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27th Dec 2022

22 of Lovin’s fave good news stories of 2022

Katy Thornton

good news stories 2022

Believe it or not, it wasn’t all bad news.

Let’s address the elephant in the room. It’s been a fairly bad year for news. We’re about three crises deep in this country when it comes to housing, cost-of-living, and energy, and all over the world things seem to be going tits up (overturning of Roe vs. Wade in America, banning of sex before marriage in Indonesia, the war in Ukraine, to name a few).

As someone who works in media, it hasn’t always been easy to constantly absorb these stories, but there have been some gems in there that are worth noting. From changes to legislation, to feel-good local stories, here are some of the Lovin team’s fave good news stories of 2022.

22. Primark Belfast reopens after 4 years

Primark in Belfast City Centre officially reopened in November 2022 after an accidental fire led to its closure in 2018.

Following the fire, the 18th century Bank Buildings where Primark is located underwent an extensive £100 million four-year restoration project, which involved demolishing and rebuilding the site completely.

21. Nightclubs staying open until 6am

Chatter about keeping nightclubs open until 6am has been ongoing for years; a proposal to enact it finally went to Cabinet in October 2022. If successful, the bill will likely be enacted some time in 2023 (and hopefully will end up on our good news stories from 2023 this time next year).

While the sale of alcohol will strictly stop at 5am, the hope is that nightclubs will be able to remain open until 6am.

20. An Cailín Ciúin first Irish language film to be shortlisted for an Oscar

Based on the Claire Keegan novella Foster, An Cailín Ciúin has made Irish film history being the first feature film in the Irish language to be shortlisted in the Best International Feature Film category at the Oscars.

According to The Journal, “It’s the first time an Irish-language film has been shortlisted in this category and only the second Irish film ever to reach the category’s shortlist stage, after VIVA in 2016.”

19. Ireland voted the friendliest country in Europe

Magazine Condé Nast not only declared Adare Manor in Limerick as the best resort in the whole world, they also awarded Ireland as Europe’s friendliest country. Or rather, their readers voted us as such.

Was there every any doubt?

18. Damian Browne first person to row from New York to Galway

The former professional rugby player has become the first person in history to row from New York to Galway.

Browne began the journey in Manhattan on Tuesday, 14th June at 3.10am. The 500km undertaking entitled Project Empower was chronicled through an Instagram account of the same name.

17. Fintan Bray first person with Down Syndrome to be elected to Ard Chomhairle

Fintan Bray from Delvin, Westmeath has become the first person with Down Syndrome to be elected to a senior position in a political party in Ireland.

16. Mayo retirement syndicate win €1m Lotto prize

A syndicate made up of 47 members of the Parke Young at Heart retirement group in Parke, Mayo, landed at Lotto HQ to claim their Daily Million top prize of €1 million.

The syndicate was formed in 2015 and their winning normal play ticket was obtained on Thursday, October 3, in Turlough Stores. Speaking to the Sun, group founder Frank Moran (80) revealed the group had been playing the same Euromillions draw in the same shop for the past 7 years.

15. Free contraception

In September 2022, a new scheme introduced free contraception for women between the ages of 17 and 25. While this aimed to make it more accessible, there was much criticism that it did not extend beyond 25 year old women.

It was then expected that next year’s Budget would address this, and it was later revealed that the free contraception scheme would indeed extend to women under 30 in 2023 (another one for the future 2023 good news list).

14. Dublin’s Capel Street named one of the coolest streets in the world

Time Out recently posted an article with the 33 coolest streets in the world and our very own Capel Street made it onto the list at number 22. It beat out spots such as Jumeirah Beach Road in Dubai (23rd), Kloof Street in Cape Town (26th), and MacDougal Street in New York (29th).

13. Elderly Ukrainian woman reunited with her dog after six-week-search

86 year old Violetta fled Ukraine with her 13 year old Labrador Tasha. Violetta was physically unable to carry Tasha further when they reached Romania, so she had to leave her beloved dog behind. A local family Violetta met in Romania agreed to take care of Tasha until she was settled, so she continued on to Ireland, finding refuge in Clare. Violetta was then unable to return to Romania as her passport had expired.

