Northern Ireland

BBC Northern Ireland news website's 20 most read stories of 2013

As 2013 draws to a close, we take a look back at the most read stories of 2013 on the BBC News NI website.

The list is in order of the most clicked upon stories of the year up to 31 December 2013, when it was compiled.

1. Belfast fire bomb: Man burst into flames in shop (16 December)

Image caption Forensic investigators examined a cardboard box outside the Golf Madness store in Cornmarket

A man, believed to be a fire bomber, burst into flames in a shop in Belfast city centre, sustaining head and shoulder injuries.

He ran off with his clothes on fire through shoppers in the Cornmarket area.

Police said he had injuries to his head and shoulders.

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2. Parallel parking Belfast woman is internet hit (30 April)

Image caption The woman took about half an hour to park her car

A video of an unfortunate woman trying to park her car in a Belfast street became an internet sensation.

It shows a female driver taking about 30 minutes and several attempts to reverse her car into a space between two vehicles on Fitzroy Avenue in the Holyland area.

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3. 'Fatal blow' for John Lewis store at Sprucefield (11 January)

Image caption The John Lewis development has been controversial

Controversial plans for a John Lewis store in Northern Ireland may have been dealt a fatal blow by a new planning policy.

The development at Sprucefield, which includes 19 other retail units, was first suggested nearly nine years ago.

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4. Londonderry mortars: Bombs 'within minutes' of launch (5 March)

Image caption It is the first time dissidents have attempted this type of mortar attack

Police believe dissident republicans were within minutes of firing four mortar bombs which were found in a van stopped by officers in Londonderry on Sunday night.

The van had its roof cut back to allow the mortars to be fired.

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5. Selfie on the Farm contest winner chosen (19 December)

Image caption PJ Ryan's selfie was the most popular photograph in the competition

The Pope has done it, Barack Obama and David Cameron have done it, and now a farmer from County Tipperary has become the latest famous subject of a "selfie".

The self-taken photograph of PJ Ryan was submitted by his daughter Aisling to the Irish Farmers Journal's Selfie on the Farm competition.

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6. Belfast flags trouble: Matt Baggott in warning to rioters (6 January)

Image caption Police were attacked with bricks, bottles and smoke bombs

Northern Ireland's chief constable Matt Baggott has warned that police will "deal firmly" with outbreaks of violence linked to union flag protests.

On Saturday, police came under attack in east Belfast for the third night running.

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7. Ruth Patterson is charged over Facebook parade comments (3 August)

Image caption DUP councillor Ruth Patterson later apologised for the comments she made on Facebook

DUP councillor Ruth Patterson has been charged by police after she made comments on Facebook about a planned republican parade in County Tyrone.

She has been charged with sending a "grossly offensive communication".

(On 20 December 2013, all charges were dropped)

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8. Ex-IRA woman Dolours Price is found dead in Dublin (24 January)

Image caption Dolours Price sparked a legal battle over secret interviews she gave about her time in the IRA

The convicted IRA bomber, Dolours Price, has been found dead at her home in County Dublin.

Her family have confirmed that she died in Malahide on Wednesday night.

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9. Harry Starrett, six, dies on family farm in Armagh (24 July)

Image caption Harry Starrett died on his grandparents' farm on Tuesday

The sudden death of a six-year-old boy on a County Armagh farm was due to natural causes, not a farm accident, according to his family's minister.

Harry Starrett was found unconscious in a milking parlour on his grandparent's farm on Ballynahonemore Road, just outside Armagh city, on Tuesday.

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10. Rory McIlroy Nike deal nets Northern Ireland star millions (14 January)

Rory McIlroy has been unveiled as Nike's new brand ambassador in Abu Dhabi, making him one of the highest paid sports stars in the world.

The exact detail of the sponsorship may never be revealed, but it has been reported to be worth around $100m (£62m) to $125m (£77m) over five years.

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11. Omagh: 19-year-old dies after double beating (14 January)

Image caption Jason McGovern was found dead at a house in Emyvale, Monaghan.

