Belfast Telegraph

Most read stories of 2018: Bread, Brexit, backstops and the cream horns of the Derry Girls

A look back at just some of the year's biggest stories

Stories swept away in time: Danny Boyle
Stories swept away in time: Danny Boyle "pages of the sea" remembering the life of John McCance takes place at Murlough Beach in Co Down on November 11th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)
Raging inferno in city centre: Firefighters deal with a major blaze at Primark in Belfast on August 28th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)
Arial views showing the aftermath of the fire in the Bank Buildings - Primark Belfast - August 29th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)
Rugby rape trial: Paddy Jackson leaves court after being found not guilty of rape. March 28th 2018(Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)
Pope's helping hand: A Priest attends the Pope as a gust of wind catches Pope Francis' cassock as he visits the holy shrine on August 26, 2018 in Knock, Ireland. (Photo by Charles McQuillan / Getty Images)
Enduring friendship: Former US President Bill Clinton holds hands with former Prime Minister Tony Blair as they attend an event to mark the 20th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement at Queens university on April 10, 2018 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Charles McQuillan / Getty Images)
Heartbreaking loss: Three generations of the same family-including a baby and two teenagers were killed when the blaze engulfed their Derrylin home on February 27. Pic Justin Kernoghan.
Surprises at Spelga Dam: Spelga Dam in the Mourne Mountains, Co Down, during the summer heatwave, when the water level dropped to reveal an old bridge and road which ran through the area before the dam was built. Pic Jonathan Porter
Remembering William: Ellie McAuley (6), from Armoy, looks at a William Dunlop tribute banner in the paddock of Armoy road races. Dunlop lost his life in a crash during practice for the Skerries 100 on July 7. Stephen Davison.
Victory for Billy: Billy Caldwell and mum Charlotte in Belfast after the Department of Health issued an emergency licence allowing doctors to treat him with medicinal cannabis. Pic Colm Lenaghan
Olly Rocks: An energetic Olly Murs performs at Feile in west Belfast on August 11th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)
Historic Victory: Captain Katie Mullan of Ireland celebrates their victory with her team mates during the Pool B game between India and Ireland. Ireland went on to win a Silver in the tournament. (Photo by Christopher Lee / Getty Images)
Family portrait: Martin McGuinnes's son Fiachra and grandson Dualta at the unveiling of the portrait of his father, the former deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness. The portrait was commissioned by the Northern Ireland Assembly Commission and will be exhibited in the Great Hall until Friday 6 April 2018, when it will be moved to a permanent location on the first floor of Parliament Buildings. Photo by William Cherry / Presseye
Moving forward: Taoiseach Leo Varadkar meets Orange Grand Master Edward Stevenson as he visits the Museum of Orange Heritage in Belfast on June 8th 2018 (Picture by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)
Ready for the parade: Abby Preston, aged five poses for a photograph during the annual 12th of July Orange march and demonstration taking place on July 12, 2018 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Charles McQuillan / Getty Images)
Keeping Cool: Oro the Spanish Waterdog cools down as the temperature soars in Belfast during one of the hottest summer in Northern Ireland. Photo by William Cherry / Presseye
Top of the world: Jonathan Rea won his fourth consecutive World Superbikes title. (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)
Fairytale Beginnings: Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex kisses his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex as they leave from the West Door of St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, in Windsor on May 19, 2018 in Windsor, England. (Photo by Ben Stansall - Getty Images)
Jonathan Bell

By Jonathan Bell

It has been another big year for news in Northern Ireland and right across the world.

Brexit has dominated the news agenda and while it has been a year of tragedy and turmoil here there has been some lighter moments in the past 12 months.

Here we take a look at some of the biggest stories of the year on the belfasttelegraph.co.uk.

January

Barry McElduff was forced to resign as West Tyrone MP after tweeting a video with a loaf of bread on his head on the anniversary of the Kingsmill massacre. The senior Sinn Fein man said he intended no offence and it was meant as a harmless joke.

Heavy snowfall caused travel chaos with travel disruption and schools forced to close.

On the entertainment front Derry Girls hit our screens and fast became one of Channel 4's most successful comedies every. January was also the month Cranberries singer Dolores O'Riodan passed away at the age of 46.

February

It was the end of an era as Gerry Adams stood down as Sinn Fein president after more than 34 years leading the party. Mary Lou McDonald was the sole nominee for the position with Michelle O'Neill taking the vice presidency.

Their counterpart Gerry Kelly was filmed taking a set of bolt cutters to a clamp on his car. The MLA later explained he was in a rush to get to a meeting and had borrowed the cutters from his gym. He apologised and paid the fine and damage costs.

The 'beast from the east' was the latest weather system to cause havoc - again travel and schools were affected.

Tragedy struck in Ballymena with the death of little five-year-old Kayden Fleck who fell into the River Braid.

The prominence of paedophile hunters came to the fore with police condemning their tactics of approaching and filming people they suspected of wrongdoing. In some cases the wrong person was identified and officials saying their actions threw into doubt any possibility of successful prosecutions. A BBC journalist was involved in confrontation with a group who he had been investigating. There was no suggestion investigative reporter Kevin Magee had been involved in wrongdoing, but rather was focused on how groups worked and who they were.

