independent

Thursday 24 April 2014

'I hope Dublin win the double to mark 1,000th anniversary of Battle of Clontarf'

So what are some of our best-known personalities hoping that 2014 will deliver? Our reporters asked them for their highlight of 2013 and their wishes for the New Year

8 July 2007; RTE Radio Gaelic Games commentator Micheal O Muircheartaigh in the commentary box before the game. Guinness Munster Senior Hurling Championship Final, Waterford v Limerick, Semple Stadium, Thurles, Co. Tipperary. Picture credit: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE
Micheal O Muircheartaigh

Liveline radio host

JOE DUFFY

What was your highlight of 2013? "The long hot summer and swimming in the sea more often this year than I have in the last 10 years combined, down in Wexford."

What is your big hope for 2014? "That things will pick up around the country and people's prospects will improve. I just want to continue working, have good health and have the same for those around me."

MICHAEL FLATLEY

Lord of the Dance

What was your highlight of 2013? "The highlight of 2013 was probably 'The Gathering'. It was wonderful to see Ireland reach out to people of Irish descent all over the world. People are so very proud of their Irish heritage and it is nice to see that recognised."

What is your big hope for 2014? "I'm looking forward to people treating others throughout 2014 like it is Christmas every single day. Be happy with friends and family, laugh too much, dance too much ... spread the love and kindness every day."

DOLORES O'RIORDAN

The Cranberries singer

What was your highlight of 2013? "It's been a great year so it's really difficult to choose just one thing. I guess performing with the Vatican Orchestra and meeting Pope Francis was a very special moment. I also met Patty Smyth who was also performing."

What is your big hope for 2014? "Health and happiness first and foremost."

 

EDDIE HOBBS

TV money man

What was your highlight of 2013? "Exquisite hurling championship set in the backdrop of a sizzling summer, steady south westerly breezes making it perfect sailing weather to absorb Ireland's beauty from an azure-bathed coastline, then home for a stout, sea bass grilled in a drizzle of coconut oil and sea salt, followed by some good conversation."

What is your big hope for 2014? "That Ireland's recovery surprises everyone to the upside, that no EU bank behemoth's insolvency recycles the eurozone crisis."

BLATHNAID NI CHOFAIGH

TV Gaelgeoir

What was your highlight for 2013? "The highlight for me personally was we got a dog! Her name is Poitín and she's like a new member of the family. In work, it was meeting the frontline workers, Irish Coast Guard, RNLI, paramedics, firefighters in Cork so for all those who mind us -- thank you!"

What is your big hope for 2014? "To keep my family safe, minding them and doing my best for them. They are what defines me. My only legacy is how well I do as a mum."

 

BILL O'HERLIHY

RTE's voice of football

What was your highlight of 2013? "We're by no means out of the woods, but I'm full of admiration for the way Enda Kenny and his Government have ground out our exit from the bailout and for the way they helped restore our international reputation. There has been a lot of suffering but at least the way ahead is clear."

What is your big hope for 2014? "My big hope is that O'Neill and Keane will transform Irish international football, combine good results with entertainment and banish forever the boring memory of Trapattoni."

MICHEAL O MUIRCHEARTAIGH

GAA commentator

What was your highlight of 2013? "For me it was the death of Nelson Mandela because it called to mind again all he stood for. He is part of the dead who will live forever and the living who shall never die.

"On a sporting level, my highlight is the second resurgence in Clare hurling. It combined success with brilliance and they had it and there was something very special about it."

What is your big hope for 2014? "That Dublin wins the double because I think it would be a fitting way to mark the 1,000th anniversary of the Battle of Clontarf and the death of Brian Boru."

PAUL KEHOE

Government Chief Whip

What was your highlight of 2013? "This time last year we lost a very close colleague in Shane McEntee -- one of the highlights for me was his daughter Helen McEntee being elected in the by-election to continue on the good work he did.

What is your big hope for 2014? "We're expecting our third child so that's something I'm looking forward to and hopeful about."

IVAN YATES

Newstalk presenter

What was your highlight of 2013? "Coming back to Newstalk and being able to wax lyrical in the morning, even though it means a 4.30am start. "

What is your big hope for 2014? "Manchester City winning all four titles."

DANNY HEALY-RAE

Kerry councillor

What was your highlight of 2013? "I'm no good at this. I suppose it was one of my girls getting her degree in Cork -- Maura (23), she studied arts in UCC."

What is your big hope for 2014? "I'm looking forward to the council elections and hoping I'll get re-elected for the third time to the Killarney electoral area, and to remain in good health to work with and for the people of the area."

CAROLINE DOWNEY

Co-owner of promoters MCD

What was your highlight of 2013? "The highlight in 2013 on a fundraising level were the two Brian O'Driscoll testimonial fundraising dinners held in London and Dublin. On a professional level, producing the panto 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs'."

What is your big hope for 2014? "I really hope Ireland will continue to come out of the recession."

SILE SEOIGE

Radio and television presenter

What was your highlight of 2013? "Running a couple of half marathons, it's a fantastic feeling crossing that line!"

What is your big hope for 2014? "To stay healthy and happy and to continue to push outside my comfort zone."

Irish Independent

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