Reeling in the Year - Boards in 2018
Happy New Year everyone! What a year 2018 was, packed with major news stories both at home and overseas, sporting success, and incredible accomplishments by Boardsies across the site. Here are some of the major events that got people talking, number one singles, and other bits and pieces throughout the year.


The year started on a tragic note as an Asian man was killed in a stabbing rampage in Dundalk. The month was bookended by violence as a man was shot in Dublin in a gangland incident.

One of the more noteworthy celebrity splits happened in January with Ant McPartlin confirming that he was divorcing Lisa Armstrong after 11 years of marriage:

More than 300 top women in Hollywood, including Meryl Streep, Jennifer Lawrence, Emma Thompson and Cate Blanchett unveiled the Time's Up initiative to tackle pervasive sexual harassment in workplaces:

The first political gaffe of the year came quite early. Sinn Féin MP Barry McElduff took a photo with a 'Kingsmill loaf' on his head on the 42nd anniversary of the Kingsmill massacre. This prompted him to resign shortly after. In other political news, Mary Lou McDonald became the leader of Sinn Féin.

James Franco and Aziz Ansari were accused of sexual assault, while Eliza Dushku came forward with allegations that she was sexually assaulted at the age of 12 by a stunt co-ordinator: .

Over in the Motors forum, regulars celebrated the find of the 1968 Ford Mustang that Steve McQueen drove in "Bullitt" :

One amazing piece of creativity was highlighted in the Nintendo forum early in the year. witnessmenow created a Zelda chest that lights up and plays the melody when you open it, and showed off how to make it if you are interested in finding out more.

In January, we lost Dolores O'Riordan at the age of 46. It was later found that she died by drowning due to alcohol intoxication. Naomi Parker, aka Rosie the Riveter, and the Swedish founder of the Ikea furniture chain, Ingvar Kamprad, also passed away at the end of January.

The end of the month also brought the arrival of the first storm in Storm Georgina. Over Stateside, they were more concerned with the possibility of a tsunami after a 7.9-magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Alaska.

There was some good news to round out the month (for publicans and those who like a tipple on any day they please, at least), as it was announced that the Dáil approved the sale of alcohol on Good Friday:


From the 1st of February, a new program was rolled out to provide incentives for Taxi drivers to purchase Electric Vehicles:

There was the small matter of the Six Nations, and what a Six Nations it turned out to be. One of the highlights of the entire tournament came in the opening game with Johnny Sexton stepping up and nailing a massive drop goal to set Ireland on the way to winning a Grand Slam:

As of the 5th of February, the Berlin Wall was down as long as it had been erected though some posters got a little ahead of themselves.

Looking much further afield, SpaceX performed a test flight of Falcon Heavy:

February was another tumultuous month for celebrity relationships with the splits of Sarah Silverman and Michael Sheen, and of and Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux:

In Boards related news, we saw the launch of the VR forum, while the 4x4 & Tractors & Diggers & Plant was renamed and repurposed as Haulage & Heavy Machinery to encapsulate all things big! One interesting project from the Cycling forum was riddlinrussell's Greenway Map of Ireland, highlighting all officially completed, planned or under construction, and proposed greenways. Boards also celebrated the 20th anniversary of its first ever post!

It's hard to believe it's been that long and it's also been 20 years since Dermot Morgan passed away!

Deaths in February included Irish footballer Liam Miller, Frasier star John Mahoney, Notting Hill star Emma Chambers, and Irish cyclist Gabriel Howard, among others.

Tragic scenes were witnessed in Parkland, Florida after a school shooting left 17 students and staff members dead and another 17 injured:

There was also tragedy near Moscow when a Russian airliner crashed killing 71 people:

It was the weather that had people gripped and glued to Boards in Ireland. A snow and ice warning and event early in the month was just a preview of what would follow when the Beast from the East arrived (Discussion: / Technical Discussion: / Photos:!


The Beast kept a hold on Ireland into March, while the Son of the Beast arrived a matter of weeks later (Discussion: / Photos:

The beginning of March was all Oscars focused over on the Films forum:

A former RTE producer was sentenced to 18 months in prison after he admitted to grooming a 13-year-old girl. He was arrested after being confronted by Predator Exposure, a self-styled paedophile hunter group, in a sting operation:

The Music forum has entertained itself, and taught people something new on a regular basis, with a thread dedicated to surprising songs that were a group's or artist's highest charting singles. There are some unexpected success stories to be found here:

There was a feel-good story posted to After Hours that rekindles your faith in humanity. Colleagues of a man in Germany raised more than 3,000 hours of overtime between them so that he could stay off work to care for his son who had undergone life-saving chemotherapy:

Someone else who had to take a little time off work in March was Jamie Carragher after video footage emerged of him spitting at a driver and his daughter:

There were some high profile deaths in March including Ken Dodd, Stephen Hawking, and Jim Bowen.