Gerry Adams pictured in front of election posters for Westminster elections. Pacemaker Press Intl. 27/5/83.
497/83/BW
Gerry Adams pictured in front of election posters for Westminster elections. Pacemaker Press Intl. 27/5/83. 497/83/BW
Saddle up - a young gunslinger Gerry Adams
PACEMAKER BFST 11-06-2001:Sinn Fein's Gerry Adams can put his feet up and relax after a gruelling few weeks on the campaign trail after a sucessful Westminster Election and local council election. He is pictured at the local election count at Belfast City Hall.
PACEMAKER BFST 26-03-98; Gerry Adams pictured with his wife Collette at Belfast's City Hall.
PACEMAKER BELFAST 23/03/2017 The Funeral of former Sinn Fein leader and deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness in the Bogside in Derry this afternoon. Mr McGuinness died earlier this week after a short illness. Pictured is Gerry Adams. Photo Mark Marlow/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 08/04/98 Sinn Fein leaders Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness talk to press and media men outside Castle Buildings this morning. PICTURE BY WILLIAM CHERRY/PACEMAKER PRESS
PACEMAKER BELFAST 23/03/2017 Gerry Adams during The Funeral of former Sinn Fein leader and deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness in the Bogside in Derry this afternoon. Mr McGuinness dies earlier this week after a short illness. At his funeral today Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
Pacemaker Belfast-Archive Gerry Adams and Martin Mcguinness Internment Rally in Falls Road 12-8-89
PACEMAKER BELFAST On the first day of the ulster Peace Talks martin took this picture of Gerry Adams and martin McGuinness locked out of the stormont talks. PHOTO MARTIN WRIGHT
Gerry Adams, Sinn Fein president on the platform. Pacemaker Press Intl. 1&2/11/86
PACEMAKER BELFAST GERRY ADAMS CARRIES THE COFFIN OF IRA SHANKILL BOMBER THOMAS BEGLEY AT HIS FUNERAL 27/10/1993
PACEMAKER BELFAST 22/1/99 US congressman Peter King pictured with Gerry Adams outside Sinn Fein HQ on the Falls Road.
PACEMAKER BELFAST 9/12/99 Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams pictured with the Ford Mondeo and Bugging device which he claims were planted by British Intellegance officers as he and Martin McGuniiess were having meeting with the IRA during the Mitchell review.
PACEMAKER BFST 01-07-98;Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams signs in Martin McGuinness and Alex Maskey into the first day of the New Northern Ireland Assembly , Wednesday July 1, 1998, inside Castle Buildings, Stormont, Belfast, Northern Ireland ,on the first day of the new Northern Ireland Assembly.
PACEMAKER BFST 16-06-2000: Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams at the funeral of close friend and leading republican Terrance 'Cleeky" Clarke who died of cancer. Adams is pictured comforting Clarke's daughter Marie behind the cortege.
PACEMAKER BELFAST 15/2/2000: President Mary McAleese and her husband, Martin share a joke with Gerry Adams, the M.P. for West Belfast, when she visited the Glor na Ghale Irish language centre on the Fall's Road, Belfast today. PICTURE BY STEPHEN DAVISON
PACEMAKER BELFAST 08/09/2015: Theresa Villiers has told MPs that despite a request from the DUP, the government does not think the time is right to suspend Northern Ireland's devolved institutions. Ms Villiers will be joined by Irish Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan at Stormont House for talks with the Northern Ireland political party. President of Sinn Féin Gerry Adams arriving for the talks. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
4/5/2014 PACEMAKER PRESS INTL. Gerry Adams speaking to the media on being released this evening from Antrim police station after being questioned in relation to the murder of Jean McConville. Picture Charles McQuillan/Pacemaker
PACEMAKER BELFAST archive 2/12/1993 1148/93 Sinn Fein leaders Gerry Adams & Martin McGuinness at press conference at Conway Mill where they spoke of secret negotiations with the British Government on a peace process.
