Review of the Year: Top 5 stories


President Obama’s Re-Election

This has to be one of the major stories of this year, President Obama was under immense pressure from all quarters and pulled off a great victory. He now faces the long road of securing his legacy as a President, which, could be decided over the issue of the economy. He has already faced major challenges with his CIA Director resigning over an affair and his first choice for replacing Hilary Clinton pulling out. However, he has had success in dealing with the aftermath of the recent super-storm which hit the east coast and the tragic mass shooting in Sandy Hook Elementary school, Connecticut.

Royal Family

2012 could prove to be one of the best years for the reign of the Queen. The Diamond Jubilee concert and celebrations brought the UK together and increased the prestige of an already national treasure in the Queen. In recent weeks the announcement of a royal baby topped off an excellent year for the royal family, which, also seen one of its members complete in the Olympics.

London Olympics

The BBC coverage was one of the highlights for the London Olympics but the opening and closing ceremony, in particular, the entrance of the Queen took everyone by surprised and to the edge of their seats and that was before the sport even started! The results from Team GB were amazing and hopefully the legacy will be used wisely. However, the performance of the Northern Irish stars, whether they were in Team GB or Ireland, was simply brilliant and it was great to see them return home to give us all a lift.


Whether you live in Northern Ireland, Greece or China the biggest story of 2012 was the economy. With youth unemployment affecting more and more in Northern Ireland more focus has been put on how we can turn NI into a competitive and attractive place for foreign investment and home grown businesses. This gave corporation tax a special place in the debate. 2013 doesn’t look like it will get too much better and the economy will probably be on of the top stories in 2013 for good or bad. Hopefully more for good news than bad!


Our Time, Our Place

I think that we deserve to give ourselves a pat on the back for a largely successful year. The NI Tourist Slogan ‘Our Time, Our Place’ fit in well over the past year. The success of the Titanic Building and quarter is testament to the success of the campaign, however the Jubilee and Olympics also give us a boost with the Olympic Torch and the Queen both visiting our shores. Also, the start of the decade of anniversaries started in a largely good way apart from a few incidents and the Ulster Covenant parade passed off peacefully. Hopefully future celebrations during the decade will pass off as well as the Covenant celebrations.

I hope you like the top 5 picks for the past year and I look forward to other suggestions for the list and may I on behalf of Brian and myself wish all our readers a Merry Christmas.

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  • David Crookes

    Great selection and presentation, all the better for being devoid of the lofty-cynical-and-wise tripe that we’ll get from journalists on 31 December. Thanks!

  • Scáth Shéamais

    I think that we deserve to give ourselves a pat on the back for a largely successful year. The NI Tourist Slogan ‘Our Time, Our Place’ fit in well over the past year.

    Official figures suggest a big fall in the number of tourists coming to Northern Ireland.

    The statistics from the Department for Enterprise show the number of overseas visitors staying at least one night has fallen by 12% compared to 2011.

  • Granni Trixie

    Leaving aside the question of the tourism success of Our Time Our Place, can I say,as a citizen of Ni, that I feel that the advert and especially that wee tune,written and sung by a young person from NI, morale.

  • Granni Trixie

    Oops (page flew away)…to continue:

    ..was good for morale and cohesion. yes, corny sentiment has its place.
    So imagine my dismay at recent events when top Ministers were talking about “the unionist family”, NOT “our time,our place”. The
    waste of that expensive campaign. (Weeps). It will be difficult to start again. But one thing sure, undeniably we need to focus on good relations and anti sectarian policies.

  • pauluk

    Obama getting 0.5% over 50% can hardly be described as pulling ‘off a great victory’! Scraping through to a second term is much more apt.

    Now that Americans have made their bed with Obama, they will have to lie in it. With deepening divisions and fear, it’s all downhill from here. Historians will look back on the age of Obama as the beginning of the end for America as the only world superpower.

  • pauluk

    …But your other 4 stories were spot on!