Monday 27 February 2017

Pop goes 2015: The year in hashtags, celebrity scandals and Kardashians

Vicki Notaro

Vicki Notaro

Joy: Panti at Dublin Castle after the ‘Yes’ campaign victory. Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images
Joy: Panti at Dublin Castle after the ‘Yes’ campaign victory. Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images
Kylie Jenner's aspirational pout become a cultural phenomenon online
Teresa Mannion reporting on RTÉ news during storm Desmond
From her glamorous group of celebrity friends (aka her “squad”) to her high-profile romance with Calvin Harris, her best-selling album 1989 and sell-out world tour, it was truly the year of Taylor. Photo by Graham Denholm/Getty Images
David Cameron’s Pig-gate takes the bacon. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir
MOST #RELATIONSHIPGOALS COUPLE: Daniel and Majella O’Donnell. Photo: Maxwells
#JESUISPARIS: Showing solidarity with the people of Paris after the two heinous terrorist attacks. AFP PHOTO / LUDOVIC MARIN
Coolest celebrity offspring: Saint West. AFP PHOTO/Mark RALSTONMARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images
Amy Schumer’s total dominance of the world’s media in 2015 couldn’t have come at a better time. Photo: Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Glamour
Best comeback: Adele. Photo: Sascha Steinbach/Getty Images
Scandal of the year: Ashley Madison hacking. AP Photo/Lee Jin-man, File
Most shocking split: Zayn and 1D. Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Vicki Notaro on 2015's alternative headlines.

Biggest Trends



The social network has been around for four years, but it took off in a big way in Ireland this year. 27pc of the population now have an account, with 68pc of those using it every day. Celebrities like Roz Purcell, Pippa O'Connor, Darren Kennedy and Holly Carpenter regularly share behind the scenes glimpses at their lives as well as the likes of Rihanna, Gigi Hadid and Ed Sheeran.


The wellbeing movement gained a lot of ground this year, and mindfulness was the buzzword du jour. The simple act of living in the moment and focusing on the here and now has been cited by those in the know as a way of dealing with anxiety and coping with the stresses of modern life.


This was the year that every female celebrity was asked about the gender pay gap, high profile women were asked to declare their feminist intentions and people everywhere started to discuss what it truly meant to them.

Kylie Jenner's lips

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With the sublime comes the ridiculous - in this case, the youngest Jenner girl's aspirational pout becoming a cultural phenomenon online. Teens the world over took to sucking shot glasses to emulate her lips, which she admitted were enhanced with temporary fillers. Kylie launched her own lipstick kit online in late November and it sold out in less than a minute. The future seems bright for the burgeoning beauty entrepreneur.

Unlikely Hero of the year

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Teresa Mannion

Leo Varadkar was an early contender when he came out in support of marriage equality, and told the public via Miriam O'Callaghan's show that he is a gay man. Inspiring those young and old to be their true selves, it was surprising to see a high-ranking politician getting such good press.

But his crown has well and truly been stolen by weather warrior Teresa Mannion in the last few weeks. The RTÉ journalist's heroic broadcast from storm-battered Galway went viral across the world, even inspiring its very own dance remix. Storm Desmond was no match for our Teresa.

Most Embarrassing Moment



There were several contenders for the crown, from the Miss Bikini Ireland photocall on Harcourt Street that featured an unfortunate cyclist in the background to Madonna's epic cape fail at the Brit Awards.

But David Cameron's Pig-gate takes the bacon. It was alleged that the British prime minister had intimate relations with a dead pig's head in a tell-all memoir by former college mate Lord Ashcroft, and social media lit up with memes ridiculing the Conservative leader. Sure lookit, anytime Enda looks good in comparison to our British pals, it's a good day.

Most Talked About


Taylor Swift

It's rare nowadays that a magazine cover is a pop culture moment, but Vanity Fair came up trumps again when Caitlyn Jenner chose their front page to introduce herself to the world. The woman formerly known as Olympian Bruce raised massive awareness for the transgender community through her celebrity status, but her public transition wasn't without its problems - mostly in being accused of privilege and being out of touch with the average trans person.

However the most discussed person in pop culture this year has to be Taylor Swift - from her glamorous group of celebrity friends (aka her "squad") to her high-profile romance with Calvin Harris, her best-selling album 1989 and sell-out world tour, it was truly the year of Taylor.