PACEMAKER BELFAST 13/09/2015 Chairperson of Sinn Féins Six County Cúige, Bobby Storey, speaks to the media today, Sunday 13th September, at 11am in the Roddy McCorley Social Club, Glen Road, Andersonstown, Belfast, County Antrim BT11 8BU, Belfast. He was be joined by Gerry Adams TD, Martin McGuinness MLA. Mary Lou McDonald TD, and Jennifer McCann MLA.Pictured is Gerry Adams. Photo Mark Marlow/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 04/05/2014 Sinn Fein Leader Gerry Adams speaks at a press conference at the Balmoral Hotel in West Belfast this evening. Adams was released this evening after 4 days of questioning by the PSNI in relation to the murder of Jean McConville in 1972. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
Pacemaker Press 23/1/2017 Martin McGuinness and Gerry Adams as Michelle O'Neill is announced as Sinn Fein's e new leader in the north. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
PACEMAKER BELFAST 15/09/2014 Gerry Adams signing Ian Paisley Book of condolences Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams TD signing the book of condolences for the late Dr Ian Paisley in Belfast City Hall. Photo Aidan O'Reilly/Pacemaker Press
Pacemaker Bfst Ltd archive Gerry Adams File pic of him at an IRA Funeral in Derry .
PACEMAKER BELFAST AUGUST 1988 PF GERRY ADAMS WITH ARTIST IN WEST BELFAST JUDGING WALL MURALS, ADAMS PICTURED WITH STICKER SAYING I LOVE WEST BELFAST. ALSO SURROUNDED WITH KIDS. 674/88/BW
10/2/2010 PACEMAKER PRESS INTL BELFAST. SINN FEIN PRESIDENT GERRY ADAMS PICTURED AT THE SINN FEIN OFFICES, STORMONT. PICTURE CHARLES MCQUILLAN/PACEMAKER.
29/1/2010. PACEMAKER BELFAST. GERRY ADAMS TALKS TO THE MEDIAOUTSIDE HILLSBOROUGH CASTLE AS TALKS CONTINUED BETWEEN THE DUP AND SINN FEIN WITH STILL NO AGREEMENT IN SIGHT. PICTURE CHARLES MCQUILLAN/PACEMAKER.
PACEMAKER BELFAST 11/5/09 Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams takes a plunge at the partys photocall in the Water Works in North Belfast. As the partys European Election candidate Barbrie de Bruin (centre) posed for the cameras with party colleagues, Mr Adams was saved by his deputy Martin McGuinness, doing his David Hasselhoff impersonation. Photo Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press
12 SEPTEMBER 1992: GERRY ADAMS FAMILY
10/2/2010 PACEMAKER PRESS INTL BELFAST. SINN FEIN PRESIDENT GERRY ADAMS PICTURED AT THE SINN FEIN OFFICES, STORMONT. PICTURE CHARLES MCQUILLAN/PACEMAKER.
Funeral of IRA man Henry Hogan at Dunloy, Co. Antrim. Pictures of Cortege etc. Police argued with the mourners and minor scuffles broke out. Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams and Owen Carron took control and organised the mourners. Sinn Fein man Martin McGuiness telling police inspector to get his men out of the cemetary. Also picture of Sinn Fein man Pearce McMahon (behind Gerry Adams, the man with glasses on Gerry's left) with microphones talking to the mourners. Pacemaker Press Intl. 24/2/84 153/84/BW
10/2/2010 PACEMAKER PRESS INTL BELFAST. SINN FEIN PRESIDENT GERRY ADAMS PICTURED AT THE SINN FEIN OFFICES, STORMONT. PICTURE CHARLES MCQUILLAN/PACEMAKER.
PACEMAKER BELFAST ARCHIVE 15th May 1981 Funeral of IRA hunger striker Frances Hughes in his home town of Bellaghy..\ Gerry Adams carrys the coffin flanked by masked IRA men
PACEMAKER BELFAST 3/11/2011 Liam Adams pictured in the back of a PSNI prison van as he arrives at Belfast Laganside court this morning. Mr Adams, brother of Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams is arrested on 18 warrants, including charges of rape, gross indecency and indecent assault. Photo:Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 04/05/2014 Sinn Fein Leader Gerry Adams speaks at a press conference at the Balmoral Hotel in West Belfast this evening. Adams was released this evening after 4 days of questioning by the PSNI in relation to the murder of Jean McConville in 1972. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
Commemoration of Bloody Sunday march in Derry. Gerry Adams and Martin Maguiness are pictured. Pacemaker Press Intl. 30/1/83.
