Retail Ireland says figures suggest it will be retailers’ best Christmas for five years. It has forecast a 2 per cent rise in the sales worth €80 million. Photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Sales began early with more shops offering discounts online on Christmas Day

Monica Rowe, Childline’s national manager: ‘The season can bring unwelcome stress on families and issues such as financial pressures and alcohol misuse in the home.’

Most calls were from children experiencing family difficulties or mental health problems

Childline’s night-time service is to remain open after the charity reached an agreement with the Government over funding and use of technology. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Charity to assist State by sharing use of technology to assist with child protection

Ten staff placed on leave as HSE investigates complaints at Daughters of Charity centre

Then minister for finance Brian Lenihan argued that continued payment of child benefit to those who could afford to meet their own needs was “not appropriate in the current circumstances”

Cabinet records for 2010 budget reveal push for steeper cuts to welfare and dole

Delays can have big impact on health, says Irish Family Planning Association

IFPA chief executive Niall Behan: counsellors are restricted in what support they can give to vulnerable women seeking abortion services under Irish law. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Counselling organisation says figures show ‘insurmountable’ obstacles faced by women

Eamonn Kennedy admitted to hospital with injuries

Eamonn Kennedy (44) admitted to hospital while a resident of Redwood care facility

The entrance to the Redwood Extended Care Facility in Stamullen, Co Meath. Photograph: Google Streetview

Hiqa report on Redwood facility for intellecutally disabled people is published

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