prescription medication bottles found at the scene of her death were prescribed to Carrey via aliases. 

White's estranged mother and husband, from whom she was separated, have filed a wrongful death suit against Carrey, and it was announced in June that a judge had given a go-ahead for the trial to take place in 2018. Read more here

4) Tuam Babies: “It would be... kinder to strangle these children at birth” said doctor

In March,  deeply upsetting and ultimately clarifying new information came to light regarding the story of the mass grave on the grounds of the former Mother and Babies home in Tuam, Co. Galway, when the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes released a report on their excavation of the site

This prompted a larger revisiting of the story and renewed attempts to find some answer to the question of how 796 children could have disappeared without a trace or burial record over the decades the home was in operation. 

One quote that emerged was from an Irish doctor in 1924 who uttered the chilling words: 

“A great many people are always asking what is the good of keeping these children alive? I quite agree that it would be a great deal kinder to strangle these children at birth than to put them out to nurse.” -- Doctor Ella Webb, June 18, 1924

Read more here

3) Why selling Irish Kerrygold butter is now a criminal offense in this US state

This was an interesting one, for sure! What's more, it's an ongoing story. Outraged Wisconsin residents got nation-wide attention when it emerged that the sale of Ireland's prized Kerrygold butter is illegal in their state thanks to state statute 97.176, which stipulates that it is “unlawful to sell, offer or expose for sale, or have in possession with intent to sell, any butter at retail unless it has been graded” according to Wisconsin’s requirements, bearing either a federal or Wisconsin grade mark. Kerrygold, which is made in Ireland, is not. 

Kerrygold lovers in Wisconsin filed a lawsuit and started online petitions, citing everything from taste to health concerns as reasons why they should be allowed to legally purchase Kerrygold.

Read more here

2) Caroline Kennedy's son looks exactly like JFK, Jr. 

Jack Schlossberg and Caroline Kennedy

Jack Schlossberg and Caroline Kennedy

One of our most-read stories of 2016 was about the uncanny resemblance between Jackie Kennedy and her granddaughter Rose Kennedy Schlossberg, so it isn't surprising that this story about Rose's brother, Jack, got lots of interest, too. 

"Jack is very much interested in John," a friend told People magazine. "He has an ease and a sense of humor. And he loves being compared to him. John was a rare kind of celebrity who grew up with being famous and had fun with it and didn't let it take over his life."

Jack is currently attending Harvard Law and seems on track for a bright future. Read more here

1) Ryanair asks wheelchair user to walk up stairs, leaves her crying at the gate

Our most-read story of 2017 about a truly shocking experience an Irish woman who used a wheelchair had while attempting to board a Ryanair flight. 

Trinity College student Niamh Herbert was looking forward to attending London Fashion Week with friends from the university’s Fashion Society. After she arrived at the gate in Dublin Airport she was originally told to wait 15 minutes for assistance by cabin crew, before being asked whether she was able to climb the stairs to the flight, “for easiness sake,” which she explained she was not. 

She was then left crying at the gate as the flight took off. A social media campaign was launched asking the Irish budget airline for an explanation and an apology. 

Read more here

In your view, what was the top story of 2017? Share your thoughts in the comment section.