18 FEBRUARY 1992: FUNERALS OF KEVIN BARRY ODONNELL AND SEAN FARRELL TWO OF THE FOUR IRA MEN KILLED BY THE ARMY IN COALISLAND AFTER AN ATTACK ON THE LOCAL POLICE STATION.
PACEMAKER BELFAST ARCHIVE 1984 Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams pictured canvassing with Martin McGuinness, Alex Maskey and Danny Morrison shortly after he was shot and injured in a UDA gun attack in Belfast city centre.. 14/12/2006
Pacemaker press 20/2/08 Gerry Adams carries coffin of Former IRA hunger striker. Pic Colm Lenaghan / Pacemaker
PACEMAKER BELFAST 26/3/2007 Democratic Unionist Party leader The Reverend Ian Paisley (left) and Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams speak to the media during a press conference at the Stormont Assembly building in Belfast after power-sharing restored.
PACEMAKER BELFAST 11 AUGUST 1991. Gerry Adams at 20th anniversary of internment.
PACEMAKER BELFAST 9/12/2005 Sinn Fein leaders Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness pictured at Stormont with Denis Donaldson who was shot dead in County Donegal, months after being exposed as an agent who worked for the police and MI5 for 20 years.
PACEMAKER PRESS INTL. BELFAST. Gerry Adams in Belfast Offices of Sinn Fein. 14/12/82. 1230/82/bw
PACEMAKER, BELFAST, 12/7/2005: Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams gets pushed by riot police as protesters trying to stop Orange parade on the Crumlin road. PICTURE BY STEPHEN DAVISON
PACEMAKER BELFAST. Gerry Adams at Connally House addressing the media about the IRA ceasefire. 31/8/94. 684/94/c
PACEMAKER BELFAST A Sinn Fein delegation arrive at Stormont for talks with the then Secretary of State Mo Mowlam (date 6/8/97) Among the delegation are Martin Ferris (left) the now North Kerry TD, Martin McGuinness (2nd left) and Gerry Adams (right) the Sinn Fein leader. PHOTO STEPHEN DAVISON/PACEMAKER
PACEMAKER PRESS BELFAST. Gerry Adams at Sinn Fein Press Conference. 452/89/bwc
PACEMAKER PRESS INTL. BELFAST. Gerry Adams shooting in Belfast City Centre. Scene at Wellington Place where the three gunmen were captured one of which was injured. 14/3/84. 213/84/bw
PACEMAKER PRESS INTL. BELFAST. Gerry Adams shooting in Belfast City Centre. Scene at Wellington Place where the three gunmen were captured one of which was injured. 14/3/84. 213/84/bw
PACEMAKER PRESS INTL. BELFAST. Gerry Adams shooting in Belfast City Centre. Scene at Wellington Place where the three gunmen were captured one of which was injured. 14/3/84. 213/84/bw
PACEMAKER PRESS INTL. BELFAST. Gerry Adams pictured in a confrontation with the police and the army on the Falls Rd after an arrest by the police. 13/2/84. 111/84/bw
PACEMAKER PRESS INTL. BELFAST. Security forces guard the ward in which Gerry Adams was in at the RVH after being shot three times. 15/3/84. 214/84/bw
PACEMAKER PRESS INTL. BELFAST. Security forces guard the ward in which Gerry Adams was in at the RVH after being shot three times. 15/3/84. 214/84/bw
PACEMAKER PRESS INTL. BELFAST. Gerry Adams Sinn Fein. 25/5/84. 452/84/bw
PACEMAKER BELFAST ARCHIVE Alfredo "Freddie" Scappaticci (extreme left of picture/side faced) pictured at the 1988 funeral of IRA man Brendan Davison. Gerry Adams is pictured carrying the coffin. Scappaticci was later named as 'Stakeknife' the Army's top informer/mole inside the IRA. PICTURE COPYRIGHT: PACEMAKER PRESS
PACEMAKER PRESS INTL. BELFAST. Danny Morrison pictured with Gerry Adams arm in sling in West Belfast canvassing for the EEC Elections. 13/6/84. 497/84/bw
PACEMAKER PRESS INTL. BELFAST. Gerry Adams shooting in Belfast City Centre. Scene at Wellington Place where the three gunmen were captured one of which was injured. 14/3/84. 213/84/bw
PACEMAKER PRESS INTL. BELFAST. Gerry Adams shooting in Belfast City Centre. Scene at Wellington Place where the three gunmen were captured one of which was injured. 14/3/84. 213/84/bw
Gerry Adams inside the Maze with Brendan Hughes. Pacemaker Press Intl. 1/7/83. 589/83/BW
Gerry Adams canvassing in the Ballymurphy area of Belfast. Pacemaker Press Intl. 29/5/83. 482/83/BW
