My best moment of 2013
From becoming a grandmother for the first time to simply enjoying meeting customers in a shop, the best memories are personal
BT Young Scientist winners Emer Hickey, Sophie Healy-Thow and Ciara Judge. Photograph: Aidan Crawley
Steve Garrigan of Kodaline. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien
Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore and Grainne Healy TD, Chairwoman of Marriage Equality. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins
Chair of Marriage Equality
One of my highlights was becoming a grandmother for the first time, in July, to baby Harry. That was an amazing stand-out moment. And the second was the 79 per cent vote at the Constitutional Convention. A hundred participants were asked to consider should the Government make provision for same-sex couples to be able to get married in Ireland: 79 per cent said yes. That is a great number by anyone’s yardstick, so it’s an overwhelmingly positive response. So for us in Marriage Equality, it’s an indication of the work we were doing and when you put it out to the public what that answer is. Linked with that, then, as another moment, was the Taoiseach’s announcement that there will be a referendum in 2015 for people to have their say on this.
Captain of the Ireland women’s rugby team
Stand-out moment? Ah listen, the Grand Slam trophy! For all the obvious reasons. There was a lot of things that led up to it, like beating England 25-0, that would be up there, but we were out to win silverware. The last 10 minutes of the Italian game, the weather levelled the game. We were under pressure and Italy were putting loads of pressure in our own half. There was a moment where, although it was frantic, there was a control among us. We all knew exactly what we needed to do: turn over the ball, maintain it. But for a moment I didn’t know whether it was for us or against us, and the penalty went to us. The last 10 minutes were the most memorable. After we defrosted there were a lot of people who had travelled over and gone out of their way to get to _Milan. One girl changed her honeymoon plans to be in Milan. One girl came from New Zealand. There weren’t crazy celebrations, but just chatting to so many people, chatting about what had gone on, where the team had come from, our family who had been through the whole journey with us. That Italian pub in the little suburb didn’t know what had hit it.
Lead singer of Kodaline
Going gold in the UK was really cool. Getting the discs presented to us, platinum in Ireland and gold in Australia. We sold out the O2, which is amazing, but that’s not until March, so we’ll only really be able to take that in then. Our album only came out in America at the end of October, and the venues we were playing there were pretty small, but the tour was more or less sold out. We’re going back there, and the venues are bigger. But one of the best things was the Olympia shows and being back in Dublin. My nana came out, and she’s in her 80s and hadn’t been to a show in years. That was pretty cool. Basically, she came on the first night. I hadn’t seen any friends or family in months. She was just like, ‘Where’s Steve?’ If your nana calls you, you go. So I dismissed everybody and I just hung out with her for the night. She’s a big part of my life.