Wishing you all a very happy and peaceful New Year in 2023

It's strange to think that it was only in February of this year that the final lockdown restrictions were lifted in Northern Ireland.

This paved the way for the return of normality after two years of lockdowns, closures, masks, staycations, isolating and testing. But 2022 has proved anything but normal.

We witnessed numerous flagship festivals and events returning in all their splendour, kicking off in the Spring with St Patrick's Day parades, and we packed into stadiums to cheer our local sports teams on to national success.

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2022 was also a year of protest. The campaigning families whose lives have been turned upside down by defective blocks in Inishowen and beyond forced the government to rethink their redress scheme, while spiralling costs sparked protests as more and more people were plunged into poverty just as Stormont collapsed following a historic election.

Fireworks over Derry Halloween 2022.

There were many vigils too, for the victims of male violence, for Ukraine and in solidarity with the people of Creeslough following the horrific explosion which claimed 10 lives and devastated many more in the Donegal village.

1972 had been the most deadly year of the Troubles. Five decades on we remembered those who lost their lives here. This year marked the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday, the Claudy bombing, Operation Motorman and the Annie's Bar massacre among others.

The Journal also marked its 250th anniversary this year and whatever 2023 may hold, we will be there to share it with you.

As the new year arrives it brings with it a renewed sense of hope and from all of us at the Derry Journal, we wish you all joy and peace in 2023.

Front pages of the Derry Journal during 2022.
Brendan McDaid, editor, Derryjournal.com