Gerry Adams after winning West Belfast seat at Westminster. Pictured at Belfast City Hall. Pacemaker Press Intl. 10/6/83. 532/83/BW
Gerry Adams winning West Belfast seat,at count, Belfast City Hall. Pacemaker Press Intl. 10/6/83. 531/83/BW
Gerry Adams (Sinn Fein vice President) after winning West Belfast seat at Westminster. Pictured on Falls Road after result. Pictured waving from window in Sinn Fein Belfast office. Pacemaker Press Intl. 10/6/83. 532/83/BW
Gerry Adams at Press conference in Lake Glen Hotel. Pacemaker Press Intl. 26/4/79. 99/79/BW
Gerry Adams cleared of all IRA membership charges in 1978. Pacemaker Press Intl. 6/9/78. 347/78/BW
H-Block demonstration on Falls Road. From Dunville Arms to Busy Bee. The crowd is being addressed by Sinn Fein spokesman Gerry Adams. Pacemaker Press Intl. 30th Nov. 1980. 1032/80/BW
PACEMAKER PRESS INTL. BELFAST. Sinn Fein Conference at Lake Glenn following end of Hunger Strike. It was announced that it was hoped that all blanket and dirty protests would also end as the Government brought in new regulations. (L-R) Danny Morrison, Gerry Adams, Kieran Nugent, Joe Maguire. 19/12/80. 1088/80/bw
PACEMAKER BELFAST 13/12/200 Sinn Fein leaders Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness take part on the Mexican Wave in the Odyssey arena this afternoon before Bill Clinton's speach. PHOTO STEVE WILSON/PACEMAKER
PACEMAKER BELFAST Sinn Fein leader gerry Adams (left) as a 15 yearold bar man in the York Bar in Belfast
PACEMAKER BELFAST Bobby Sands (right) pictured in Long Kesh with Gerry Adams (front) and Brendan Hughes (left).
PACEMAKER PRESS INTL. BELFAST. Sinn Fein Election Posters for Gerry Adams who ran for West Belfast seat for N.I Assembly. He Won. 2/11/82. 1102/82/bw
PACEMAKER BELFAST 13/12/2000 US President Bill Clinton is introduect to Sinn Fein MLA members by Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams during his visit to Stormont this morning.
PACEMAKER BELFAST SINN FEIN PRESIDENT GERRY ADAMS AS A MEMBER OF THE NATIONAL H/BLOCKS COMMITTEE
PACEMAKER BELFAST SINN FEIN PRESIDENT GERRY ADAMS (RIGHT OF PICTURE) AT BOBBY SANDS FUNERAL MAY 1981
Gerry Adams (Sinn Fein vice President) after winning West Belfast seat at Westminster. Pictured on Falls Road after result. Pictured on shoulders of supporters. Pacemaker Press Intl. 10/6/83. 532/83/BW
Sinn Fein Press Conference announcing Manifest. Included in picture are Gerry Adams, Danny Morrison and Owen Carron. Pacemaker Press Intl. May 1983. 537/83/BW
PACEMAKER PRESS INTL. BELFAST. Gerry Addams Sinn Fein pictured at the City Hall after his election win in West Belfast. 25/10/82. 1073/82/bw
PACEMAKER, BELFAST, 14/9/98: DUP leader Rev Ian Paisley was face to face with Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams during the first meeting of the new Assembly at Stormont today. PICTURE BY STEPHEN DAVISON
Gerry Adams, Sinn Fein. Pacemaker Press Intl. 1st Oct. 1981 1010/82/BW
PACEMAKER PRESS INTL. BELFAST. Sinn Fein Election Posters for Gerry Adams who ran for West Belfast seat for N.I Assembly. He Won. 2/11/82. 1102/82/bw
PACEMAKER BELFAST, 22/10/2001: Gerry Adams chats with veteran IRA man Joe Cahill after telling the Sinn Fein party faithful in Conway Mill, Belfast today that he has recommended to the IRA that they start to decommission their arms to save the peace process. PICTURE BY STEPHEN DAVISON
PACEMAKER BELFAST Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams pictured outside the party's HQ on the Falls Road in January 1984
PACEMAKER BELFAST 08/04/98: Ulster Unionist Party leader, David Trimble and Sinn Fein President, Gerry Adams pass within touching distance outside Castle Buildings, Stormont during a break in the negotiations before the signing of the Good Friday Agreement.
PACEMAKER BELFAST, 22/10/2001: Gerry Adams tells the Sinn Fein party faithful in Conway Mill, Belfast today that he has recommended to the IRA that they start to decommission their arms to save the peace process. PICTURE BY STEPHEN DAVISON
PACEMAKER BELFAST 12/01/98 Gerry Adams, John Hume and Albert Reynolds historic meeting at Government Building in Dublin 06/09/94

