Star Wars: Skellig Michael, where scenes for The Force Awakens were shot. Photograph: Chris Hill/Getty

Ecologically significant moments during filming on the Unesco World Heritage site were played down, according to expert guide

The Traveller families had been in private rented accommodation, but were compelled to move out more than six months ago. Photograph: PA

Young families including 15 children take action as talks with Galway council continue

A total of 58 cars and almost 30 trucks were badly damaged when a trailer “broke loose” in the Epsilon’s cargo hold during the heavy weather

Ship’s master aboard Irish Ferries vessel accused of ‘sailing straight into the storm’

Margaret (Mags) Berry, originally from Co Mayo, was last seen on February 3rd in Galway city.

35-year-old Margaret (Mags) Berry was last seen in city last week

The Druid Theatre Company team in 2013. The company has bought Lowstrand House on Flood Street in Galway, for an undisclosed sum. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Premises twice size of existing venue could play part in European Capital of Culture bid

Some of the contents of a 111-year-old lead box time capsule found during renovations at Breaffy House Hotel outside Castlebar, Co Mayo. Photograph: Michael McLaughlin

Copies of ‘Irish Times’, ‘Western People’ and ‘Punch’ among contents of time capsule

 Galway restaurateur Catherine O’Brien. She says running a small business ethically in Ireland is becoming increasingly difficult due to high costs

Group of small business owners says responsible and independent micro-enterprise is not rewarded

Margaretta D’Arcy is released from Mountjoy prison, in Dublin, in 2014. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Activist jailed twice in 2014 relating to opposition to use of airport by US military

Westport House, Co Mayo. File photograph: Matt Kavanagh

Nama and Mayo County Council are in negotiation over future of historic house

 Garda Sharon Casserly was being treated for broken limbs in University Hospital Galway this week when her condition deteriorated. File photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

Woman hit by car after stopping to help man reported missing from nursing home

Westport House, Co Mayo.

Browne family have ‘reluctantly’ decided to put Co Mayo tourist site on the market

A still from a video of the rescue of six fishermen off Dublin. Photograph: RNLI

Difficult weather conditions hampered eight-hour rescue

Two gardaí who  stopped to assist the deceased man were also struck by a car and were hospitalised with broken limbs. Photograph: Frank Miller

Garda Síochána in south Galway appealing for witnesses

A customer in the affected area told ‘The Irish Times’ she felt Irish Water was not familiar with the geography of Connemara. Photographer: Ian Waldie/Bloomberg.

Company says it has apologised and a boil water notice is in place for the affected area

The scene of the crash  at Ardrahan, Co Galway where a man in his sixties died and two gardaíwere injured. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

Driver arrested after car struck gardaí and ‘man missing from nursing home’ in Co Galway

A dolphin and her  newborn calf: a report has found that ottlenose dolphins, striped dolphins and killer whales or orcas are under enormous threat from persistent pollutants.  Photograph: Isabel Baker/Shannon Dolphin and Wildlife Foundation

Shannon dolphins and Cork killer whale biopsies contributed to international study

Comharchumann Forbartha Árann said that while the co-op was “delighted that the service is continuing”, it needed “clarification on a contract and on equality of ticket price”. Photograph: The Irish Times

Department of Gaeltacht signals agreement with operator and service set to continue

The owner and staff of Careys in Belmullet celebrating selling the winning lottery ticket. The photograph shows owner Lorraine O’Connor (centre) with Billy O’Connor and Molly O’Connor and staff members Sarah Conmy and Hazel O’Connor. Photograph: Paul Mealey

Winners plan to take first ever skiing holiday and attend Euro 2016 finals in France

Cars drive alone the North Bull Wall in Dublin. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

East and southeast forecast to be hardest hit as bad conditions continue into Wednesday

Contractors dismantle an illegally installed section of the Corrib gas pipeline, at Aughoose, Co Mayo, in 2005. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill.

British engineers’ group say more democratic approach could have avoided cost overruns

Colm and Gabielle Henry live at Glengad, Co Mayo. Their home overlooks Sruwaddacon Bay and  the pipeline’s landfall. Photograph: Keith Heneghan

Joe McHugh representing Government at invitation-only event in Belmullet

Eileen Cleary with her daughter Leona (3) and nine-month-old son Ricko: The family, along with 10 others, has been given until at least Tuesday evening to vacate the site. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy.

Families with 15 children have been living at entrance to waste facility for 6 months

Women demonstrating at the Abbey Theatre during the Waking The Feminists event in November to highlight the lack of gender equality in the Abbey’s programme of events for 2016. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Only one of 10 plays at Áras Éanna on Aran island this season will be performed by man

Eileen Cleary with her daughter Leona (3) and nine-month-old son Ricko: The family, along with 10 others,     is due to register as homeless   when the notice to quit the entrance to Barna Recycling on the Headford road in Galway comes into force on Friday. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy.

