Reeling in the Years - 2009 recalls a year of sporting highs and lows. 2009 was the year the 'Hand of Henry' denied Ireland the chance to go to the soccer World Cup Finals, as a blatant handball by Thierry Henry helped France to a 2-1 aggregate victory in a qualifying playoff. Irish rugby celebrated a first Grand Slam in sixty-one years and Leinster won the Heineken Cup for the first time.
'We're gonna be in the Hudson', an American pilot calmly informed air traffic controllers as he crash-landed an airliner onto the freezing waters of the Hudson Bay off Manhattan Island: all 155 passengers and crew were safely rescued and pilot Chesley Sullenberger became a national hero. In November, Ireland was hit by heavy flooding; Cork was among the worst affected areas as the River Lee burst its banks and devastated large parts of the city centre. 'Catch It - Kill It - Bin It' was the slogan for a public information campaign in Ireland, as a huge international vaccination programme got underway against the H1N1 'swine flu' virus.
Pat Kenny stepped down as host of 'The Late Late Show', while economics editor George Lee left RTE for Fine Gael and won a Dail by-election in Dublin South. Ireland voted 'Yes' to the Lisbon Treaty in a second referendum. There was widespread public anger and fury at the conduct of Irish State and Catholic Church authorities as the Ryan and Murphy reports exposed decades of child abuse, neglect, complicity and coverups.
The showbusiness world mourned the passing of 'King Of Pop' Michael Jackson, while closer to home the year was also marked by the sudden death of Boyzone member Stephen Gately at the age of 33.
Barack Obama was inaugurated as President of the United States: there were celebrations in his ancestral home of Kenya and in Moneygall, Co. Offaly. Golfer Tiger Woods battled scandal after a string of infidelities was revealed. As Ireland's government struggled to contain a growing crisis in banking and public debt, 2009 saw the nationalisation of Anglo Irish Bank, a multi-billion euro recapitalisation plan for other banks and the introduction of the National Asset Management Agency (NAMA).
Black Eyed Peas - I Gotta Feeling
Lisa Hannigan - Lille
Westlife - What About Now
Kings Of Leon - Use Somebody
La Roux - Bulletproof
Florence & The Machine - Cosmic Love
The Coronas - Listen Dear
Lady Gaga - Poker Face
Temper Trap - Sweet Disposition