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In Pictures: Deaths of singers punctuate year of highs and lows in Ireland

Members of the public lined the streets of Dublin in December to remember Pogues frontman Shane MacGowan, who died in November aged 65 (Liam McBurney/PA)
Members of the public lined the streets of Dublin in December to remember Pogues frontman Shane MacGowan, who died in November aged 65 (Liam McBurney/PA)

There were highs and lows across Ireland in 2023 – a year that saw the deaths of singers Sinead O’Connor and Shane MacGowan, as well as an emotional visit from the US president.

Fans mourned around the world and across the country following the deaths of singer and activist O’Connor, aged 56, in July and Pogues frontman MacGowan, aged 65, in November.

Meanwhile, in March, some 1,500 new Irish citizens were welcomed during the first in-person citizenship ceremony to take place in four years in Dublin.

April saw US President Joe Biden speak of the US and Ireland “united by history, heritage and hope” during a passionate speech in Ballina, Co Mayo, in front of a crowd of thousands.

Brigit: Dublin City Celebrating Women launch
Model Bonnie Boux helped launch Brigit: Dublin City Celebrating Women, a programme of events in January highlighting the stories of Irish women through the ages (Niall Carson/PA)
Lia Fail standing stone vandalised
An Office of Public Works worker began the clean-up of graffiti on the Lia Fail standing stone on the Hill of Tara in County Meath after it was vandalised in February (Niall Carson/PA)
Rent rise in Ireland
Graffiti complaining about high rental payments on a new development in Dublin followed research showing new rents nationwide had risen by an average of 13.7% (Niall Carson/PA)
Irish Citizenship Ceremonies
The first in-person Citizenship Ceremony to take place in more than four years was held in March, with 1,500 new Irish citizens welcomed during the event at the RDS in Dublin (Brian Lawless/PA)
President Biden visit to the island of Ireland
In April, US President Joe Biden was greeted with shouts of ‘welcome home Joe’ as he shook hands and took selfies with excited locals in Dundalk, Co Louth, during his four-day trip to Ireland (Niall Carson/PA)
Celtic Con Comic Convention 2023
The Celtic Con Comic convention in Newbridge, Co Kildare, saw a member of the 501st Legion Ireland dress as Krrsantan from the Star Wars Mandalorian series (Niall Carson/PA)
Consultative Forum on International Security Policy
Protesters interrupted Tanaiste Micheal Martin’s opening remarks to the Consultative Forum on International Security Policy at University College Cork in the summer (Brian Lawless/PA)
RTE pay revelations
Dublin pubgoers watched former RTE presenter Ryan Tubridy give evidence to a parliamentary committee in July after the national broadcaster admitted mis-stating fees paid to their then-highest-paid star (Niall Carson/PA)
Sinead O’Connor death
Tributes were left to Irish singer and activist Sinead O’Connor at the Irish Rock ‘n’ Roll Museum in the Temple Bar area of Dublin following the 56-year-old’s death on July 26 (Brian Lawless/PA)
Molly Malone statue in Dublin vandalised
The statue of the semi-historical, semi-legendary figure of Molly Malone in Dublin city centre was vandalised with black paint in August. It did not deter people from posing for photographs at the popular tourist destination (Brian Lawless/PA)
National Ploughing Championships 2023
Day two of the National Ploughing Championships in Co Laois saw 955 attendees take part in a Guinness World Record attempt for the most people throwing wellies (Niall Carson/PA)
Autumn weather September 27th 2023
Waves at high tide in Tramore, County Waterford, as Storm Agnes hit the UK and Ireland in late September bringing heavy winds and rain and causing damage to buildings, power outages and travel disruption (Niall Carson/PA)
President Higgins visit to the Vatican
Irish President Michael D Higgins met Pope Francis during a private audience in the pontiff’s library at the Vatican in October (Maxwells/PA)
Jozef Puska court case
The mother of murdered teacher Ashling Murphy, centre, held a photograph of her daughter outside the Central Criminal Court in Dublin, after Jozef Puska, 33, was found guilty of the 23-year-old’s murder in Co Offaly in 2022 (Brian Lawless/PA)
Dublin city centre incident
Workers cleared debris besides damaged public transport vehicles on O’Connell Street in Dublin in the aftermath of violent scenes in the city centre in November (Brian Lawless/PA)
Shane MacGowan funeral
The year drew to a close with news of the death of Pogues frontman Shane MacGowan, aged 65. Mourners lined the streets of Dublin for a public procession to pay their last respects, while a host of stars attended the singer’s funeral in Nenagh, Co Tipperary (Damien Eagers/PA)