The Editor’s Corner – Dec/Jan 2024

By Eoin Meegan

We began 2023 with hope, celebrating our new public holiday honouring Brigid, our matron saint in all her aspects. And by recognising her we acknowledge the work and achievement of women throughout our country and beyond. I know 2023 has been hard for many. Homelessness (which officially crossed 13,000 in November) coupled with the growing number of suicides is what troubles me most. However, communities organising and looking after each other certainly act as a counterweight.

RICC organised many events throughout the year, including opening the new Sensory Garden and tranquility space, while the Donnybrook Tidy Towns and RITE helped keep our towns beautiful; an environment that feels harmonious to live in contributes in no small way to our mental wellbeing. Overall it was a year of greater consciousness around neurodiversity and inclusivity; a positive sign for the future. The Sandymount Community Centre (formerly Iris Charles centre) was officially launched with a gala day for all the community; it runs cultural nights now on a monthly basis. While in Ballsbridge the RDS continued to host many events in the world of art, music and fashion, and of course the prized Horse Show.

Come summer, we asked was it Barbenheimer or Bloomsday? Some regaled in pink while others donned Edwardian garb and took to the – more sodden than expected – streets. And there was music galore: Liza Caulfield and the Glee Club raised our spirits, while the indomitable Dylan Clayton and the insanely talented Ringsend Rockschool kept us entertained. Raytown exploded in a cornucopia of festive colour as we cheered on local girl Abbie Larkin and her teammates in the Women’s World Cup; and even if Ireland didn’t win the Rugby World Cup in October we were still so proud of Johnny and the lads; they will always be our heroes. Remember it’s not always the big ticket events where the accolades fall: closer to home there were wins for the Railway Union hockey team, and St Pats Rowing Club and Lansdowne FC went from strength to strength, as well as games in Energia Park in Donnybrook. On a sadder note we mourned the loss of Sinéad O’Connor, as well as individual family members and loved neighbours. Many homes will have an empty place at the Christmas table this year as each husbands their own private grief.

On October 7th the world woke to the news of the attack on Israel followed swiftly by the invasion of Gaza, and a world that may have been changed forever. We can only pray that the present cease fire endures. No one can look upon the agony and suffering on children’s faces – regardless of nation, regardless of birth – and not be moved; minds too young to understand. Childhood is the repository of our memories, the container of our innocence, the bedrock for our lifetime experience. When that innocence is violated can it ever be restored? Which is where the sad irony lies, as it is to this land that all eyes turn this time of year, to the child born in Bethlehem that calls on us to make peace in the world now. From everyone at NewsFour, have a peaceful, safe, and Merry Christmas.