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    Dec 18, 2014

    24 Of The Most Gloriously Irish Things That Happened In 2014

    Ireland, we <3 ya.

    1. Colin Farrell's beautiful letter in support of same-sex marriage, inspired by his gay brother Eamon.

    Getty Images / Scott Gries

    Colin, pictured with his brother Eamon, in 2003.

    I think I found out my brother wasn't grovelling in heterosexual mud like most boys our age when I was around 12. I remember feeling surprised. Intrigued. Curious. Not bi-curious before you start getting ideas. I was curious because it was different from anything I'd known or heard of and yet it didn't seem unnatural to me. I had no reference for the existence of homosexuality. I had seen, by that age, no gay couples together. I just knew my brother liked men and, I repeat, it didn't seem unnatural to me. My brother Eamon didn't choose to be gay. Yes, he chose to wear eyeliner to school and that probably wasn't the most pragmatic response to the daily torture he experienced at the hands of school bullies. But he was always proud of who he was. Proud and defiant and, of course, provocative. Even when others were casting him out with fists and ridicule and the laughter of pure loathsome derision, he maintained an integrity and dignity that flew in the face of the cruelty that befell him. I don't know where those bullies are now, the ones who beat him regularly. Maybe some of them have found peace and would rather forget their own part of a painful past. Maybe they're sitting on bar stools and talking about "birds and faggots" and why one's the cure and the other the disease. But I do know where my brother is. He's at home in Dublin living in peace and love with his husband of some years, Steven. They are about the healthiest and happiest couple I know. They had to travel a little farther than down the aisle to make their vows, though, to Canada, where their marriage was celebrated. That's why this is personal to me. The fact that my brother had to leave Ireland to have his dream of being married become real is insane. INSANE.It's time to right the scales of justice here. To sign up and register to vote next year so that each individual's voice can be heardHow often do we get to make history in our lives? Not just personal history. Familial. Social. Communal. Global. The world will be watching. We will lead by example. Let's lead toward light.

    2. When this picture of pale, ginger Irishman Martin 'Murt' Kehoe talking to locals in Sierra Leone gave the internet a good laugh.

    Wexford&#x27;s Murt Kehoe told us the story behind that &#x27;Irish lad on holidays in Sierra Leone&#x27; pic http://t.co/6dbIgfGsPO

    BreakingNews.ie@breakingnewsieFollow

    Wexford's Murt Kehoe told us the story behind that 'Irish lad on holidays in Sierra Leone' pic http://t.co/6dbIgfGsPO

    10:58 AM - 11 Feb 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

    3. When the Irish accent was voted the sexiest in the British isles.

    4. Drag Queen Miss Panti Bliss' amazing "Noble Call" speech about homophobia.

    View this video on YouTube

    youtube.com
    Getty Images / John Phillips

    Read about the background to the speech here.

    5. The hilarious TV comedy Moone Boy continued to take over the world.

    Sky / Baby Cow Productions / her.ie

    6. As did Sherlock's Irish superstar dreamboat Andrew Scott.

    7. When this priest surprised an Irish wedding congregation with an amazing rendition of “Hallelujah”.

    View this video on YouTube

    YouTube

    Read more about it here.

    8. The campaign to save "gay bull" Benjy from the slaughterhouse.

    An animal charity is trying to save Benjy the gay bull, and they want your help http://t.co/o6aDcY5RJt #SaveBenjy

    DailyEdge.ie@dailyedgeFollow

    An animal charity is trying to save Benjy the gay bull, and they want your help http://t.co/o6aDcY5RJt #SaveBenjy

    10:40 PM - 14 Nov 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

    In the end, Sam Simon, the terminally ill co-creator of The Simpsons, contributed £5,000 to help to house Benjy at an animal sanctuary.

    9. This young Irish Ed Sheeran fan's reaction when she met her idol during a TV show.

    RTE / The Late Late Toy Show
    RTE / The Late Late Toy Show

    View this video on YouTube

    youtube.com

    Full story here.

    10. This inspired headline - one of many this year - from the Irish satirical news site Waterford Whispers.

    11. These Irish guys Riverdancing all around the world.

    View this video on YouTube

    youtube.com

    12. Kim Kardashian and Kanye West spent some of their honeymoon in Ireland - and went to the cinema!

    Kim Kardashian and Kanye West were spotted leaving the ICM cinema in Tullamore, Ireland, on Wednesday.(28/05/2014)

    Kardashian Croatia@Kardashian_CroFollow

    Kim Kardashian and Kanye West were spotted leaving the ICM cinema in Tullamore, Ireland, on Wednesday.(28/05/2014)

    5:10 PM - 29 May 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

    Naturally, Twitter had its own visions of what the Kimye Irish honeymoon looked like.

