After the hope and promise of the change of government in 2011, and the feelgood factor generated by the visits of US President Barack Obama and Britain's Queen Elizabeth that summer, 2012 was the year when the coalition became accustomed to the grim reality of governing in an age of austerity.
For the opposition, it was a year of contrasts. Sinn Féin's aggressive and populist opposition to austerity, as well as the publicity benefits from leading the...
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