2023 in pictures: The photographs that defined the year

2023 In Pictures: The Photographs That Defined The Year
Horror in Gaza, riots in Dublin, and a payments scandal at RTÉ. We look back on 12 tumultuous months.
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Tomas Doherty

As 2023 winds up, we look back on 12 tumultuous months through the best photojournalism.

It was a year which saw a bitter conflict reignited in Israel and Gaza, while Russia's war in Ukraine continued unabated. Closer to home, the horrific stabbings and subsequent riots in Dublin shocked the nation and made headlines around the world.


Here are the pictures that defined the year.


The body of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI lies in state at St Peter's Basilica in the Vatican. Photo: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

The slopes of the Rohrmoos skiing area in Schladming, Austria. Alpine ski resorts faced an unseasonably warm January that brought record temperatures to many parts of Europe. Photo: Daniel Kopatsch/Getty Images

A protest about overcrowding at Letterkenny University Hospital. Nationwide demonstrations took place on January 21st over the hospital overcrowding crisis. Photo: Joe Boland/NW Newspix

Teacher Enoch Burke pictured outside Wilson's Hospital School in Co Westmeath on January 25th, the week after he was formally dismissed by the school. Photo: PA Images


A man sleeps on a sofa near a collapsed building in Hatay, Turkey. A 7.8-magnitude earthquake hit near Gaziantep, causing widespread destruction in southern Turkey and northern Syria. Photo: Burak Kara/Getty Images

The People Of Omagh Unite In The Face Of Terrorism
A rally is held in Omagh, Co Tyrone, after the attempted murder of an off-duty police officer in the town. DCI John Caldwell was shot at close range by two men as he coached a local children's football team. Photo: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

UK prime minister Rishi Sunak and European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen shake hands after securing a breakthrough deal to regulate trade in Northern Ireland. 'I believe the Windsor Framework marks a turning point,' Sunak said. Photo: Dan Kitwood/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Graffiti on the Lia Fail standing stone, which is also known as the Stone of Destiny, on the Hill of Tara near Skryne, Co Meath. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Images


Laila Temori (47) searches for the remains of her relatives in a shipwreck along the coast of Calabria, Italy. She lost her brother's entire family, including three children. Ninety-four migrants died, while 80 people were rescued attempting to cross the sea from Turkey. Photo: Alessio Mamo/Getty Images

Dominic Manta (three), from Clondalkin, pulls his sleigh in the Dublin mountains after heavy snow in the region. Photo: PA

St Patrick's Day Is Celebrated In Dublin
St Patrick's Day in Dublin. Photo: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

Former US president Donald Trump exits after speaking during his first rally since announcing his 2024 presidential campaign, in Waco, Texas. Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images


Gerard 'The Monk' Hutch leaving the Special Criminal Court after he was found not guilty of the murder of David Byrne. Photo: Collins

Dissident Republican Parades Held In Derry On Easter Monday
A dissident republican in the Creggan area of Derry city during the annual parade to mark the anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising. Photo: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

U.S. President Joe Biden Ireland Visit - Day Three
US president Joe Biden addresses a crowd of thousands in Ballina, Co Mayo, at the final event of his four-day visit to the island of Ireland. Photo: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

SDLP leader Colum Eastwood, former US president Bill Clinton, Rachel Eastwood (Colum's wife) and governor Terrence McAuliffe have a pint of Guinness in Derry. Mr Clinton gave a speech at a tribute to the main architects of the Good Friday Agreement, John Hume and David Trimble. Photo: PA


Britain's King Charles and Queen Camilla en route to Buckingham Palace after their coronation in Westminster Abbey, London. Photo: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

Wild Youth's singer Conor O'Donohoe performs during the first semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest in Liverpool, England. The Irish entry failed to make it to the final. Photo: Paul Ellis/AFP via Getty Images

Count Begins In NI Local Council Elections
Sinn Féin vice-president Michelle O'Neill celebrates with candidates and party workers during the Northern Ireland council elections count in Magherafelt, Co Derry. Photo: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images


Beachgoers enjoying the sunny weather at Helen's Bay, Co Down, during a warm spell in early June. Photo: PA

Smoky haze from wildfires in Canada turns the New York City skyline orange. New York topped the list of most polluted major cities in the world in June. Photo: David Dee Delgado/Getty Images

A staff protest takes place outside RTÉ's headquarters in Dublin after the controversy over secret payments to top-paid presenter Ryan Tubridy. Photo: PA

Tánaiste Micheál Martin looks on as protesters interrupt the opening session of the forum on international security and defence policy in Cork. Photo: Brian Lawless/PA


Flowers outside St Michael’s College in Dublin after the deaths of two recent graduates. Andrew O'Donnell and Max Wall, both 18, died while on holiday on the Greek island of Ios. Photo: Conor Ó Mearáin/Collins

Broadcaster Ryan Tubridy (right) and his agent, Noel Kelly, outside Leinster House after giving evidence to the Oireachtas Public Accounts Committee over the RTÉ payments controversy. Photo: Colin Keegan/Collins

Twelfth Of July March In Belfast
Marching orange men in Belfast on July 12th. Photo: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar sits opposite Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy at a meeting in Kyiv, Ukraine. Photo: Clodagh Kilcoyne/AFP via Getty Images


People lay flowers and tributes on the hearse during the funeral procession of Sinead O'Connor in Bray, Co Wicklow. Photo: Paul Faith/AFP via Getty Images

A Bank of Ireland branch in Finglas, Dublin, after a glitch allowed customers to withdraw up to €1,000 even if their account was empty. This resulted in large queues of people at ATMs around the country as some customers sought to take advantage of the error, which made headlines around the world. Photo: PA

A boat in the English Channel carrying around 50 migrants moves into British waters. More than 100,000 migrants have crossed from France on small boats since the UK began publicly recording the arrivals in 2018. Photo: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images


A woman sits among the rubble of her village that was almost completely destroyed by an earthquake in Douzrou, Morocco. Almost 3,000 died following the large quake that struck below villages in the High Atlas mountains. Photo: Carl Court/Getty Images

An angry protest took place outside Leinster House on the first day of the new Dáil term against various issues including immigration, Covid-19 vaccines, transgender rights, sex education in schools and proposed hate-speech laws. Photo: PA

Waves at high tide in Tramore, Co Waterford, during Storm Agnes. Photo: PA

The Sycamore Gap tree on Hadrian's Wall lies on the ground after being cut down in an act of 'vandalism'. The tree was one of the UK's most photographed and appeared in the 1991 Kevin Costner film Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves. Photo: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images


Israeli security forces search the Supernova Music Festival site, where hundreds were killed and dozens taken hostage by Hamas. On October 7th, the Palestinian militant group launched a surprise attack on Israel from Gaza by land, sea and air, killing over 1,300 people and wounding around 2,800. Photo: Leon Neal/Getty Images

An Israeli army unit fires towards Gaza. Israel sealed off Gaza and conducted deadly airstrikes on Palestinian territory after the Hamas attack. Photo: Alexi J Rosenfeld/Getty Images

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar observes the damage to local businesses on Main Street in Midleton, Co Cork, after Storm Babet, the second named storm of the season, swept in. Photo: PA

A woman cradles her son, eight-month-old Muhammad Bilal Abu Salah, as residents collect the bodies of Palestinians killed in reported Israeli air strikes in Khan Yunis, Gaza. Photo: Ahmad Hasaballah/Getty Images

Flood water surrounds Magee's Bar in Newry, Co Down, ahead of Storm Ciarán. Photo: PA


Sinn Fein Party Conference
Sinn Féin president Mary Lou McDonald after her speech to the party Ard Fheis in Athlone, Co Westmeath. Photo: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

Ashling Murphy's mother and sister, Kathleen and Amy, outside the Central Criminal Court after Jozef Puska was found guilty of the murder of the school teacher. Photo: Collins

A Garda car on fire during riots in Dublin city centre. Photo: Colin Keegan/Collins

Aftermath Of Dublin Violence Sparked By School Stabbings
Deliveroo driver Caio Benicio was among a group of people who stopped a knife attack outside a school on Parnell Square, Dublin. The incident left five people, including three children, injured. Photo: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

Aftermath Of Dublin Violence Sparked By School Stabbings
People walk past a destroyed Luas tram on O'Connell Street, Dublin, the morning after the riots. Photo: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images


Funeral Procession For Shane McGowan Takes Place In Dublin
The funeral procession of The Pogues singer Shane MacGowan in Dublin. Photo: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

People ride horses on Donabate Beach, Co Dublin. Photo: PA

DUP Refuse New British Government Offer To Restore Stormont By Christmas
DUP leader Jeffrey Donaldson exits Hillsborough Castle following talks with other Northern parties. The DUP has been boycotting the power-sharing government at Stormont since 2022 in protest of post-Brexit trade rules. Photo: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

Winter Solstice Awakens Ireland's Prehistoric Newgrange Tomb
People take part in a sunrise ceremony during the Winter Solstice at Newgrange, Co Meath. Photo: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

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