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IT Sunday: A New Year’s message from the Editor

The image of mass graves in Bucha, discovered after the liberation of the town by Ukrainian forces, will define the year

No sooner had one global crisis begun to fade than another ignited. That was the story of 2022, the year the world put the worst of the Covid-19 pandemic behind it only to be thrust into a conflict that threatened even greater turmoil.

For a generation of Europeans that has known only peace, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has been a shocking corrective to the assumption that the continent would never again be the setting for war on a large scale. The image of mass graves in Bucha, discovered after the liberation of the town by Ukrainian forces, will define the year. It shook the world from its complacency and hardened western resolve to ensure that Vladimir Putin could not succeed in his war of aggression.

The aftershocks from the war have been felt in every home in Ireland, where the soaring cost of living has put huge strain on family budgets. At national level, the post-pandemic economic recovery has stalled. Such pressures could yet test European unity on Ukraine, but until now the solidarity has been remarkable. We have seen it across the continent, where co-ordinated aid and the rapid adoption of sanctions against Russia showed a capacity for decisive action that once seemed impossible.

But we have also seen that solidarity closer to home. Almost every town in Ireland, invariably festooned with Ukrainian flags, is now home to a population of newly-arrived refugees from the war. The challenge of finding accommodation for the tens of thousands of newcomers has been a persistent theme, but what stands out is the generosity and humanity shown by so many households, schools and communities in opening their doors to those seeking safety.


Through our reporters on the ground in Ukraine as well as our network of correspondents in Paris, Berlin, Brussels, London, Washington, Beijing and elsewhere, we at The Irish Times have worked hard this year to keep you informed on the war and its fallout. And we have taken care to do so without losing sight of the other pressing issues of the day, from the housing crisis and the instability in post-Brexit Britain to the biggest story of all: the rapid heating of the planet.

A newspaper, in digital or print, is an imperfect but remarkable thing. Every day, our journalists across Ireland and the world set out to achieve an impossible task: to capture a day. In the space of just a few hours, we commission, write, edit and publish hundreds of articles photographs, videos and podcasts.

On their own, they are no more than fleeting snapshots – a political row, a match report, a striking image, a revealing interview, a film review, a food critic’s take on a newly-opened restaurant. But together, we hope, they tell a story of life as it is.

Yet if our mission is to describe the world as we see it, that alone is never enough. We must also create a space in which people can imagine a better world, or think differently about the one we have. Through our opinion and analysis columns, we try to provide a forum for debate, argument and discussion – all of it underpinned by the same principles that inform our news reporting: accuracy, fairness, originality, and trustworthiness.

I was appointed Editor just a few weeks ago, and in that short time I have been struck anew by the exceptionally close bond we have with you, our readers. It’s a relationship we do not take for granted. I hope you have found The Irish Times a useful, informative and entertaining companion in 2022, and I look forward to sharing news of new projects and initiatives in the coming months.

As a turbulent year comes to an end I would like to extend my best wishes for 2023 to you and your family.