Most #relationshipgoals couple

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Daniel and Majella

Anyone with a Twitter account will know that singer John Legend and his TV host and model wife Chrissy Teigen are the modern equivalent of love's young dream, but there are a few contenders in Ireland too. President Michael D Higgins and Sabina, Roz Purcell and Bressie and Katherine Zappone and Anne Louise Gilligan all warmed our hearts, but it has to be Daniel and Majella O'Donnell for the win, for their adorable UTV Ireland series alone.

Greatest Hashtags

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Used by the thousands of Irish people that made the journey home to have their say in the marriage referendum.


Was it blue and black or white and gold? Why did any of us really care?


The pro-choice call for a change in our abortion laws, specifically the eighth amendment.


Showing solidarity with the people of Paris after the two heinous terrorist attacks.

Coolest Celebrity offspring

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Saint West

Lily Rose Depp had a stellar year, walking in the Chanel Paris Fashion Week show alongside her mother Vanessa Paradis - the 16-year-old could be even cooler than dad Johnny. Brooklyn Beckham also came in to this own, acting as his mother Victoria's date on several red carpets and starting a popular Instagram account. But it was a baby that truly stole the spotlight - the latest addition to the Kardashian-West clan, Saint. Speculation about the little boy's name was rife from the time Kim announced she was pregnant, and it's fair to say the unusual moniker didn't disappoint.

Greatest Export

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Several Irish people made a splash internationally in 2015; author Louise O'Neill sold the film rights to her novel Only Ever Yours in Hollywood, Sharon Horgan's hit sitcom Catastrophe had a stellar second season on Channel 4 and she's the executive producer of HBO's new series starring Sarah Jessica Parker, and Saoirse Ronan is getting serious Oscar buzz for her role in the movie adaptation of Colm Toibin's novel Brooklyn.

But there's one person that's been promoting not just their own hard work, but the nation's more progressive mentality. Panti, aka Rory O'Neill, was one of the most visible faces in the YES campaign's fight for marriage equality, appearing in the press the world over once the historic referendum was passed.

The film Queen of Ireland, a documentary about Rory's own experiences and the changing climate in Ireland, has also been released internationally to critical acclaim. A drag queen that's a national treasure we're proud to shout about abroad - could there be a bigger sign of a changed Ireland?

Best Newcomer

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Amy Schumer

Amy Schumer's total dominance of the world's media in 2015 couldn't have come at a better time. Jaded with reality starlets and flawless models, women were looking for a relatable, funny gal to idolise - enter Schumer. Trainwreck, the film she wrote and starred in, was a massive hit, her comedy series Inside Amy Schumer went stratospheric, her clever, funny interviews were a joy to read, and she even made the Pirrelli calendar in her scanties looking refreshingly normal and gorgeous. Stylish, witty and cool enough to be best friends with Jennifer Lawrence, Amy is the kind of woman we've all been waiting for.

Best Comeback

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It was the year that Justin Bieber made the transition from bratty popstrel to fully-fledged chart supremo with his catchy tunes, and both Enya and The Corrs released fantastic new material to great acclaim. But 2015 belonged to Adele and her first album in four years, 25. Lead single 'Hello' smashed every record going, and her flawless eyeliner graced many a magazine cover.

Scandal of the year

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From Rosanna Davison's controversial opinions on gluten to the fracas surrounding the Web Summit's move to Lisbon, there was a lot of low level outrage spurred on by social media.

But some truly shocking scandals also occurred internationally. Entertainer Bill Cosby was accused of sexual assault by multiple women dating all the way back to the 1960s, resulting in a landmark magazine cover and interview in New York magazine with the ladies concerned.

However it was hacking that got the most attention - both of celebrity iCloud accounts resulting in the leak of sexualised private images of many of Hollywood's elite, and the release of privileged information from Ashley Madison, a website for those wishing to enter in to an extra-marital affair.

Most shocking split

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Zayn and 1D

A big year for break-ups, there were many celebrity splits that shocked and appalled in 2015. Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner, Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale and (gasp) Miss Piggy and Kermit all called time on their marriages, while on these here shores, Vogue Williams and Brian McFadden also ended their union. But surely the most shocking split of the year wasn't a romantic one, but Zayn Malik's sudden departure from One Direction. Teen (and grownup) hearts broke the world over at the news, but we predict big things for the brown-eyed former boybander in 2016.

Irish Independent

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