Tim McGarry: 2021 is the year that started poorly, dipped in the middle, then — like Line of Duty — ended very badly indeed

So that’s it. 2021 is finally over.

By Tim McGarry
Thursday, 30th December 2021, 11:52 am
Updated Thursday, 30th December 2021, 12:20 pm
Tim McGarry, who writes a column for the News Letter every other Thursday
Tim McGarry, who writes a column for the News Letter every other Thursday

And may I say to 2021 — so long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, goodnight ... sod-off, sling your hook, good riddance and never come back.

I think I speak for everyone when I say 2021 won’t be missed. It is the year that started very poorly, dipped a little in the middle, got a lot worse and then, like Line of Duty, ended very badly indeed.

Even Christmas wasn’t the same this year.

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Christmas consisted of the family gathered round the fire, wide-eyed with excitement as we all opened up our lateral flow test kits

Like most people, my Christmas consisted of the entire family gathered round the fire, children and adults alike, wide-eyed with excitement as we all opened up our lateral flow test kits.

Normally we stuff ourselves with too much turkey and Quality Street.

This year we choked on tonsil-tickling disposable swabs.

Late on Christmas Eve I poured a large brandy and waited anxiously, not for the arrival of Santa Claus, but for an email from gov.uk telling me the outcome of my PCR.

The Shinners have had a relatively good year. All they have to do is stop Gerry singing carols

All I got for Christmas was a booster jab.

This Christmas also saw the weird phenomenon of senior Tories in England turning up for photo opportunities at food banks.

This is the equivalent of your local paramilitary thug taking a selfie just before he kneecaps you.

What will the Tories do next? Throw a wine and cheese party in a Covid ward?

The NHS came under incredible pressure in 2021. There was a fella in hospital recently who had been waiting so long he didn’t know Edwin Poots was once DUP leader. He thought Arlene was still in charge

It’s been a bad year for Boris.

Yes it turns out that the Emperor has no clothes. The scandal ridden PM may be soon on his way out of Downing Street. His lies are catching up on him.

He spent £112,549 redecorating the flat at Number 10. 112 grand!!! Seriously?? Harry Noblett’s would have done it for half that price.

Everything was a damp squib in 2021.

Partition is 100 years old. And to celebrate the big 100 Jeffrey Donaldson threatened 100 times to bring down Stormont

Even “I’m a celebrity get me out of here”. The celebrities this year were so obscure my son told me it was a surprise that I didn’t get the call.

And Covid, of course, ruined everything.

The Covid rules kept changing throughout the year.

In July Boris declared Freedom Day in England and the wearing of masks was no longer compulsory.

Some people still wore masks for health reasons or because they felt vulnerable, like Prince Andrew. Yes Andrew is like an old Provo, on the run and holed up in a safe palace.

The NHS came under incredible pressure in 2021. Waiting lists are through the roof.

It’s been a bad year for Boris. He spent £112,549 redecorating the flat at Number 10. Harry Noblett’s would have done it for half that price

I was in hospital recently and there was a fella there who had been waiting so long he didn’t know Edwin Poots was once DUP leader. He thought Arlene was still in charge.

Ah yes! The DUP implosion gave us all some light relief in a dismal year. Edwin Poots backstabbed Arlene and then three weeks later was frontstabbed by the entire party.

For a party of loyalists it turned out that nobody was loyal to anyone else.

It was all very inauspicious given that 2021 was the centenary of Northern Ireland.

Partition is 100 years old. And to celebrate the big 100 Jeffrey Donaldson threatened 100* times to bring down Stormont. (*100 at time of writing)

It hasn’t been a good year for unionism. The centenary celebrations were so muted that the highlight was somebody not turning up to an interdenominational church service.

And then of course there was the car crash that is Brexit which became an even bigger pile up in 2021.

The UK voting for Brexit has been compared to the Titanic. This is grossly unfair to Edward Smith the captain of the Titanic. He didn’t set out to sink his own ship.

Brexit is the captain of the Titanic setting fire to all the lifeboats, wilfully smashing the ship in to an iceberg, reversing, and then crashing in to the iceberg again and again whilst screaming hysterically “I’m taking back control of the Atlantic”.

On the plus side of Brexit, the Northern Ireland Protocol seems to be working quite well.

Businesses are happy, many other regions of the UK are jealous of our arrangements and most importantly it is really really annoying Jim Allister.

Lord Frost resigned suddenly.

After being so thoroughly embarrassed by their faith in Boris, the European Research Group (ERG), and Lord Frost who will unionists place their trust in now- Kim Jong Un?

Ronald McDonald?

Gerry Adams?

The Shinners have had a relatively good year. They are so confident of doing well in next year’s assembly elections that Michelle O’Neill has already tippexed out the word ‘Deputy’ from all her stationery.

All they have to do is stop Gerry singing carols and keep Ogra Shinn Fein away from Twitter. Ogra Shinn Fein is Youth Sinn Fein. They are so young that they don’t remember Scary Gerry at all, they think of him as cuddly and avuncular; with a teddy bear in one hand and a poem in the other.

This week the junior Shinners opened a brand new front in the culture war over, all of things, Boxing Day.

Apparently most southerners call the 26th of December St Stephen’s Day and calling it Boxing Day is an act of British imperialist colonial oppression.

It’s possible the Ogra shinners were joking. But it’s more likely their Twitter account is secretly run by unionists.

The Shinners are confident a United Ireland is close. But unionists needn’t worry. I watched COP26. I’m pretty certain we’ll all be under water before we’re under Dublin rule.

Finally of course, it’s important to remember that some good things happened in 2021.

The great Gaelic scholar Berneard O’Labhara got a job as editor of the News Letter and this venerable old newspaper acquired a fabulous new columnist.

Things can only get better.

Here’s to 2022.

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There were good things in 2021. The great Gaelic scholar Berneard O’Labhara became editor of the News Letter - a newspaper which acquired a fabulous new columnist