Thursday 8 December 2016

Tears for fears: faces of 2015

We look back on a turbulent year that will live long in the memory... and at the people who helped shape it in their own likeness

Published 27/12/2015 | 02:30

Saddest day: Friends comfort each other as the remains of J1 student Niccolai Schuster leave the Church of the Three Patrons, Rathgar, in June. Niccolai and five others died following the collapse of an apartment balcony in Berkeley, California.
Saddest day: Friends comfort each other as the remains of J1 student Niccolai Schuster leave the Church of the Three Patrons, Rathgar, in June. Niccolai and five others died following the collapse of an apartment balcony in Berkeley, California.

It was a year of renewed optimism, as Ireland's pace of recovery quickened and was faster than many would have expected or hoped. Falling unemployment and economic growth give us hope that the tide of emigration has been halted, and the young people flooding through our airports in recent days are eager to see if their families can make a living here once again.

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It remains to be seen if the people give Enda Kenny and his Government credit for this in an election in the coming months. Our fate was in his hands in 2015 and is likely to be again in the coming years.

It was a year when Ireland also became a beacon of hope for gay rights across the world, when the marriage equality referendum was passed by a wide margin with Panti Bliss up front as an icon of a fast-changing country.

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