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26th Dec 2022

Top viral Irish moments of 2022, from the Marty Whelan tattoo to 11 housegate

Fiona Frawley

side by side images of the man who got the marty whelan tattoo and TD Robert Troy

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

What a humdinger of a year it’s been, one that has seemed to last forever. As pretty much everyone in the country is holed up inside with a cold or virus of some sort, scrolling to beat the band we thought it as good a time as ever to look back on some of the most bizarre viral moments of the year, from Garth Brook’s return to Jedward calling for the monarchy to be abolished.

Hop on in, the water’s great:

Leo’s Fridge

In October of this year, Leo Varadkar opened up the contents of his fridge to us once again, and once again, we as a society, as a country, were deeply disturbed.

Leo’s meals are always characteristically grim, but this was another level. So much so, the Food Safety Authority had to intervene, assuring the public that this method of food storage was actually safe.

Jedward vs the Monarchy

Since video footage went viral of John and or Edward at a Black Lives Matter protest in the States back in 2020, the twins have been engaging in political debate, dishing the dirt on X Factor bosses and most recently, calling for the abolition of the monarchy.

After the Queen’s passing in September Jedward were at the centre of the conversation, boldly waving the flag for anti-royalists and arguing that this would be the perfect time to pack in the Royal Fam altogether. The Royals haven’t heeded Jedward’s advice just yet, but we’ll see what 2023 brings.

Return of the Garth

What a whirlwind journey we’ve had with Garth since the infamous Five In A Row fiasco of 2014. 2022 saw the country legend make his return to Irish soil to play – you guessed it – five gigs. There wasn’t a friend left in a low place in Ireland.

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Robert Troy’s 11 houses

In August of this year, Fianna Fáil TD Robert Troy was forced to apologise for failing to disclose on the Dáil register several of his property and business interests, including ownership or part ownership of 11 properties, nine of which were rented and six of which he received State payments for. While he did apologise for this, he famously would “not apologise for being a landlord”.

The Marty Whelan Tattoo

A lost bet that turned into one of the most iconic Irish moments of the year. Marty Whelan was “strangely flattered” when one Phil O’Kelly revealed a detailed portrait of the broadcaster on his thigh. The ink ended up on the front of papers all over the country, and Phil was even invited onto Marty’s breakfast show on Lyric FM. It was the least Mart could do, really.

Harry Styles at the Vico

Hell hath no fury like a Harry Styles stan, and once they heard he was headed to the Vico for a dip the Killiney seafront erupted. The As It Was singer made his way down the well trodden steps with a bag of cans and a dream, and hopped into the icy Irish Sea without a bother on him.

Dublin Airport Drama

It’s hard to know where to start with this one. From the never-ending queue and special holding area outside to the mass cancelling of flights and the army coming in to ease security backlog, it’s been a real journey. Not for anyone actually headed to Dublin Airport for a journey mind you – most of them were cancelled.

The New Garda Uniforms

Ever since Richard Chambers shared the first pictures on Twitter back in February (we can always rely on him to keep us in the know, tg) many of us had questions – who were these Garda models? Why were the uniforms being promoted as if they were going to be on sale to the public? When would Anna Wintour release an official statement regarding the launch? Despite the confusion, the memes and reviews of an Garda Síochána’s new jackets, aertexes and bike gear were free flowing and plentiful following their launch – one for Reeling in the Years, for sure.

Padre Pio bannister

Liveline caller Kay was sure she’d seen Padre Pio in her bannister – Joe wasn’t convinced.

The end of Tayto Park as we know it

I know I wasn’t the only one who thought Mr Tayto himself built Tayto Park entirely with his bare hands, rollercoaster included. The news hit us hard that one of our nations most popular attractions was to undergo a brand makeover, especially seeing as we were all of the belief that Mr Tayto was the starchy glue that held it all together.

Irish Women qualifying for the World Cup

In October Amber Barrett scored the winning goal in the Ireland v Scotland match to take the gals in green through to the Women’s World Cup in Australia. And whatever your feelings are on what they sang in the changing rooms, it’s hard to deny what an iconic moment this was.

Tea Sock

Long before Liz Truss went up against a head of lettuce during her short bout as Prime Minister, she urged the Irish Tea Sock to discuss UK-Irish relations with the EU.

Gay Spar coming out

For years, Gay Spar was a place of inclusivity, a safe space (apart from the odd invasion of a brave pigeon eyeing up the baked goods every now and then) and most importantly, a place to get a breakfast roll at 3am, if that’s what your heart desired.

In the year of our Lord 2022, Gay Spar joined the rest of the city in acknowledging its true identity. A momentous occasion.

The Passport Express Service name change

An event for the history books, as far as Fine Gael Emer Higgins was concerned. After months of campaigning, Emer found a solution to the slow turnaround time for postal passport applications. Don’t worry, the service didn’t get quicker. Nothing like that. No no, they just changed the name. Fixed it!

Here’s to another year of bizarre viral moments across the country.

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