As 2022 draws to a close, it’s time to take a breath and look back on another year of highs, lows and memorable moments.
The Hard Shoulder has been with you through it all – and here are some of the best bits from the show this year:
Former government minister Shane Ross caused quite a splash when he published a biography of Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald earlier this year.
On The Hard Shoulder, he defended his decision, labelling the Dubliner the ‘most important politician in the country right now’.
He said Deputy McDonald is poised to be the next Taoiseach but remains “full of mystery” - and the people have a right to know more about her.
In March, Irish Olympian Sonia O’Sullivan weighed into the debate around trans women in sport – insisting they “without a doubt” have an advantage.
The legendary athlete said it “just doesn’t make sense” that a man who becomes a transgender woman, should be allowed to compete against a biological woman.
The Cork native warned that sporting bodies are forgetting women who have trained all their lives to compete, all in the name of political correctness.
In July, Joe Brolly told the show that the Eleventh Night bonfires in the North are akin to the Ku Klux Klan.
Speaking after an effigy of Michelle O'Neill was placed on a bonfire, Brolly said the sectarianism and hatred that goes on during the event would not be permitted anywhere else.
"We essentially have the Ku Klux Klan operating in the North,” he said
He said it will be “very, very difficult” to move towards a shared future unless the hatred is called out.
Speaking to The Hard Shoulder in October, singer Ronan Keating said Boyzone was "finished" when Stephen Gately died.
Gately, who made history as the first member of a boyband to come out as gay in 1999, died suddenly at the age of 33 in 2009.
Keating told the show there was no chance of the band ever reforming – and said they should have gone their separate ways after his death.
In October, broadcaster Patrick Kielty said the debate over the Ireland women’s team singing ‘up the Ra’ had come at a timely moment.
The County Down native said the controversy highlighted the complexities of the island, noting, “even the RA aren't singing Up the RA these days”.
He said there is no point being “pearl-clutchy” about the incident – but urged people to have a deeper think about what they want for the future of the island.