What a year 2012 has been!  It has thrown up many a good and bad thing in equal measures.  For many we can eloquently rhyme out all the bad that has happened in Irish life this year from the introduction of the Household Charge to the recent Budget which is viewed as regressive.

What may not be so evident are the Good things that happened in 2012.  All those stories that emanated in local communities that don’t make national airwaves have struck chords.  For me the Olympics and in particular one young lady made me proud to be Irish, Katie Taylor.  I watched grown men / women cry when she took that elusive gold medal for Ireland.  I shed a tear myself not just at the win, but for the fact of us being allowed to be joyous for something at last that didn’t include some payoff or political intervention.

This journey with Katie from the first bout to the last was the only singular act to lift a nations spirits to which nothing else achieved or even came close to doing so.  We watched from all corners of the country at “…our wee Katie” take on the best the world had to offer and she rose to meet and overcome all obstacles to claim the adulation of nation indeed the world.  Being proud was an understatement.

From the national high to the national low, POLITICS.  Have we ever been served by politicians as underwhelming as the current crop.  I watched in shear pain at the lack of connection our elected (and we elected them) representatives had with their people.  At each and every turn this year they removed themselves even more from the ethos of what being a representative stood for e.g. represent US.  This disconnect proved critical and will continue to prove critical for all parties in 2013.  Not wishing to turn back time, but I’m reminded by the litany of phrases of “…Stable Government to have Stable markets…” and “…we need stable politics for the country…”.  What is proven is that we received neither in my opinion.

Labour will be the greens in electoral terms.  Fine Gael will be the largest party as nothing seems to shake the party faithful which seems very like the Finna Fail of the past, worrying.

Finna Fail are rising again, not for the extensive leadership skills of the Mr Martin, but as a consequence of the poor government decisions.  Sinn Fein are hovering up the populist stance at every opportunity and doing little on the ground, bar readying themselves for any future election.

The independents are doing a soso job.  The good of deputy Ross the not so good of deputy Wallace.  What I do predict is that there will be more and more independents showing their political prowess in 2013 to stand for the local election in 2014.

Yes there are many many things that we personally overcame or succumbed to this year, the passing of family, friends and colleagues.  The illness that struck down young and old, the rich and poor and all sexes.  The new ways we tried to live our lives with less money and pay our bills by falling into arrears with one or the other.

What I do have is a sense that, we as a people are still here, we are still waiting on the turnaround in the economy, we are still living and we aren’t going away.

2012 will stand out for if nothing else, we as a people are still wanting BETTER.  Lets cross our fingers and hope against hope that you and yours can realise this.