A 19-year-old man has died after he was attacked twice during a night out in Omagh, County Tyrone.

Jason McGovern of Tydavnet, Monaghan, was found dead at a house in Mullan village near Emyvale in Monaghan.

It is believed he was punched at a pub and hit again two hours later outside a nightclub at Kevlin Road.

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12. Brain injury victim's family disgusted at 'work' letter (27 August)

Image caption Paul McCauley uffered severe brain injuries and requires round-the-clock care

A Londonderry man left in a permanent vegetative state following a sectarian attack has been asked by the Social Security Agency if he is fit for work.

Paul McCauley, 36, was attacked by a gang at a barbecue in the Waterside area of the city on 16 July 2006.

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13. Police and MP Nigel Dodds injured in Belfast riots (27 August)

Image caption Nigel Dodds was hit by a missile after earlier appealing for calm in north Belfast

More than 30 police officers and MP Nigel Dodds were injured during six hours of rioting in Belfast.

Clashes developed when police enforced a ban on an Orange Order march in the north of the city on Friday evening.

North Belfast MP Mr Dodds was knocked unconscious during the riot and taken away in an ambulance.

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14. Belfast Cathedral Quarter bomb 'could have killed' (14 December)

Image caption The bomb explodes close to St Anne's Square in the Cathedral Quarter

A bomb that exploded in Belfast's Cathedral Quarter on Friday evening could have killed or injured anyone nearby, police have said.

The bomb exploded at Exchange Street West at about 18:45 GMT as the area was being cleared.

A warning had been phoned to a newspaper, but police said the bomb had been left in a different place.

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15. Spence family deaths: Inquest told it was NI's worst farming tragedy for 20 years (29 January)

Image caption The three men Noel (L), Nevin (centre) and Graham Spence (R) were overcome by gas

The deaths of three members of the Spence family was the worst farming tragedy in Northern Ireland for 20 years, an inquest has been told.

Ulster rugby player Nevin Spence, his father Noel and brother Graham died in a slurry tank accident last September.

On the final day of the inquest in Belfast, Coroner John Leckey said it was an "unbelievable" tragedy.

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16. Michaela McAreavey: Editor convicted over photos (29 June)

Image caption The editor, Imraan Hosany, has been found guilty in a Mauritian court

A newspaper editor has been convicted of outrage to public and religious morality for publishing photographs of the body of Michaela McAreavey.

The 27-year-old County Tyrone woman was murdered on her honeymoon in Mauritius in January 2011.

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17. The tale of the 'vanishing house' on Tory Island (2 January)

Image caption The dream island house that just "vanished"

The story of how a 150-year old house on an island off the Irish coast simply vanished has become the subject of international fascination, as the owner turned to the courts to find out what had happened to his Tory Island retreat.

He lost everything in the wake of the house's destruction.

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18. 26 police officers injured during Belfast parade protests (10 August)

Image caption Loyalist protestors confront police in Belfast City Centre.

Twenty-six police officers were injured during loyalist protests in Belfast on Friday, as demonstrations were held against a republican parade.

The protesters prevented the parade from passing along Royal Avenue.

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19. Londonderry's Leah Totton crowned Apprentice winner (17 July)

Image caption Lord Sugar and 2013 Apprentice winner Leah Totton

Londonderry doctor Leah Totton is Lord Sugar's new business partner after winning BBC One show The Apprentice.

She got a £250,000 investment for her cosmetic procedures business after Lord Sugar told her "you're hired" in Wednesday's final.

20. Gerry Adams: 'I was not saving my political skin' (22 April)

Image caption Gerry Adams was giving evidence at the trial of his brother, Liam

Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams has denied making a statement to police about alleged child sex abuse "to save his political skin".

Child abuse is "above politics" and saving his skin was "no consideration whatsoever," he told Belfast Crown Court.

He was giving evidence at the trial of his brother, Liam, who denies 10 charges of sexually abusing his daughter Aine.

(Liam Adams was subsequently convicted and jailed for 16 years)

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