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29 Jun 2022

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Happy New Year 2022: Welcoming 2022 while looking back at 2021 - Sporting heroes and wandering walrus bring cheer to Ireland

In Pictures: Welcoming 2022 while looking back at 2021 - Sporting heroes and wandering walrus bring cheer to Ireland

Coronavirus continued to cast its shadow over Ireland in 2021, but the year brought uplifting moments too, including Olympic triumphs and the sighting of a walrus off the Atlantic coast by a five-year-old girl.

Ireland started 2021 under Level 5 Covid-19 restrictions, which were eased later in the year before rising cases brought fresh measures in November.

Away from Covid, the year began with heavy rain and gales as Storm Christoph moved in.

January also saw Joe Biden’s links with Ireland celebrated as he was sworn in as the 46th president of the United States.

A wintry chill was felt in February, bringing ice, snow and cold winds.

Flooding hit parts of Ireland later in the month.

March brought some cheer, as a walrus thought to have drifted over to Ireland from the Arctic was spotted by five-year-old Muireann Houlihan.

The annual St Patrick’s Day festivities brought colour to the streets – alongside the social distancing.

Irish jockey Rachael Blackmore became the first female winner of the Grand National in April, having become the first woman to win Cheltenham’s Champion Hurdle the month before.

June saw protesters descend on Dublin to demand a 100% redress scheme for homes and properties affected by bricks contaminated with mica.

Fans of James Joyce celebrated the life of the Irish writer on Bloomsday, which is observed annually on June 16, the day Joyce’s 1922 novel Ulysses takes place in 1904.

In June, fishermen from around the Irish coast gathered in Dublin to protest over cuts to quotas, the impact of Brexit and the EU Common Fisheries Policy.

The annual National Day of Commemoration, which remembers all Irishmen and Irishwomen who died in past wars or on service with the United Nations, was marked at Collins Barracks in Dublin.

The event in July also marked the 100th anniversary of the truce in the Irish War of Independence between 1919-21.

Temperatures soared above 30C in July as the country basked in a heatwave.

The summer also saw sporting success for Ireland at the Tokyo Olympics.

Country music star Garth Brooks was the centre of attention in November as he visited Dublin to promote his much-anticipated Irish concerts next September.

In December, Storm Barra brought disruptive winds, heavy rain and snow to Ireland.

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