One thing in common with most people chatting over Christmas was the comment, “where did the year go to?” 2014 certainly gave us plenty of headlines as you can testify in the Review of the Year in this week’s newspaper; some good and some bad.

While most people were surrounded by family over the Christmas holidays, spare a thought for those not able to do that.

One of the most heart-rending stories of the past few weeks is the disappearance of 23-year-old Kieran McAree, believed to be in the vicinity of the River Erne at the west end of Enniskillen. As news of his disappearance spread, the numbers of family members, friends and interested people taking part in the search multiplied. There was no family Christmas celebration for Kieran’s family as searches continued on Christmas Day as well.

The families of two road accident victims have also suffered heartbreak as news came through of their loved ones’ being killed as a road of crashes. Their pain will not only be felt now but on the future anniversaries in years to come.

There were also numerous people who died from prolonged illnesses at this time resulting in a struggle for family members to mark Christmas this year.

What all these sad events show is that community spirit is very much alive and well in Fermanagh. For everyone suffering from grief and pain, there is the solace of knowing that the community which they were part of, is thinking of them.

This community support is vital in the dark hours and difficult days ahead.

2014 has certainly ended miserably for some with accidents and misfortune. Let’s hope 2015 will bring better news.

As we look ahead, let’s honour all those who do make a difference to others, whether it’s through charitable giving or just simply giving a helping hand.