March

The biggest story of March was Ant and Dec's puzzling comments on Northern Ireland. Viewers were left scratching their heads after the famous duo referred to Northern Ireland as not being a part of Britain but wanting to include it in their game.

The rugby rape trial concluded clearing Ulster rugby players Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding of all charges.  Both left the club and now play for French clubs.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle during a visit to Titanic Belfast maritime museum in Belfast. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday March 23, 2018. See PA story ROYAL Harry. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire
ROYAL Har 29.jpg

And there was excitement as the soon-to-be married Prince Harry and Meghan Markle stopped off in Belfast as part of a tour of the UK ahead of their big day.

In sport Ireland secured a Grand Slam Six Nations championship.

And March also saw the publication of our schools GCSE tables.

Linfield Supporters Social Club, 1 Jumna Street, Belfast. Community First Wedding Party.
Charlie Butler, Gregg Clarke, William Humphrey MLA, Gareth McKeown Stephen Paul and Ryan McMinn. Pic: Freddie Parkinson Presseye
Linfield Supporters Social Club, 1 Jumna Street, Belfast. Community First Wedding Party. Charlie Butler, Gregg Clarke, William Humphrey MLA, Gareth McKeown Stephen Paul and Ryan McMinn. Pic: Freddie Parkinson Presseye
Mandatory Credit - Picture by Freddie Parkinson/Press Eye © Saturday 19 May 2018 Linfield Supporters Social Club, 1 Jumna Street, Belfast. Community First Wedding Party. Little Ariyah Martin only 4 weeks old and her Uncle William Humphrey M L A, Harper McMinn, Reeva Townsley, Miley Smith and Alayna Orr.
Mandatory Credit - Picture by Freddie Parkinson/Press Eye © Saturday 19 May 2018 Linfield Supporters Social Club, 1 Jumna Street, Belfast. Community First Wedding Party. Taylor Miscandlon andLittle Ariyah Martin only 4 weeks old and her Uncle William Humphrey M L A
Mandatory Credit - Picture by Freddie Parkinson/Press Eye © Saturday 19 May 2018 Linfield Supporters Social Club, 1 Jumna Street, Belfast. Community First Wedding Party. Little Ariyah Martin only 4 weeks old and her Uncle William Humphrey M L A
Mandatory Credit - Picture by Freddie Parkinson/Press Eye © Saturday 19 May 2018 Linfield Supporters Social Club, 1 Jumna Street, Belfast. Community First Wedding Party. Cathy Lundy enjoys the sun and party
Mandatory Credit - Picture by Freddie Parkinson/Press Eye © Saturday 19 May 2018 Linfield Supporters Social Club, 1 Jumna Street, Belfast. Community First Wedding Party. Cathy Lundy enjoys the sun and party
Mandatory Credit - Picture by Freddie Parkinson/Press Eye © Saturday 19 May 2018 Linfield Supporters Social Club, 1 Jumna Street, Belfast. Community First Wedding Party. Ellen Whyte (5) and Sofia Nesbitt (4)
Mandatory Credit - Picture by Freddie Parkinson/Press Eye © Saturday 19 May 2018 Linfield Supporters Social Club, 1 Jumna Street, Belfast. Community First Wedding Party. Alayna Orr (3), Maddox (5) and Sonni (3) Tahiri
Mandatory Credit - Picture by Freddie Parkinson/Press Eye © Saturday 19 May 2018 Linfield Supporters Social Club, 1 Jumna Street, Belfast. Community First Wedding Party. Lexi Watson (5) and Cassie Douglas (3) wearing their party dresses made by Mum Nicole.
Mandatory Credit - Picture by Freddie Parkinson/Press Eye © Saturday 19 May 2018 Linfield Supporters Social Club, 1 Jumna Street, Belfast. Community First Wedding Party.
Mandatory Credit - Picture by Freddie Parkinson/Press Eye © Saturday 19 May 2018 Linfield Supporters Social Club, 1 Jumna Street, Belfast. Community First Wedding Party.
Mandatory Credit - Picture by Freddie Parkinson/Press Eye © Saturday 19 May 2018 Linfield Supporters Social Club, 1 Jumna Street, Belfast. Community First Wedding Party. Karson Fluke (2)
Mandatory Credit - Picture by Freddie Parkinson/Press Eye © Saturday 19 May 2018 Linfield Supporters Social Club, 1 Jumna Street, Belfast. Community First Wedding Party. Kirsty Maclure and Zara Fleck (4)
Mandatory Credit - Picture by Freddie Parkinson/Press Eye © Saturday 19 May 2018 Linfield Supporters Social Club, 1 Jumna Street, Belfast. Community First Wedding Party. Paige Irvine (Centre) with twins Faith and Gracey McMullan (3)
Mandatory Credit - Picture by Freddie Parkinson/Press Eye © Saturday 19 May 2018 The Little Beauty Lounge, Crumlin Road, Belfast Prosecco and Strawberries at the party for Emma Moore, Jade Hamill, Lauren Williamson and Kelly Crawford
Mandatory Credit - Picture by Freddie Parkinson/Press Eye © Saturday 19 May 2018 Linfield Supporters Social Club, 1 Jumna Street, Belfast. Community First Wedding Party. Paige Irvine (Centre) with twins Faith and Gracey McMullan (3)
Mandatory Credit - Picture by Freddie Parkinson/Press Eye © Saturday 19 May 2018 The Little Beauty Lounge, Crumlin Road, Belfast Prosecco and Strawberries at the party for Emma Moore, Jade Hamill, Lauren Williamson and Kelly Crawford
Mandatory Credit - Picture by Freddie Parkinson/Press Eye © Saturday 19 May 2018 The Little Beauty Lounge, Crumlin Road, Belfast Jade Hamill handing out the Tea Cakes for the Wedding Party.
Mandatory Credit - Picture by Freddie Parkinson/Press Eye © Saturday 19 May 2018 The Little Beauty Lounge, Crumlin Road, Belfast Jade Hamill handing out the Tea Cakes for the Wedding Party.

April

At an Easter Rising commemoration, Sinn Fein's Michelle O'Neill called for a border poll. Thousands took part in our poll asking if it was time to take a poll with the majority saying there should be one.

Tragedy struck in Co Antrim when two people died after a plane crash. Pilot Bob Farmbrough (77) and Bryan Greenwood were travelling in the Cessna 152 when it came down near the rural Ballyhill Lane outside Crumlin.

And DUP leader Arlene Foster revealed in a documentary she would up and leave Northern Ireland if a border poll came out in favour of unification.

May

Ed Sheeran played a secret gig in Belfast - after he played a sold out Boucher Road concert. The Galway Girl hit-maker arrived unannounced in Maddens Bar - the home of traditional folk music in the city - with some of his backing musicians after finishing on stage.

The BBC was accused of bias after broadcasting an unchallenged attack on Christians in a segment on the royal wedding.

And the Belfast Health Trust was forced to perform the biggest ever patient recall in the history of the UK over the work of consultant neurologist Dr Michael Watt. And inquiry has been established to examine the matter.

The Republic's landslide referendum on the introduction of abortion prompted calls for politicians to act to bring in a change of law in Northern Ireland.

And Meghan and Harry got married.

June

June rolled in and the World Cup kicked off. Locally actors Michael Fassbender and Jamie Dornan enjoyed the delights on the north coast in one of our most popular stories.

