42 things you might have forgotten happened in Northern Ireland in 2022
As we welcome in another New Year it’s time to remember some of the things that happened in the past 12 months.
By Maisie Laughton, Lyndsey Hodgkinson and Jonathan Traynor
Published 29th Dec 2022, 17:02 BST
Updated 29th Dec 2022, 17:37 BST
From worldwide stories to local tales of equal importance, plenty has happened this year that has been newsworthy.
There are a number of things you are likely to have forgotten, so here is a list of some of the headline-hitting news pieces from 2022.
17 - The 40th anniversary of the Mash Direct Belfast City Marathon happened in May, finishing the momentous race at the Ormeau Park finish line. Co Down runner Paul Pollock won the race in first place, completing the course in a time of two hours 16 minutes, with Belfast’s Conor Gallagher reaching second place just eight minutes and 44 seconds behind.
18 - Queen Elizabeth provided city status to eight towns across the United Kingdom, with Bangor being one of the few to receive the upgrade. The seaside town is now a coastal city, featuring on the list along with Doncaster, South Yorkshire in England and for the first time overseas territories also received the honour, with Stanley in the Falklands and Douglas in the Isle of Man now being cities too.
19 - Lisa McGee’s revolutionary sitcom Derry Girls featuring our favourite wee Irish group Clare, Erin, Michelle, Orla and (honorary Derry Girl) James debuted for the final time on Channel 4 in May. The show ran for four successful series, smashing every record imaginable and being an instantaneous hit with viewers across the world. Photo: Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
20 - Four days of celebrations took place across the whole of the United Kingdom to welcome in the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. From public events to community activities, every corner of Northern Ireland got involved to reflect on Queen Elizabeth II’s reign and service.
21 - A Belfast search and rescue team were honoured with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service as a result of its outstanding contributions to society. The team at Lagan Search and Rescue were given the award on June 2 to mark the anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s Coronation.
22 - A green-fingered Belfast woman has been crowned as the 2022 winner of RTE’s popular horticulture show ‘Super Garden’. Mary Anne Farenden, 29, debuted on the TV Show during episode three, winning the judges over with her enchanting transformation of the Devine family’s garden in just five weeks with a budget of €15,000 (£12,800).
23 - A herd of colourful elephants visited Belfast City Centre on their charity campaign known as Elmer’s Big Belfast Trail. It saw different artwork featured on elephant statues in a collaboration between the Northern Ireland Hospice, Wild in Art and Andersen Press, bringing Elmer the Patchwork Elephant to life for ten weeks in aid of a great cause.
24 - As with every year, Belsonic ensured that summer started in the right way, bringing nine big names to the stage. From Lewis Capaldi and Liam Gallagher to Tiesto and Iron Maiden, there was something for everyone to enjoy at this year’s festival. Photo: contributed
25 - On Saturday, July 16 the public were invited to help protect the historic Assembly Rooms from years of neglect by Belfast City Council.The campaign to save the history-rich Grade B1 listed building built in 1769 was part of the Harps Alive Festival.
26 - Back in July it was believed that progress would once again be made at the George Best Hotel following the halt of construction in 2020. Investors in the unfinished project said that developers were still aiming to complete and finally be able to open the new site in the future.
27 - Filming his new feature film, The Last Rifleman, former James Bond Pierce Brosnan was seen on set in an east Belfast cafe. The movie is set to debut in 2023, telling the story of a WW2 veteran escaping a Northern Irish care home to attend the 75th anniversary in France.
28 - Northern Ireland football had a great year thanks to the women’s squad, who outshone the men’s team in 2022. Not only did they qualify for the Euros, beat Italy 1-0 and be ranked in the top 45 ladies teams in the world, they inspired a new generation of female footballers nationwide. Photo: Arthur Allison: Pacemaker Press
29 - It was reported that the capital city was set to see several new developments, making it unrecognisable within the next decade. The city centre has received plenty of backlash over the last few years, but these new ‘game-changing’ additions could see it be in better shape soon.
30 - After the revelation that Eurovision will be hosted in the UK next year, Belfast City Council submitted their bid to host the grand final. Despite Ukraine winning the 2022 competition, the ongoing conflict in their country meant that the runners up would take on hosting duties, with the winner of the bid proving to be Liverpool in the end.
31 - After Covid stopped them for the last couple of years, 2022 saw the return of A-Level exams, resulting in an increase in higher grades being granted. 44% of students received either an A or A* in their chosen subjects, an increase from the 29.4% of pupils that achieved the highest grades back in 2019. Photo: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press