Families of 15 children, including an 11-week-old baby, living at entrance to waste facility

A previous loggerhead turtle being nursed back to health after it was found in a “cold stunned” state late on Kilmore quay beach, Co Wexford. Photograph: Gary Kendellen/Galway Atlantaquaria

Finders initially thought turtle was dead but patient now recovering in Galway Atlantaquaria

British search and rescue helicopters. A Marine Casualty Investigation Board report into the capsizing of a Galway fishing vessel off Scotland last year has been unable to determine what caused the boat to flood and sink so quickly.  File photograph: Thomas McDonald/MoD Crown Copyright/PA Wire

MFV Iúda Naofa sank off the coast of Scotland in a matter of seconds in early 2015

 Wicklow fishermen Gerald Copeland and David Massey, two of the three crew on the  MFV Lavicca, at the launch of BIM’s Live to Tell the Tale safety campaign at Howth Pier in Dublin.  Photograph: Conor McCabe Photography

David Massey recalls importance of PFD after his vessel capsized off the Wicklow coast

The remains of PJ Mara are carried to his final resting place at Mount Cross Cemetery, Kinvara, Co Galway. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

Figures from business, sport and media attend Mount Cross cemetery in Kinvara

Westport House in Westport, Co Mayo.

Mayo County Council’s ability to secure estate after Nama withdrawal is in doubt

Micheal Burke on his land at Ballymaquive, Ardrahan, Co Galway. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy.

Sections of new Gort-Tuam route may have to be raised following flooding

Brothers Pasang Tensing Sherpa and Mingma Tsiri Sherpa at the Cliffs of Moher. Photograph: Cian O’Brolchain

Everest summiteer brothers are on first visit to Ireland to celebrate close ties with Nepal

Fish Farms:  Ivar Warrer-Hansen calculates capital costs would be €33 million for a 5,000-tonne a year farm on land in Ireland. Photograph: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Danish-born fish farming pioneer conducts study for Irish Salmon Growers’ Association

Dr Joanne Nelson: ‘Child victims of sexual assault in Ireland deserve better.’ Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy.

Breakdown in talks between Galway service and HSE over medical indemnity insurance

Staff member at Shell’s gas terminal in Erris.  Shell acknowledged that the flaring was “exceptional”

Activity can only be used for ‘safety’ or ‘non-routine’ reasons, agency says

Michael  Bugler (20), a law student at NUI Galway (NUIG) from Co Clare, was last seen a fortnight ago.

Break in bad weather to help efforts to locate Clare law student last seen a fortnight ago

Lough Derg RNLI go to assist a horse stranded in flood water. A bucket of oats was used  to coax the animal in.

More houses succumb to rising water levels in south Galway

Shell E&P Ireland’s John Egan in a still from a Youtube video from New Year’s Eve, discussing the flaring of gas at the Corrib plant, seen in the background. Photograph: Shell/Youtube

Clip from Shell E&P Ireland showing flaring removed from YouTube on Friday night

Independent  councillor Michael Fahy: “Taoiseach needs to declare this area a disaster zone, as it is the worst thing to hit south Galway since the Rising of 1916.”  Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

Councillor Michael ‘Stroke’ Fahy says if situation worsens ‘it will be like Syria’

Michael O’Meara believes certain   fish  which are currently  discarded can and should be eaten

Michael O’Meara believes ban on discarding whitefish species is scope for new recipes

A volunteer helps with the search for missing NUI Galway student Michael Bugler, near Spiddal in Co Galway. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

Hundreds of volunteers participate in searches for 20-year-old Michael Bugler

Sandbag defences failed to stop Ann Connolly’s house, at Ballinastague, Co Galway, from flooding. “When the wind direction changed, the waters turned into waves that kept crashing the generators and, by 6am, we had totally lost the fight.” Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

OPW staff say the house, built on a hill, should have been safe

Minister of State Simon Harris: out of 300 areas in a national plan to tackle flooding, 66 are along the Shannon. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Situation in parts of south Galway ‘as bad now’ as during floods of November 2009

 BEFORE: Ann Connolly’s house  at Ballinastague, Co Galway,  on Monday of this   week with sandbags  in place in a bid to stem floodwaters.  Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy.

Several properties succumb to flooding in spite of efforts with pumps and sandbags

Sand bags  around a house  at Ballinstague, Gort, Galway as flood waters rise. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy.

Council official says situation in parts of county ‘as bad now’ as during 2009 floods

Sedco 711 drilling rig at the Corrib gas field. It is a semi-submersible drilling unit capable of operating in harsh environments and water depth of up to 550m.