Carl Frampton was beaten by Josh Warrington.
Carl Frampton was beaten by Josh Warrington.
Josh Warrington celebrates winning the World Featherweight Championship against Carl Frampton at Manchester Arena. Martin Rickett/PA Wire
Josh Warrington (right) and Carl Frampton embrace after the World Featherweight Championship at Manchester Arena. Martin Rickett/PA Wire
Josh Warrington and Carl Frampton embrace after the IBF World Featherweight Championship title fight between Josh Warrington and Carl Frampton at Manchester Arena on December 22, 2018 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 22: Josh Warrington punches Carl Frampton during the IBF World Featherweight Championship title fight between Josh Warrington and Carl Frampton at Manchester Arena on December 22, 2018 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Josh Warrington (left) and Carl Frampton in action.
Josh Warrington (right) and Carl Frampton in action in the World Featherweight Championship at Manchester Arena. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday December 22, 2018. See PA story BOXING Manchester. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire
Josh Warrington (right) and Carl Frampton in action in the World Featherweight Championship at Manchester Arena. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday December 22, 2018. See PA story BOXING Manchester. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire
Josh Warrington (left) and Carl Frampton in action in the World Featherweight Championship at Manchester Arena. Martin Rickett/PA Wire
Josh Warrington (left) and Carl Frampton in action in the World Featherweight Championship at Manchester Arena. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday December 22, 2018. Martin Rickett/PA Wire
Josh Warrington (left) and Carl Frampton in action in the World Featherweight Championship at Manchester Arena. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday December 22, 2018. Martin Rickett/PA Wire
Josh Warrington (left) and Carl Frampton in action in the World Featherweight Championship at Manchester Arena. Martin Rickett/PA Wire
Josh Warrington (right) and Carl Frampton in action in the World Featherweight Championship at Manchester Arena. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday December 22, 2018. See PA story BOXING Manchester. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire
Josh Warrington (left) and Carl Frampton in action in the World Featherweight Championship at Manchester Arena. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday December 22, 2018. See PA story BOXING Manchester. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire
Christine Frampton, wife of Carl Frampton at Manchester Arena. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday December 22, 2018. See PA story BOXING Manchester. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire
Christine Frampton, wife of Carl Frampton at Manchester Arena. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday December 22, 2018. See PA story BOXING Manchester. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire
Josh Warrington (left) and Carl Frampton in action in the World Featherweight Championship at Manchester Arena. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday December 22, 2018. See PA story BOXING Manchester. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire
Carl Frampton punches Josh Warrington during the IBF World Featherweight Championship title fight between Josh Warrington and Carl Frampton at Manchester Arena on December 22, 2018 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)
Josh Warrington punches Carl Frampton during the IBF World Featherweight Championship title fight between Josh Warrington and Carl Frampton at Manchester Arena on December 22, 2018 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)
Josh Warrington punches Carl Frampton during the IBF World Featherweight Championship title fight between Josh Warrington and Carl Frampton at Manchester Arena on December 22, 2018 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)
Josh Warrington punches Carl Frampton during the IBF World Featherweight Championship title fight between Josh Warrington and Carl Frampton at Manchester Arena on December 22, 2018 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 22: Josh Warrington punches Carl Frampton during the IBF World Featherweight Championship title fight between Josh Warrington and Carl Frampton at Manchester Arena on December 22, 2018 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 22: Josh Warrington punches Carl Frampton during the IBF World Featherweight Championship title fight between Josh Warrington and Carl Frampton at Manchester Arena on December 22, 2018 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)
Carl Frampton makes his way to the ring prior to the IBF World Featherweight Championship title fight between Josh Warrington and Carl Frampton at Manchester Arena (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 22: Josh Warrington makes his way to the ring prior to the IBF World Featherweight Championship title fight between Josh Warrington and Carl Frampton at Manchester Arena on December 22, 2018 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)
Michael Conlan wins the WBC Intercontinental Featherweight Championship at Manchester Arena. Martin Rickett/PA Wire
Michael Conlan wins the WBC Intercontinental Featherweight Championship at Manchester Arena. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday December 22, 2018. See PA story BOXING Manchester. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire
Michael Conlan wins the WBC Intercontinental Featherweight Championship at Manchester Arena. Martin Rickett/PA Wire
Michael Conlan (left) and Jason Cunningham compete in the WBC Intercontinental Featherweight Championship at Manchester Arena. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday December 22, 2018. See PA story BOXING Manchester. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire
Michael Conlan (right) and Jason Cunningham compete in the WBC Intercontinental Featherweight Championship at Manchester Arena. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday December 22, 2018. See PA story BOXING Manchester. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire
Michael Conlan (right) and Jason Cunningham compete in the WBC Intercontinental Featherweight Championship at Manchester Arena. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday December 22, 2018. See PA story BOXING Manchester. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire
Michael Conlan (left) and Jason Cunningham compete in the WBC Intercontinental Featherweight Championship at Manchester Arena. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday December 22, 2018. See PA story BOXING Manchester. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire
Michael Conlan (right) and Jason Cunningham compete in the WBC Intercontinental Featherweight Championship at Manchester Arena. Martin Rickett/PA Wire
Michael Conlan (left) and Jason Cunningham compete in the WBC Intercontinental Featherweight Championship at Manchester Arena. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday December 22, 2018. See PA story BOXING Manchester. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire
Michael Conlan (left) and Jason Cunningham compete in the WBC Intercontinental Featherweight Championship at Manchester Arena. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday December 22, 2018. See PA story BOXING Manchester. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire
Michael Conlan (left) and Jason Cunningham compete in the WBC Intercontinental Featherweight Championship at Manchester Arena. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday December 22, 2018. See PA story BOXING Manchester. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire
Michael Conlan (left) and Jason Cunningham compete in the WBC Intercontinental Featherweight Championship at Manchester Arena. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday December 22, 2018. See PA story BOXING Manchester. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire

A report on a Northern Ireland care home detailed some of the horrific experiences of residents.