This is when Debbie Deegan, author, public speaker and charity worker, got involved. Deegan assisted Violetta’s family arriving into Ireland and hoped to help Tasha too. She documented Tasha’s journey from Romania to Clare on her Twitter. After many obstacles, Debbie managed to get Tasha into Ireland.

12. DSPCA partners with charity that allows sick children to see their pets while in hospital

The DSPCA has partnered up with Cian’s Kennels to begin this new initiative that allows sick children to receive visits from their pets while undergoing treatment.
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A post shared by DSPCA Animal Rescue & Adoption (@dspcashelter)

11. Antrim man amazed as a letter with his life story instead of an address arrives on his doorstep

Feargal Lynn from Antrim got quite the surprise when a letter arrived on his doorstep that was for him… only it had no postal address. No, instead of an address, the sender of Feargal’s letter included his first name, a description of whereabouts he lives – “he lives across the road from Spar” – followed by some details of his personal life – “moved to Waterfoot after he got married” – and finally a general location with half a post code.

10. Successful four day work week trial

Unsurprisingly, the companies that took part in the Irish trial saw huge success with the four day work week. According to The Journal, “the project showed 100% of employees would like to continue a reduced work schedule and significant improvements were recorded across a wide range of well-being metrics, including positive affect, work-family balance and work-life balance.”

9. Everyone considered an organ donor unless they opt out

Until this year, people had to opt into being an organ donor, but this rule has now been reversed, meaning everyone is an organ donor unless they register not to be. The new law aims to increase the organs available for donation.

8. Rules change surrounding blood donation

As of November, the Irish Blood Transfusion Service will assess each potential donor individually instead of excluding whole groups. The hope is for blood donations to be more inclusive, and that this change will increase the amount of eligible donors in Ireland.

7. Ballina pup saves the day

Franey the dog put on his hero cape and saved the day when he alerted his family to a fire that had started nearby. According to Western People, “the family were sleeping soundly at 4.30am when Franey suddenly started barking continuously. Phillip Clarke called out to Franey to be quiet and go to sleep but the collie was having none of it.” Clarke then discovered a fire at the side of the house and was able to evacuate the family, all because of Franey’s insistence.

6. Dundalk restaurant offer free Christmas dinner to those in need for third year running

The Dundalk based restaurant intend to ensure that anyone who is “struggling, homeless, hurting, elderly, shut in, or in any way in need of a meal” is fed on Christmas Day.

The Sitar family will be opening their doors on Christmas Day from 1-4pm to serve free takeaway hot meals, soft drinks and Indian Masala Tea. You can also pick a meal up for a neighbour or someone in your community if they can’t make it out.

5. Derry café offers free meals for kids amid cost-of-living crisis

In the face of the cost-of-living crisis, Nine Hostages Coffee Company  opted to do something that is nothing short of heroic. From September, the Derry café has been offering free meals to school kids, to ease the burden on those feeling the effects of the cost-of-living crisis.
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A post shared by Nine Hostages Coffee Co (@ninehostagescoffeeco)

4. The Republic of Ireland qualified for the FIFA Women’s World Cup

Following their historic play-off victory over Scotland, the Republic of Ireland will compete for the first time ever at the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 in Australia and New Zealand.

3. New York Cabbie claims two pints following 9-year debt

John McDonagh, a NYC-based cab driver, flew to Dublin to settle a nine year pint debt. What is a pint debt, you ask? Basically nine years ago, McDonagh was driving an Irish pub owner nine years ago, who found that he was short on the taxi fare. The pub owner, who owns Gaffney & Son in Fairview, wrote up an IOU for McDonagh, promising him pints to make up for not having enough to pay for the journey. Nine years later the pair settled the debt.

2. All employers must offer sick pay

Ireland was one of few European economies that didn’t have mandatory sick leave entitlement. Now a new statutory scheme, which Government signed off in March, will make it mandatory for all employers to offer a minimum level of sick pay. This scheme will be phased in over the next four years.

1. An end to COVID restrictions

After nearly two full years of covid restrictions, February 2022 saw the end to the majority of them, with the full reopening of hospitality, nightclubs, the works. Ireland entered a new phase of living with covid and 2022 was for the most part a year where we were free to go about our lives as normal.

Header images via Instagram/megcam10 & IMDb

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