We take a look back at the biggest news stories reported by the Belfast Telegraph in 2020.
Stormont finally returns after years of stalemate
The Stormont institutions were finally restored after three years of political stalemate following the agreement of the New Decade, New Approach deal in January.
Late on January 9 Northern Ireland Secretary Julian Smith and Tanaiste Simon Coveney emerged at Stormont to announce the deal to the media.
The following day the DUP and Sinn Fein announced they would go back into government on January 11.
Stephen Clements death
In January popular BBC Radio Ulster presenter Stephen Clements suddenly died.
He had only recently moved to the BBC from Q Radio’s Breakfast Show.
In a statement Stephen’s brother Gavin said the family were devastated by the death and were struggling to come to terms with his untimely passing.
On the night before his death Mr Clements posted a photo collage of various pictures of him with his family- wife Natasha and young children Poppy and Robbie.
First case of coronavirus reported in Northern Ireland
In February the first case of coronavirus in Northern Ireland was confirmed.
It is understood a woman had contracted the virus while on a skiing trip in northern Italy and travelled back to NI via Dublin Airport.
She then travelled to Dublin’s Connolly Street station by bus before travelling to Northern Ireland by train. She was tested at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast.
It was just the beginning of the pandemic for Northern Ireland.
RHI Inquiry report published
In March the RHI Inquiry finally published its report into the RHI scandal.
The public inquiry was set up after the costs of the green energy scheme spiraled out of control because of generous subsidies.
The scheme led to the collapse of Stormont for three years after then deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness resigned.
Sir Patrick Coghlin’s report comprised three volumes, 656 pages, 56 chapters, 276,000 words, 319 findings and 44 recommendations.
While it found no evidence of corruption, the report did criticise the behaviour of some ministers and special advisers as “wholly inappropriate”.
Search for Noah Donohoe
On June 21 teenager Noah Donohoe vanished. He was last seen close to the Shore Road in north Belfast.
His disappearance sparked a huge search and rescue effort across Belfast.
Tragically his body was found six days later in the north Belfast in a storm drain.
A family statement said: “He was very special. It is very hard to do justice or honour the extraordinary relationship Noah and his mummy shared.”
Noah’s mother Fiona Donohoe is still fighting for more information about the 14-year-old’s death.
Bobby Storey funeral
The funeral of prominent republican an IRA leader Bobby Storey during the midst of the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic created a political storm.
Mr Storey’s funeral took place at St Agnes church in west Belfast after he died at the age of 64 in June.
However, thousands lined the streets ahead of the funeral, leading to an investigation by the PSNI into whether breach of coronavirus regulations had taken place.
The attendance of senior Sinn Fein figures- including deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill and Finance Minister Conor Murphy- led to DUP leader Arlene Foster accusing the party of critically undermining public health messaging.
Abortion regulations approved for NI
In June MPs voted to approve controversial abortion regulations for Northern Ireland which had been opposed by the DUP.
The vote to back the new rules – 253 votes to 136, majority 117 – which came into effect at the end of March meant they have been approved by both the Commons and the Lords.
Northern Ireland’s near blanket ban on terminations ended last year when MPs intervened and voted through a law change when Stormont was still in deep freeze amid the power-sharing crisis.
John Hume’s death
In August SDLP leader and architect of the peace in Northern Ireland John Hume passed away at the age of 83.
Tributes from across the world flowed from Former US President Bill Clinton, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and the Dalai Lama.
Mr Hume passed away in a Londonderry nursing home following a long illness. He played a major role in the peace talks which led to the Good Friday Agreement.
Lord Trimble, who shared the Nobel Peace Prize with Mr Hume, said: “He was a major contributor to politics in Northern Ireland, particularly to the process that gave us an agreement that we are still working our way through.
“He will be remembered for that contribution for years to come.”
Northern Ireland’s first religious same-sex wedding takes place
In December Northern Ireland’s first ever religious same-sex marriage took place in Co Antrim following legislation introduced in July.
Same-sex marriage has been legally recognised here since January but did not extend to ceremonies in churches or religious bodies.
There are exemptions and protections for religious bodies that do not wish to conduct same-sex marriages.
Pastor Steve Ames from Harbour Faith Community officiated the ceremony.
Essex lorry deaths convictions
In October last year 39 Vietnamese migrants were found dead in a lorry trailer in Essex.
An investigation led by Essex Police quickly found that men from Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland had been involved in people trafficking.
In December Co Down man Eamonn Harrison was found guilty of the manslaughter of 39 people who suffocated as they were smuggled into the UK.
Another man, Christopher Kennedy from Keady, was found guilty of conspiracy.
They were also convicted of their part in the people-smuggling operation with lorry driver Christopher Kennedy, 24, from County Armagh, and Valentin Calota, 38, from Birmingham.
The verdicts bring the total number of people convicted in Britain to eight, including haulier boss Ronan Hughes, 41, of Armagh, and 26-year-old lorry driver Maurice Robinson, of Craigavon, who admitted manslaughter.