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Review 2015 in Village


  • The Minister for Health, Leo Varadkar, reveals he is gay to a receptive Miriam O’Callaghan, becoming the first openly-gay government minister in Ireland.
  • The Irish economy is not some kind of exemplar, says President Michael D Higgins, controversially but magnificently.
  • Mahon tribunal reverses its finding of corruption against Ray Burke because the tribunal never revealed that whistleblower, James Gogarty, had made unsupportable allegations against the likes of Nora Owen, TD, and Supreme Court justice, Seamus Henchy. Nobody names the lax lawyers, who permitted it, or demands return of their fees.
  • SIPTU’s Jack O’Connor sets out principles for a Charter for parties on the Left.



  • 13 men aged 50-70 to appear before the bank inquiry; no women.
  • Gardai arrest Paul Murphy, TD, along with three other anti-austerity activists and politicians, leading to public speculation about “political policing”.
  • Former Fianna Fáil minister Pat Carey reveals his homosexuality publicly.
  • The Irish Times announces the reintroduction of a paywall for its website, beginning on February 23.
  • Michael D Higgins gives us another poem.


  • Solicitor Brian O’Donnell barricades himself into his Palace in Killiney with help from the ironically titled Land League. The Sunday Independent reports that O’Donnell scion, Blaise, didn’t know how rich his parents had made him. Contrariwise, The Mail reports Blaise got a €156m London office block from Dad.
  • Ireland’s rugby year peaks with Six Nations Championship.
  • Belfast County Court finds Asher’s Bakery guilty of discrimination for refusing to bake an ‘Eric’n’Ernie’ cake bearing a pro-gay-marraige slogan.


  • Joan Burton proposes a cap on the property tax when the freeze on increases start to register, at the end of the year.
  • Minister Alan Kelly to allow builders of one-off houses to opt out of the usual building-control certification requirements.
  • John Fitzgerald writes that borrowing to fund the bank bailout costs around €1bn a year, a small fraction of the total fiscal adjustment of €30bn since 2008.
  • Gerry Adams tells CBS he never pulled a trigger, ordered a murder or set off a bomb during the war in the North. Ed Moloney, of course, disputes this.


  • A smug Jeremy Paxman, on the verge of retirement, lays into British Labour leader, Ed Miliband, on Newsnight and is overheard at end asking “are you ok, Ed?”. Miliband says “yeah” and wonders if Paxman is himself ok.
  • Broadcaster and political editor of the TV3 television channel, Ursula Halligan, publicly declared her homosexuality and her support for a ‘yes’ vote for marriage for homosexuals and lesbians in the Constitutional marriage equality referendum.
  • Competition Authority finally getting serious over CRH. Mary Harney promised investigation a political generation ago.
  • Broadcasters Bill O’Herlihy and Derek Davis died.
  • Charles, Prince of Wales, and his wife visited the west of Ireland, including Mullaghmore, County Sligo, where his great-uncle, Lord Mountbatten, was murdered by an IRA bomb in 1979.
  • Referendum on two amendments to the Constitution – the 34th (marriage equality) wins; and the 35th (presidential election voting) loses.
  • NY Times and Guardian, Village and Broadsheet. ie publish the Dáil Record of Catherine Murphy’s allegations about Denis O’Brien’s banking arrangments. The Irish Times, Independent, Mail, Sunday Business Post wait for clarification from the courts.


  • Strong, clear clarification from High Court on the unambiguous existence of the privilege for Dail utterances. Binchy J as predicted clarifies that he never intended, nor could it have been intended, his comments would apply to reporting of utterances in the Dail.
  • Exciting dream team of Catherine Murphy, Stephen Donnelly and Roisin Shortall to form Social Democrat party.
  • RTE tells Atheist Ireland it will reconsider the title of the Angelus
  • Ireland’s poorest kids hit by lone-parent payment cut.
  • “We are not God,” acknowledges Pope Francis, and we shouldn’t “trample his creation underfoot.”
  • The average American woman now weighs 166 pounds — as much as the average 1960s man.
  • Dutch government ordered by court to cut carbon emissions in landmark ruling.
  • Central bank Governor Patrick Honohan explains “the bank guarantee should not have included subordinated debt nor existing senior-term debt”.
  • Joan Burton slams social welfare fraudsters for “giving two fingers to their neighbours”.


  • The hottest month in history
  • Brian Cowen scathingly tells the banking inquiry his ‘friends and colleagues’ were private people not bankers though doesn’t explain relaptionship with Fintan Drury, or golf. Media consider performance a triumph.

Greece votes no to bailout plan but government imposes it anyway. Yanis Varoufakis resigns as Greek Finance Minister.


  • IS destroys 200 year old temple in Palymyra, Syria.


  • INBS, Michael Fingleton appears before Oireachtas banking inquiry but is let off hook

Radical socialist Jeremy Corbyn elected leader of British Labour Party.


  • Five adults and five child Travellers die after fire at Carrickmines, Residents object to rehousing of the survivors nearby.
  • Budget will reduce USC but is light on plans for investment.

The Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin tells a synod of bishops in Rome that Irish people “struggle to understand abstract moral principles” and that the recent debate about same-sex marriage in Ireland has been conducted by lay people in language that traditionally belongs to the Roman Catholic Church: ‘equality, compassion, respect and tolerance’”.


  • Judge Brian Cregan announces he does not have the legal powers necessary to conduct his inquiry into write-off sales of loans by IBRC do not allow him to.
  • 130 people murdered by IS in Paris.
  • Peter Robinson says he will resign as First Minister.
  • Former Minister Pat Carey resigns after improper media leaks about alleged paedophilia.


  • IFA President Eddie Downey declares he has been thrown under a bus by his colleagues after it was revealed he received €147,000 annually and CEO, Pat Smith, half a million annually, from often impoverished farmers.
  • David Cameron announces Britain’s intention to bomb IS in Syria.