    @SteveKodaline @Kodaline Kim Kardashian and Kanye West on honeymoon in ireland great picture..

    pids 2010@pid2010Follow

    @SteveKodaline @Kodaline Kim Kardashian and Kanye West on honeymoon in ireland great picture..

    5:50 PM - 31 May 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

    13. When Bob Geldof said "bollocks" live on Sky News. Twice.

    View this video on YouTube

    YouTube

    14. When this homeless man was reunited with his long-lost family, thanks to a Facebook page.

    15. This Irish mammy's ecstatic reaction to her son's surprise visit home after two years of travelling

    View this video on YouTube

    youtube.com

    16. When this Irish mammy didn't follow the rules when it came to her son's Ice Bucket Challenge.

    View this video on YouTube

    YouTube

    AH JAYSUS MAMMY!

    Long may the Irish mammy reign.

    Don&#x27;t be acting the maggot. http://t.co/xXHA2J0RIO

    irishmammies@irishmammiesFollow

    Don't be acting the maggot. http://t.co/xXHA2J0RIO

    6:33 PM - 23 Nov 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

    17. Also this girl's spectacular Ice Bucket Challenge fail.

    View this video on YouTube

    YouTube

    18. This angry letter from a frustrated, over-taxed citizen addressed to the Irish prime minister.

    independent.ie

    The writer, Donna Hartnett, was hailed for "capturing the mood of the nation" in her letter, published in the Irish Independent.

    19. When the 2014 winner of the iconic Rose Of Tralee contest, Maria Walsh, came out as gay, and the reaction was just lovely.

    We are delighted Maria is our #RoseofTralee. She is a wonderful, attractive, intelligent woman who happens to be gay http://t.co/yv3ZznIPJh

    Rose of Tralee@RoseofTralee_Follow

    We are delighted Maria is our #RoseofTralee. She is a wonderful, attractive, intelligent woman who happens to be gay http://t.co/yv3ZznIPJh

    2:48 PM - 24 Aug 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

    20. When Sinead O'Connor rewrote the Irish national anthem.

    View this video on YouTube

    independent.co.uk

    21. When Michael D. Higgins became the first Irish president to make a state visit to the UK.

    AFP / Getty Images LUKE MACGREGOR

    And to mark the occasion, Queen Elizabeth II and Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness shared a historic handshake.

    Getty Images WPA Pool

    22. When protests over Irish water charges led to many humorous signs and placards.

    This poor guy &#x22;can&#x27;t even afford to have a shower!&#x22; #nowaywewontpay #irishwater #protest #dublin

    Janet Newenham@janetnewenhamFollow

    This poor guy "can't even afford to have a shower!" #nowaywewontpay #irishwater #protest #dublin

    12:17 PM - 10 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

    Always a fan of Father Ted quotes at protests!! #irishwater

    Janet Newenham@janetnewenhamFollow

    Always a fan of Father Ted quotes at protests!! #irishwater

    12:21 PM - 10 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

    #Right2Water #irishwater @broadsheet_ie @JOEdotie

    Paul Koyce@BorisKikeyFollow

    #Right2Water #irishwater @broadsheet_ie @JOEdotie

    2:55 PM - 10 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

    &#x22;Happy Christmas me arse...I pray God its your last!&#x22; Lovely #Christmas theme amount protesters today! #irishwater

    Janet Newenham@janetnewenhamFollow

    "Happy Christmas me arse...I pray God its your last!" Lovely #Christmas theme amount protesters today! #irishwater

    12:06 PM - 10 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

    23. When the notorious Irish weather did this.

    This is #Lahinch getting hammered in the storm last night by George Karbus photo

    Annie is OK @psychusupFollow

    This is #Lahinch getting hammered in the storm last night by George Karbus photo

    10:44 AM - 04 Jan 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

    24. Some Garth Brooks concerts were cancelled, and some people got quite passionate about it.

    Brooks was one of the most searched for items in Ireland as a result.

    What Ireland searched for on Google in 2014 #Frozen #KimKardashian #garthbrooks

    Midday@tv3middayFollow

    What Ireland searched for on Google in 2014 #Frozen #KimKardashian #garthbrooks

    8:57 AM - 16 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

    But people kept a sense of humour about it too.

    My Halloween outfit a garth brooks ticket. #HalloweenCostumes #GarthBrooks #ticket #onlyinireland #Ireland

    Andrea@andreamcgivernFollow

    My Halloween outfit a garth brooks ticket. #HalloweenCostumes #GarthBrooks #ticket #onlyinireland #Ireland

    3:36 PM - 11 Nov 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

    Keep those gems coming in 2015, Ireland!

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