Page last updated at 07:32 GMT, Wednesday, 31 December 2008

A year in pictures...


At the start of the year, heavy snow falls across the whole of Northern Ireland caused disruption at the end of the school holidays.


In February, Ireland chose Dustin the Turkey as its entrant to the Eurovision Song Contest. Dustin failed to make it beyond the semi-finals, making it the first entry from Ireland never to reach the final.


March saw the opening of the much anticipated Victoria Square shopping centre in Belfast. The centre took more than three years to build at a cost of about 300m


In April, the Queen distributed the Royal Maundy in St Patrick's Cathedral, Armagh.

For their last official appearance before leaving office, Bertie Ahern and Ian Paisley open the Boyne Interpretive Centre just outside Drogheda

For their last official appearance before leaving office, Bertie Ahern and Ian Paisley opened the Boyne Interpretive Centre just outside Drogheda in May.


In June Kylie Minogue performed at Belfast's Odyssey Arena. The pint-sized pop princess performed four sell-out shows in the venue as part of the European leg of her Kylie X tour.

JUL - Dublin Airport

In July, the Irish Aviation Authority's Air Traffic Control radar system failed, causing long delays for passengers in Dublin Airport.

AUG - Flooding

Three-quarters of August's total rainfall fell in a single day, causing the new Broadway underpass to be submerged in water. Many homes and businesses were also affected by the heavy rain.

SEPT - Homecoming

In September, thousands of Tyrone gaelic football fans turned out to welcome their team home with the Sam Maguire trophy. The Ulster side beat Kerry in the All-Ireland Senior Football Final.


Thousands of people attended celebrations in Derry as the city held its biggest halloween party yet, with fireworks on display throughout the evening as revellers enjoyed the spooky atmosphere.

NOV - 11+

In November, history was made as children sat the last ever 11-plus examination. The exam, which has lasted for 60 years, covers English, maths and science knowledge.


Finally, Dungiven's Eoghan Quigg made it through to the finals of ITV1's The X Factor where he came third. The singer, mentored by Simon Cowell, will be performing in the Odyssey Arena in the new year.

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