On top of the world
It was the year the world was meant to end, but instead life went on its everyday way. We had sporting triumphs, political disasters, scientific breakthroughs and heartbreaking losses. The economy didn't get better, austerity cut deeper but Ireland still scored high on the happiness index. We look back on the highs and lows of 2012
What Katie did next
We were so certain Katie Taylor was going to win Ireland's first women's gold at an Olympic Games since . . . um, well, what was that swimmer's name again? Oh never mind . . . that we would have happily bet our house on it - if our house was worth anything any more. But our certainty evaporated in the seconds after the Bray battler's tense final bout with Sofia Ochigava, the cartoon baddie from Russia.
As a nation held its breath and waited, not even Jimmy McGee could say for sure if she'd done enough to win. Then her right arm was held high and the roof lifted off the gloriously partisan ExCel Boxing arena. There wasn't a dry eye in the country when the Tricolor fluttered over cheering London heads to the strains of Amhrán na bhFiann.
Oh, Danny Boyle
After seeing the exuberant pyrotechnics and death defying gymnastics that were so central to the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics four years ago, most observers said all the smoke, excitement and contorting could never be topped by grey, drab, always complaining London.
They did not reckon on film director Danny Boyle - whose mammy is from Ballinasloe, incidentally - taking the concept, giving it a good shake and delivering three spectacular and frequently mental hours of entertainment, exemplifying much of what is great about Britain.
There were NHS staff dancing with hospital beds, some Madness, Paul McCartney, Mr Bean, Mr Bond. Oh yes, and the Queen jumped out of an aeroplane and parachuted directly into the Olympic Stadium in London's East End. It cost £27 million and was worth every penny. Over to you Rio. No pressure.
Tee time for Rory
Irish? British? Who cares! Rory McElroy is simply the greatest golfer this island has ever produced - and possibly the best sportsperson - and he will be cheered on by all Irish golf fans at the Rio Olympics in four years, whether he is draped in the Union Jack or the Tricolour. Confirmation of his greatness came in August when he won his second major title, the PGA Championship at Kiawah Island, by a record eight shots.
He also became the world No 1, and only the second player to win the money list titles in both Europe and the US. He notched up four wins on the US circuit and 10 top-10 finishes in just 16 starts. He was also named the PGA of America Player of the Year and the PGA Tour's Player of the Year. He won $8,047,952 in the US alone - and that doesn't include the sponsorship deals he has signed and will sign in the months ahead. Tiger who?