We also lost the last known living male Northern White Rhino who died at 45, leaving two females of this breed alive in the world:

One month after the events in Florida, there was a shooting at a school in Maryland in which two students were shot before the shooter was killed by a school resource officer:

Tension between Russia and international leaders escalated in March after a former Russian military intelligence officer who acted as a double agent for the UK's intelligence services and his daughter were poisoned:

On March 21st, a fire broke out at the Metro Hotel in Ballymun. Around 150 people were staying in the hotel at the time, but all were accounted for and relocated to a nearby hotel:

We learned a lot more about the control of information and how sometimes we don't have as much control as we might imagine thanks to the Cambridge Analytica scandal. While we can't find a thread dedicated to this news, there was some chatter about it and things like fake news in After Hours:

Welfare has been a hot topic over the past year and one major story broke in March with the sentencing of a couple over one of largest welfare fraud cases in the State:

A hostage situation in France left 16 injured and resulted in the deaths of 4, including gendarme Arnaud Beltrame who swapped places with the hostages:

The end of March saw the conclusion of the Belfast rape trial. Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding were found not guilty of raping a 19-year-old student in June 2016, while Blane McIlroy was acquitted on the charge of exposure, and Rory Harrison was acquitted of charges of perverting the course of public justice, and withholding information.


Guns in America were in the news once again at the start of April as an active shooter entered YouTube HQ in San Bruno, California:

Deaths in March included five-time Darts World Champion Eric Bristow, Ray Wilkins, R Lee Ermey, Big Tom, Supermarket Sweep's Dale Winston, Avicii, and Verne Troyer.

Conor McGregor kicked April off with a bang as he stormed in on UFC 223 and had an altercation with a bus:

Another awful story emerged from Syria with reports of a chemical attack that the Syrian government denied:

Earth received a wake-up call in April as a large asteroid managed to sneak up on us. It was the largest known asteroid to ever pass that close to Earth, as well as the Moon, in observational history, yet was only discovered the day before it passed by:

It was an active month for Boards users; the Cycling forum completed a hill climb challenge on Howth Hill, covering 3.71km with an elevation distance of 109m, and other Boardsies took part in the Boston and London Marathons

While it may have taken over the tabloids for weeks, the birth of the royal baby, Prince Louis Arthur Charles, didn't have the same appeal to Boards regulars: /

A day that many football fans never thought would come eventually arrived as Wenger announced that he would leave Arsenal after an incredible 22 years in the job!

There was tragedy in Toronto when 10 people were killed and 15 injured in Toronto after a 25-year-old man drove a van onto a sidewalk:

A 20-year-old went on a driving rampage around Dublin City Centre, but thankfully there were no serious injuries though people were brought to hospital:

While Liverpool fans should have been able to enjoy their Champions League journey last year, it was marred by violence after the semi-final against Roma. Irishman Sean Cox was left fighting for his life after being attacked by two men in their mid 20s:

April saw a breakthrough in the Golden State Killer investigation and a former police officer was charged with kidnapping and abduction attempts as well as eight counts of first-degree murder:

On April 26th, US comedian Bill Cosby was convicted of drugging and molesting a woman, and has since been sentenced to 3 to 10 years:

A momentous event took place on the border of North and South Korea as their respective leaders stepped over the border into each country:

In Ireland, it emerged that more than 200 women developed cervical cancer after having a misdiagnosed smear in the free national screening programme:


Ireland started the month on a health-focused note with the introduction of a sugar tax, which generated some conversation as people wondered what tax might be next, or how it would impact their drink of choice.

Two Gardaí had to be brought to hospital after being assaulted by a gang in Carrickmines:

Ed Sheeran's stadium tour, arguably one of the biggest music events to happen in Ireland last year, kicked off in May. There were some issues with the clampdown on touting, which resulted in some people getting caught out when attending the gig without the person they were registered to:

Sir Alex Ferguson was rushed to hospital at the start of May, but thankfully was released from ICU after a couple of days:

The Islamic State claimed that one of its soldiers was responsible for a knife attack in Paris which left 1 dead and several injured:

A new state-funded "drink-link" bus was launched. This was to service 50 rural communities across Ireland, providing transport to and from their local pubs: /

Ireland managed to qualify for the Eurovision for the first time since 2013, with the song "Together" :

US President Donald Trump announced the withdrawal of the United States from the Iran nuclear deal and re-established US sanctions against Iran.