Since Corrib gas was discovered in 1996, bringing it ashore has met many obstacles

Dublin Shell-To-Sea protesters clash with gardaí back in 2007. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

Approval given by Minister for Energy Alex White is subject to 20 conditions

Bridie Willers at her flooded house at Grannagh, Ardrahan in Galway. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy.

Residents voice frustration and anger over response to flooding in the county

Prof William Schabas, former director of of NUI Galway’s Irish Centre for Human Rights, who will speak at Music for Galway’s  midwinter festival on the theme of “captivity” next month. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

Human rights expert calls for freedom of movement for everyone on the planet

Crab and lobster pots: Inland Fisheries Ireland co-operated to “help protect the long-term sustainability of Ireland’s valuable crab, lobster and whelk fisheries”.

Fishermen making ‘genuine effort’ to comply with new ban on discarding at sea, says SFPA

 Additional sandbags are placed around Ann Connolly’s house as flood waters rise at Ballinstague, Gort, on Monday. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy.

Galway families leave homes as strong winds, rainfall and high tides expected

Howth Head in Dublin. Dublin Port is seeking EPA approval to dispose of ‘seabed material’ as part of its plans to deepen a navigational channel. Photograph: Thinkstock

Firm’s application to dump 10 million tonnes of spoil has attracted widespread opposition

 Irish Water Safety says more people are planning to take a charity dip over  Christmas and new year   than during the best summer days, due to this year’s mild weather. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Irish Water Safety warning for charity swimmers

The “highest risk” of snow over Christmas  will be in places like Kerry, Cork and Donegal, while the east will be “mostly dry” but with an “outside chance” of snowfall. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Met Éireann issues warning on Christmas Eve with wind speeds of 100km/hr expected

The Shannon-based Irish Coast Guard helicopter hovers off Salthill on Wednesday, December 23rd, while helping  in the search for missing NUI Galway student Michael Bugler. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

Coast Guard helicopter flies over Claddagh and Salthill shoreline as part of search

A swollen River Shannon in Athlone after Storm Desmond hit the area earlier in December 2015. File photograph: Airman Jamie Martin/Air Corps/PA Wire

OPW junior minister commits to €1bn national flood plan in place in a year’s time

Explorer Ernest Shackleton made three expeditions to the Antarctic, but is best known for the ‘Endurance’ expedition of 1914-1916 when the ship became trapped in the ice and Shackleton and five colleagues made an epic journey to South Georgia to seek rescue. Photograph: Print Collector/Getty Images)

Recreation of last Christmas dinner on board ‘Endurance’ takes place in Dún Laoghaire

An Atlantic salmon: Bord Iascaigh Mhara’s licence application had aroused opposition among angling and environmental groups.

Withdrawal means Coveney will not have to rule on contentious Galway Bay licence

Project had hoped to create 500 jobs in farming organic salmon

The Aurora Borealis photographed on Inis Oírr, Aran Islands on Sunday night. Photographed:  Cormac Coyne.

Northern lights sightings reported in Waterford, Cork, Kerry, Meath and Donegal

The Dutch supertrawler Annelies Ilena

It is understood that both vessels, which have quotas to fish in Irish waters, were found to be compliant

Mary and Michael Hession from Newtown, Clogher,  near Claremorris, Co Mayo, embrace their daughter on her arrival home for Christmas at Knock airport. Photograph: Michael McLaughlin

Anxious wait for relatives as flights arrive from England bearing much-missed loved ones

Teresa Mannion says she is broadcasting from a ‘relatively dry and calm Salthill’

RTÉ journalist makes video from a ‘relatively dry and calm’ Galway in aid of charity Cope

Michael D Higgins with  Dr Noël  Browne  during a canvass at Eyre Square in Galway in February 1987. File photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

Former minister for health’s battles ‘still need to be fought’ on centenary of his birth

Island Ferries objects to collecting the passenger dues, levied by Galway County Council to pay for operational costs of the €50 million harbour extension on Inis Mór. Photograph: The Irish Times

Island Ferries Ltd to cease service between Ros-a-Mhíl and Inis Mór on January 17th

Tourists arriving back on the mainland after a ferry trip to Inis Mór. File photograph: David Sleator/The Irish Times

Sole winter service due to cease on January 17th following Supreme Court ruling

The Irish Film Board facilitated use of Skellig Michael - a Unesco world heritage site - for Star Wars: The Force Awakens in 2014 and 2015. File photograph: David Sleator/The Irish Times

Birdwatch Ireland says lack of third-party consent for filming a ‘missed opportunity’

Fishermen aboard a French trawler.  The Irish Wildlife Trust has expressed concern over EU fisheries policy. Photograph: Marcel Mochet/AFP/Getty Images