There was sadness after a child coked to death on a piece of food at the reopening of a Northern Ireland church after it had been hit by two arson attacks.

Drew Harris was appointed Garda Commissioner.

And the progress of Fermanagh in the GAA Ulster Championships made some feel uncomfortable in the work place, according to a local MLA.

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BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - JULY 12: An Orange man enjoys a burger before the start of the annual 12th of July Orange march and demonstration takes place on July 12, 2018 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The marches across the province celebrate King William of Orange's victory over the Catholic King James at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)
 

July

July saw the tragic death of William Dunlop. Son of Robert and nephew of the legendary Joey, the racer came off his bike at the Skerries 100 in Co Dublin.

Former First Minister and DUP leader Peter Robinson sparked a backlash for suggesting preparations should be made for a united Ireland.

And it was another glorious Twelfth.

August

The Primark fire dominated the headlines in August as images of the iconic building ablaze were beamed around the world. The city has been left decimated in the aftermath with repairs and restrictions to movement in and around what is the hub of the city likely to continue well into the New Year.

The Pope visited Dublin with over 100,000 people turning out for Mass in Phoenix Park.

There was anger as hurlers celebrated their All-Ireland win with an IRA song.

And Belfast's newest hotel also had the most expensive pint in all Ireland.

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Whiterocks beach during Storm Ali. Credit: Jamie Russell
 

September

Another major weather system hit - Storm Ali - which claimed the lives of two including an engineer from Newtownabbey.

Ian Paisley began the first day of his 30-sitting day suspension from the Commons after he was found to have breached rules on declaring interests and paid advocacy.

A top Northern Ireland chef quit her role at an acclaimed Co Antrim restaurant.

And that man Jonathan Rea secured his fourth consecutive World Super Bike title.

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People dressed as Ku Klux Klan members outside the Islamic centre in Ards
 

October

While there were many Brexit twists and turns throughout the year, it was October which saw the ramping up of the rhetoric. The long-awaited withdrawal agreement was published and with it the straining of relations between the DUP and Prime Minister Theresa May - with the party threatening to pull down the government.

There were disgraceful scenes in Newtownards - which were beamed around the world - as a group dressed up as the  Ku Klux Klan and posed for pictures outside an Islamic centre.

There was "devastation" as Belfast model Mairead O'Neill died at just 21.

And motorbike racer Guy Martin's revelation he decided to step away from the sport while lying badly injured in a Belfast hospital bed proved a popular read among our audience.

November

November saw a rare win for the Irish against New Zealand - and with the help of Ulster powerhouse Jacob Stockdale.

In the news a man who fell from the pedal-powered bike bar in Belfast passed away.

And, ahead of the DUP conference, former leader Peter Robinson intervened to suggest the Irish language should be no barrier to the restoration of power sharing. He also warned against his party being led by the "most vociferous voices," although later denied he was being critical of Arlene Foster's leadership blaming sections of the media for "wanting to get Arlene".

The exiled terror chief Johnny Adair made a secret pilgrimage to his mother's wake to say a final goodbye.

And to mark the centenary of Armistice Day which brought to an end the First World War, haunting images of soldiers who died in the conflict appeared on beaches throughout the UK.

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Stories swept away in time: Danny Boyle "pages of the sea" remembering the life of John McCance takes place at Murlough Beach in Co Down on November 11th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)
 

December

Brexit shifted up a gear in the month of December. The landscape was ever changing. Theresa May lost major votes in parliament, was forced into pulling her meaningful vote on the withdrawal agreement because of a lack of numbers in the Commons and to top it off she survived a leadership challenge from rebel Tories.

There was widespread derision at the deal obtained by Theresa May, summed up by the Labour MP Kate Hoey who suggested the backstop - which would see Northern Ireland remain in a customs union with the EU until an alternative arrangement was found - was a backdoor to a united Ireland.

A family were plunged into mourning as father Jim Donegan was gunned down as he waited for his son outside a Belfast school.

A Co Down family were grief-stricken as their little boy Kai Corkum was hit and killed by a car.

And the year ended on a sour note for Belfast boxer Carl Frampton whose title hopes were dashed - and possibly the curtain brought down on his illustrious career - when he suffered defeat to Josh Warrington in a fight dubbed the "best of the year" and one that will live long in the annals of the sport's history.

That was just some of the stories that made 2018 - who knows what 2019 has in store.

A Happy New Year to all our readers.

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