Something that made us all breathe a sigh of relief was the announcement that Katy Perry and Taylor Swift buried the hatchet and ended their feud:

Apple scrapped plans for its Athenry data centre because of delays in the planning approval process:

In sporting news, Leinster sealed their fourth Champions Cup title with victory over Racing 92 before doing the double by besting Scarlets in the Pro 14 final to add another notch in a great year for Irish rugby.

In the Middle East, there were reports of fighting between Iranians and the Israeli army: . Days later, Israeli forces killed at least 55 Palestinians and wounded many more during mass protests along the Gaza border:

Brexit was a topic of discussion throughout 2018. Some matters came to a head in May when the Scottish Parliament rejected Theresa May's Brexit legislation:

Thankfully there were some festivities to entertain and distract people in the UK too with the Royal Wedding on May 19th:

There were reports of 10 students shot in a high school shooting in Texas:

In Ireland, we mourned the tragic deaths of Ana Kriegel and Justine Valdez just days apart.

The gaming community was hit by the news that John "TotalBiscuit" Bain passed away at the age of 34 after a long battle with cancer:

Two Belgian police officers were shot dead in a hostage situation in Liege:

A more positive news story saw a Malian immigrant dubbed Spiderman gain fame after scaling four storeys to save a child dangling from a balcony in Paris:

One of the most talked about topics of the year and something that will continue to be discussed was the 8th Amendment Referendum. On May 26th, the results came in with the overwhelming majority to repeal the 8th Amendment:


Two men were seriously injured, including Katie Taylor's father, and one was killed following an early morning shooting at Bray Boxing Club:

Former Anglo CEO David Drumm was found guilty of conspiracy to defraud and false accounting:

Independent TD Michael Lowry and his company were fined after being found guilty of a tax offence and failing to keep proper books of account:

Cork's Phil Healy broke the Irish women's 100m record at a graded meeting in Santry, clocking a time of 11.28:

Storm Hector arrived in mid-June, bringing strong winds and power outages with it:

2,500 women broke the Guinness World Record for largest skinny dip in County Wicklow:

Meanwhile, the Miss America competition decided that participants should keep more of their kit on and did away with its swimwear segment:

The Soccer World Cup was the major sporting event of the month and a dedicated World Cup forum was set up as a result: . France lifted the trophy, but there were many hoping for Croatia to pull off a plucky underdog story.

In other sporting news, Arlene Foster became the first leader of the Democratic Unionist Party to attend the Ulster Football Final:

Saudi women were finally able to legally take to the road and drive:

Earlier in the year we had the Beast from the East and then June brought us a proper heatwave:

The month rounded out with another discussed shooting in America, this time at a newspaper's premises in Maryland:


One story that captured the interest of people around the world came from Thailand. The dramatic rescue of 12 boys and their football coach in caves in Thailand had people refreshing constantly for updates:

The effects of the heatwave were felt in July too with a hosepipe ban in effect: . And some of our gardeners had to get quite creative during the ban:

The heatwave did uncover some possible new neolithic sites southwest of Newgrange:

Elsewhere in the world, there were wildfires in Greece that left 74 dead:

Ryanair passengers suffered some disruption in July after pilots voted in favour of strike action:

Michael D. Higgins finally announced that he would seek re-election as President of Ireland:

There was some sporting success as the Ireland Women's Hockey team participated in their first World Cup in 16 years. And to top it off, they made it all the way to the final! An incredible achievement:

Boards user delynet challenged themselves physically by cycling Mizen to Malin in under 24 hours; the 600km route took 23 hours 23 minutes in total:

Finally, Rob Heffernan called time on his racewalking career, which included a gold medal in the World Championships in Russia and a bronze medal at the Olympic Games in England:


Gorse fires around Bray Head revealed the letters EIRE, which were carved into the ground by local volunteers during World War II:

Apple became the world's first public company to achieve a market capitalisation of $1 trillion:

Margaret Cash was cast into the public eye after she and her kids were photographed sleeping in a Garda station:

Limerick ended a 45-year wait for the Liam MacCarthy, holding off a late challenge from Galway to win 3-16 : 2-18:

Many were surprised to hear that someone rammed the gates of government buildings with a Nissan Micra:

Part of the Morandi Bridge collapsed after a violent storm in Genoa, Italy, which resulted in the deaths of 43 people:

Pope Francis arrived in Ireland, almost 40 years after John Paul II:

Virgin Media Television launched, replacing the old TV3 channels:

The White House announced that Donald Trump would visit Ireland in November. This proposed trip was cancelled weeks later:


Drew Harris was sworn in as the new Garda Commissioner at the beginning of September. This was an appointment that caused some chatter and also resulted in a High Court challenge:

Dublin sealed yet another Senior Championship Football title, their fourth in a row, defeating Tyrone 2-17 : 1-14:

There were protests on North Frederick Street in Dublin over the housing crisis. A group of activists occupied a house and this produced plenty of debate:

The following day, protestors took over the junction of O'Connell Street, Parnell Street and Parnell Square:

President Michael D. Higgins signed the 36th amendment into law, repealing the Eighth Amendment and allowing for abortion legislation:

Storm Ali arrived in September with orange wind warnings in effect. Many homes, businesses and farms lost power, and a Swiss tourist lost her life after her caravan blew off a cliff:

The storm also resulted in the cancellation of day 2 of the National Ploughing Championships:

There was some terrifying news for the people of Carrickmacross after a sinkhole appeared on the grounds of Drumgossatt National School:

One man learned that you should show up to your flight's gate at a reasonable time, even if it's a Ryanair flight. After missing his flight to Amsterdam, he managed to get onto the tarmac and tried to run towards the plane:

A 7.5 magnitude earthquake hit Sulawesi, Indonesia resulting in a major tsunami. At least 2,256 people were killed and more than 10,500 were injured:


Jamal Khashoggi was reported missing before it became evident that he was murdered inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul:

There was controversy in Ireland as traveller families refused to move into houses in Thurles as they didn't have stables and land:

The eagerly anticipated bout between Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov took place with McGregor eventually tapping out. And then it all kicked off as fights broke out inside and outside the octagon:

Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe, announced the 2019 Budget:

Hurricane Michael made landfall at Mexico Beach, Florida with winds of approximately 250 km/h:

Iarnród Éireann introduced a ban on alcohol on a number of Friday services to Galway and Westport:

The Boards Golf Society capped off another successful year by defending the Ryder Jug:

Peter Casey saw an uptick in support for his presidential campaign after stating that travellers should not be recognised as an ethnic minority:

The Public Health (Alcohol) Bill was debated in the Seanad:

Housing minister Eoghan Murphy came under pressure after a motion of no confidence was put forward:

Despite the growing support for Casey, Michael D. Higgins was officially declared President of Ireland:


On November 1st, the FAI and IFA announced a joint bid to host the U21 European Championships in 2023:

Google Staff staged a walk out in protest at the treatment of women:

Boardsies were talking about the possible sighting of a UFO above Ireland:

Many world leaders marked the ending of the World War I centenary with Armistice Day celebrations, speeches, and memorials.

Marvel and comic fans in general mourned the loss of Stan Lee:

One major talking point in November was TD Ruth Coppinger's protest in the Dail. She held up a thong in the Dail to protest against the treatment of alleged rape victims in court:

Again, there was plenty of chatter about Brexit throughout the year, but some issues came to a head in November with debate over the border: . The Taoiseach later announced that the proposed deal would be put to a vote in Dail Eireann.

Ireland ticked off another accomplishment in rugby with the team's first victory over the All Blacks on Irish soil: Will our 2019 recap have an even greater feat?!

There was further conflict between Russia and the Ukraine as Russian warships fired on Ukrainian Navy boats in the Black Sea:

Finally, consultation was sought over whether Ireland should continue to change clocks in accordance with Daylight Savings Time or if it should stick to summer or wintertime:


Civil unrest hit France with protests morphing into full blown riots. Some Boardsies wondered if it was time for the Irish to follow suit:

Convicted murderer Graham Dwyer won his legal action against the Garda Commissioner and the State over data from mobile phones.

KBC attempted to evict people from a property in Strokestown in what became a high-profile incident:

1,000 people marched in protest against Gardaí in Castlerea, Roscommon:

There was travel chaos in the run up to Christmas as drones shut down Gatwick airport:

The abortion bill was signed into law by Michael D. Higgins on December 20th:

A gunman took a judge hostage at a hearing at the family law courts in Dublin:

Kevin Spacey posted a video as House of Cards' Frank Underwood that seemed to respond to charges that he sexually assaulted an 18-year-old man in 2016:

Bono once again took to the streets on Christmas Eve to lead a busking session and encouraged people to dig deep for the homeless:

22 Syrian families arrived in Ireland at the end of December under the Irish Refugee Protection Programme (IRPP):

A tsunami hits the Sunda Strait, Indonesia, killing at least 430 people and injuring nearly 1,500.

You can catch up on some of the best photos from the Photography forum with this search query that covers the various POTW threads

And a somewhat amusing story to round out the year as the UK government awarded a £13.9m ferry contract to a company with no ships and that has not previously operated a service: