Most popular UTV stories in 2012

Published Monday, 31 December 2012
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As the year draws to a close, we reveal the 12 most read UTV stories of 2012.

Most popular UTV stories in 2012
The story of the widespread flooding in June was one of the most popular (© Simon Edwards)

Since the launch of the new UTV website in February 2012, an increasing number of people from Northern Ireland and beyond have read our stories each month.

Around 43 million pages have been viewed on u.tv in the past 12 months, but which stories got the most clicks?

Here's our top 12 most popular:

12. Flags protest at Belfast City Hall

(Saturday 15 December 2012) - The flag row is in its second weekend when around 1,000 people take part in a loyalist protest, which passes off without incident outside the gates of Belfast City Hall. Protesters oppose a Belfast City Council vote which restricted the flying of the Union Flag over City Hall at the start of December.

11. Thousands at City Hall flag protest

(Saturday 8 December 2012) - Five days after the passing of the controversial motion, up to 2,000 people gather outside Belfast City Hall in a protest that saw the city centre come to a standstill. An Irish tricolour is burnt and sporadic violence later erupts in east Belfast.

10. 'Bomb warning' at Belfast City Council

(Wednesday 11 July 2012) - In July, a Belfast City Council building on Linenhall Street is evacuated following a telephone bomb warning. Nothing untoward is found. A UUP councillor tells UTV he believes the malicious call is linked to the unsuccessful campaign to save Lennox the dog.

9. Sadness as rider dies after NW200 race

(Saturday 19 May 2012) - Tributes pour in for Scottish rider Mark Buckley, who died following a crash at this year's North West 200. The 35-year-old Loch Lomond based rider died in hospital after the incident, which took place near York Corner, outside Portstewart, during the Superstock Race.

8. Stormont Tricolour flag to be debated

(Wednesday 11 April 2012) - Months before the Belfast City Council flag row erupts, it emerges that a Northern Ireland Assembly committee is set to discuss whether the Tricolour should fly alongside the Union Flag at Stormont as part of a debate on good relations. Nationalist politicians welcome the news, while unionist MLAs are adamant the Irish national flag will not be flown.

7. Eight injured amid flag trouble

(Monday 3 December 2012) - A number of people, including police officers, council staff and a press photographer, are injured during trouble which erupts on the night of a controversial vote which restricted the flying of the Union Flag to designated days at Belfast City Hall.

6. Off-duty policeman 'shot in Bangor'

(Wednesday 19 December 2012) - Police say two men are arrested after an off-duty police officer is "allegedly" shot in Bangor, Co Down.

5. Black Mountain trouble over Queen sign

(Tuesday 26 June 2012) - Trouble breaks out on Black Mountain where a sign opposing the Royal visit to Northern Ireland was erected. The words 'ériu is our queen' were laid out in large white letters on the Belfast hillside with an Irish tricolour underneath. The Queen was on a two-day visit to the region to mark her Diamond Jubilee.

4. New rain warning amid flood chaos

(Wednesday 27 June 2012) - Motorists are advised not to travel unless absolutely necessary after heavy rainfall caused widespread flooding across parts of Northern Ireland. Around 2,800 localised incidents are reported in a few hours in the Belfast, Antrim, Bangor, Dundonald and Lisburn areas after thundery showers swept across the region.

3. Bid to save Lennox from destruction fails

(Tuesday 12 June 2012) - A Belfast woman fails in a final attempt to spare the life of her pit bull terrier-type dog. Lennox the dog, who belonged to Caroline Barnes and was at the centre of a long-running international campaign, was seized by City Council officials in May 2010. He was put to sleep in July 2012.

2. Causeway centre gives creationist view

(Wednesday 4 July 2012) - It emerges that an exhibit in the newly opened Giants' Causeway Visitors' Centre acknowledges the creationist view of how the world-famous stones were formed. It was later amended by the National Trust.

1. Baby missing after ferry fall

(Wednesday 9 May 2012) - A major search and rescue operation for an alleged missing baby is launched after a woman fell from a superfast Stena Line ferry as it made its way into Belfast Port from Cairnryan. It later emerged that reports a baby had fallen into the water were false. Police said they did not believe there was a baby in the woman's care on the ferry.

© UTV News
Comments Comments
4 Comments
Mark in England wrote (472 days ago):
But Alex you live in Ireland, 1 of 4 provinces, half the population in your province see themselves as "British" the other half Irish as you all are born in Ireland. Your in Denial.....
Alex in North Down wrote (472 days ago):
To Ryan in Belfast, as a unionist I can not share your views on the flag/city hall issue and do not think that flying the flag of a neighbouring EU member state is in prospect in any event. I share your thoughts on the marching season for 2013. I attend these parades every year at different venues around the province and they are peaceful events. The trouble is now particular flashpoints such as the Ardoyne shops. I wish you and everyone else on here a good 2013.
James in London wrote (472 days ago):
Totally agree with you Ryan, its the only way forward for N.I
Ryan in Belfast wrote (473 days ago):
Im already wondering what is going to be on next years UTV articles. I hope one of the articles were titled: "Irish Tricolour flys alongside Union jack on belfast city hall" and also "12th July 2013 orange parades pass off without incident". This is the first year i've really ever started commenting on UTV forums aand im surprised at how many followers, especially from the Unionist community, i have attracted. I would just like to wish everyone at UTV and also all the people leaving comments from BOTH sides of thee community a Happy New Year. I would also like to take the time to wish Jackie from Belfast, WTF from Ards and many of my other keen followers a Happy new year, your opinions on my comments have truely made me laugh on many occasions, thank you.
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