Friday, December 30, 2005


2005 in review

Better late than never eh? Hello to you all. I know some of you have been leaving comments on other threads besides the Christmas one and when I return to the blog seat properly, I'll attempt to publish your comments.

First up, I hope you all had a great Christmas. Mine was pretty enjoyable and I found myself watching alot of films over the festive period. Well done to RTE for showing Pirates of the Caribbean. I've been wanting to see that film for a while now!

As the year of our Lord two thousand and five draws to a close, I considered doing the usual nonsense that you tend to see this time of year with the highs and lows of everything etc, but I couldn't be arsed commenting on stuff you already know about. Besides, the BBC do a far better job than I ever could here. With that being said, since this is perhaps my last post of 2005, I thought I'd be remiss if I didn't offer at least some commentary on what has been in many respects a massive year. Therefore, I will sum up my thoughts on what 2005 meant for Ireland, what it meant for the world and lastly, what it meant for this blog, United Irelander.

2005 for Ireland

For all intents and purposes, 2005 was a massive year for Ireland. It began with the fallout of the Northern Bank raid and in January the killing of Robert McCartney was a major issue. The subsequent bravery shown by the McCartney sisters was truly inspiring, seeing them even get the opportunity to meet with the US President. Never before had the 'Republican Movement' been challenged in this way on US soil and it was a group of civilian former Sinn Féin voters who spearheaded this challenge. Remarkable! They would be my choice for any 'people of 2005' award. I believe the McCartney sisters played a big part in Gerry Adams' later call for the IRA to "fully embrace" democratic means. Perhaps the biggest event in the year 2005 though from an Irish perspective was the IRA's announcement that their armed campaign was over. This was also followed by IRA decommissioning. All in all, some major events! Other notable events in Irish politics this year would be the Colombia Three debacle, the Orange Order riots, the incarceration of Padraig Nally, the McDowell/Connolly issue, the OTR legislation and, most recently, the Stormontgate scandal. Quite a year for politics! And that's only what I can remember right now...

Away from politics and in the area of sport, Ireland failed to qualify for next year's World Cup sadly and in perhaps the biggest sporting story of '05, Roy Keane left Manchester United! Dublin also flopped when it came to GAA but I guess some things never change.

In terms of entertainment, um...uh...well RTE are still showing The Panel so I guess 2005 wasn't great in that respect.

2005 for the world

2005 was a big year for the world. Two things which spring to mind straight away for me would be the deaths of Pope John Paul II and George Best. Two great men in my opinion who leave this world a poorer place. There were alot of tragedies in 2005 too. At the start of the year we still had reports of the devastating Tsunami in Asia, we also witnessed the terrible London bombings on the 7th of July, we had Hurricane Katrina hit America as well as a spate of plane crashes around the world which killed many.

For sport, 2005 wasn't that important globally. With it being one of those odd number years, no major tournament such as the Olympics or the World Cup took place. London was given the Olympics though prior to the London attacks. England got humiliated at Windsor park by a gutsy NI side. Overall though, in terms of sport, aside from Lance Armstrong notching up another win at the Tour de France, I can't remember much of note.

For entertainment purposes, I guess the Live 8 concert was the biggest thing. Also Brad and Jen broke up which is apparently important. This year saw many of the usual craptacular reality shows continue such as You're A Star and The X-Factor but as I said above, some things never change. Star Wars Episode III came out this year however and it was a film I managed to see. I thought it was alot better than the first two. Not a bad year in terms of entertainment though all in all.

2005 for United Irelander

I feel this blog really developed well in 2005. At the start of the year I was still pretty much finding my feet but over the course of the last few months, things feel like they have improved and I got welcome mentions in the Sunday Tribune, the BBC and The Guardian. There's a new colour scheme too. I've also added many new links to the blogroll over the year and alot more people have visited over the past twelve months. I've had interesting discussions with lots of people on various issues and it's truly been a pleasure to get visitors from as far off as Italy, Canada, America, Lebanon to name just a few places. Thank you to all those who visit wherever you're from.

Blogging seems to be coming along nicely here in Ireland and with talk of Irish Blog Awards for the start of 2006 as well as the likelihood of new Irish blogs appearing, next year should be even better for Bloglaigh na hEireann, the Boggersphere, whatever you want to call it!

Onwards and upwards...

As I hinted earlier, this may be my last post of 2005 so I'd again like to thank you all for popping by UI over the last year and hopefully there's more interesting discussion to be had. I hope to have normal service resume next week and I've alot of things to get off my chest as we head into another year. God willing, I hope to make United Irelander a real blog of note in 2006.

Have a great New Year ladies and gents and make sure you take it easy! Slán 2005!


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