2012 at a glance
January:An Italian cruise-ship captain achieves international notoriety when the ship he is in command of, the Costa Concordia, runs on to rocks off the Tuscan island of Giglio. A total of 32 passengers die and Capt Francesco Schettino is pilloried for abandoning ship before a rescue could be conducted.
Seán Quinn, who was formerly Ireland’s richest man, accuses IBRC, formerly Anglo Irish Bank, of having a vendetta against him after it moves to have his Northern Irish bankruptcy overturned. Quinn is later declared bankrupt by the High Court in Dublin.
In Cork the close-knit fishing community of Union Hall is left grieving when the Tit Bonhomme sinks in stormy seas with the loss of five of the six crew members. President Michael D Higgins later says the story of the Tit Bonhomme enveloped the people of Ireland, its crew and the people of Union Hall.
It is reported the Sinn Féin TD for Dublin South Central, Aengus Ó Snodaigh, used more than €50,000 worth of printer cartridges from the Dáil in a two-year period. Ó Snodaigh defends his use of the ink, saying it was for printing party leaflets.
Public figures such as Alex Ferguson, Cillian Murphy and Paul McGrath support former Vita Cortex workers, of whom 32 are sitting-in in a campaign for redundancy entitlements at the former foam-packaging factory. The sit-in continues until May.
The EU and IMF provide Greece with a second financial package, of €130 billion. Under the agreement, Greece’s private creditors will take more losses. The bailout package hopes to cut its national debt to 120 per cent of GDP by 2020.
The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland upholds a complaint made by former presidential candidate Seán Gallagher concerning the Frontline presidential debate broadcast on RTÉ television.
The Encyclopedia Britannica goes out of print after 244 years. Future editions of the encyclopaedia will be available exclusively online.
The Mahon Tribunal finds former taoiseach Bertie Ahern failed to truthfully account for a number of financial transactions in the 1990s. Ahern resigns from Fianna Fáil before the party can oust him, as does Pádraig Flynn, who the tribunal found had corruptly sought and received a payment from the developer Tom Gilmartin in 1989.
Reports suggest that about 50 per cent of households, or 800,000 nationwide, sign up for the obligatory household charge by the March 31st deadline.
The results of Census 2011 reveal an increasingly diverse Ireland with 766,770 residents born outside the country, 25 per cent more than in 2006, and 514,068 who speak a foreign language at home. The number of divorced people, 87,770, is a 150 per cent rise on the 2002 figure.
The Government dismisses suggestions senior Ministers are sending out “mixed messages” about the State’s funding in the event of a No vote in the fiscal treaty referendum.
The Garda calls for tighter controls for criminals on the sex offenders’ register to enable gardaí to monitor them more closely. The Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors (Agsi) puts forward ideas for a tighter regime to keep track of offenders who have been released from prison but remain on the register of sex offenders.
During his trial for killing 77 people in Norway in 2011, Anders Behring Breivik (left) says he would do it again. Breivik’s trial ends in June and, in August, he is classed as sane and sentenced to 21 years in prison, though he is likely to spend the rest of his life in jail.