Irish Wildlife Trust expresses concern over ‘continuing decline of marine environment’

Lough Feeagh, where the surface water  temperature rose at a rate of 0.35 degrees per decade between 1985 and 2009

Mayo lake one of 235 waterways studied across six continents

The new annual fishing quota deal includes a ban on discarding undersized or over-quota fish at sea, including prawn, whiting, haddock (above) and hake. Photograph: Getty

Overnight talks see ban on discarding undersized prawn, whiting, haddock and hake

 Ferry services in the west of Ireland. File photograph: Frank Miller

Island Ferries Teo will stop ferry run from mainland to Cill Rónáin from January 17th

Mark Keating with his labrador Pajo are fundraising for two children’s hospitals. They are photograhed at the Celtic cross in the Balkans which is in memory of soldiers from the 10th Irish division who died in first world war. Photograph: Mark Keating

Mark Keating and Pajo journey 2,000km in memory of Irish sacrifice in first world war

Minister for the Marine Simon Coveney:   crew will be provided with adequate health cover for the duration of contracts. Photograph: The Irish Times

Annual fish quota talks in Brussels to extend ban on discards to several whitefish species

Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney acknowledged the difficulty of reducing methane emissions. Photograph: Bloomberg

Minister welcomes ‘ambitious’ pact – but no rethink of State food plan required as a result

Warning on the discard ban: Minister for Agriculture, Food and  Marine Simon Coveney. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Group insists its fisheries in Irish waters are ‘clean’ as EU quota talks begin in Brussels

Flooding at The Neale, Co Mayo.

Connacht village of Cong surrounded by water but wine still mulling at Ashford Castle

 Scottie Morrin ventures out to assess the extent of flooding at The Neale, Co Mayo.

With Corrib and Mask lakes full to brimming, flooding is at levels beyond living memory

The girl scout was unconscious and being kept afloat by a 15-year-old boy when both were rescued by the Irish Coast Guard Waterford-based helicopter.  Both were subsequently flown to hospital. File photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

Incident occurred on Sunday during expedition by 55th SCR scout group to Wexford

Margaret Griffin at home in Moynalty with Honky the pig. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

Co Meath animal ‘quacks like a duck, wags her tail like a pup, and spins till she falls over’

The Irish Coast Guard  notified the AAIU of an incident where a 15-year-old girl slipped from a rescue strop as the winch crew were trying to recover her and another teenager into the aircraft.

Coast Guard had notified AAIU of incident where girl slipped mid-rescue from winch

Sandbags are cleared away from Quinn’s Chemist in Crossmolina after the weekend’s flood damage where water levels reached over four feet. Photograph: Michael McLaughlin

IFA criticises plans for early-warning system for flooding as ‘another quango’

Barry Walker at the Ferry Inn at Portumna: “We have even learned what type of sandbag works and what doesn’t, based on the 2009 experience.” Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

Tributes paid in Portumna, Co Galway, to ‘fantastic’ State agency response

The Coast Guard winchman had “seconds” to save two teenagers, according to sources close to the rescue, and took both up in an extremely difficult manoeuvre, with the girl unconscious and unable to respond. File photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

Conditions extremely difficult when teens swept off rocks near Hook Head on Sunday

 Paul Daly and  Michael O’Dwyer,professor of haematology at NUI Galway and director of Blood Cancer Network Ireland. Photograph: Boyd Challenger

The €2.2 million network aims to make new drugs and treatments available to patients with all types of blood cancer across Ireland(...)

Tom Quinn with his flooded house in the backround at the townland of Caherfurvaus near Craughwell on Monday. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

‘I was going up to shower when the river met me in the hall’

Sandbags outside a hair salon in St Michael’s Square in Ballinasloe yesterday. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy.

Shannon, Suck, Clare and Dunkellin and tributaries absorbing month’s rainfall in a day

A proposal has been advanced that would involve building a housing estate in an area like Knocknacarra – formerly a gaeltacht – to accommodate families who use Irish daily. Photograph: The Irish Times

Fluent native speaker disturbed by witnessing the ‘death of Gaeltacht that I grew up in’

Rescue workers pass sandbags through the windows of flooded houses in the Bruach Na hAbhainn estate in Tralee, Co Kerry. Photograph: Domnick Walsh

Clean-up begins across country after storm leaves trail of destruction

The conference on gender inequality heard that OECD research indicated gender initiatives were significant in increasing economic growth. Photograph: Getty Images

Change must come from ‘leadership at top’, forum on contentious issue at NUIG told

 Mace Head Atmospheric Research Station,  near Carna, Co Galway. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

Data gathered at station in Connemara underpins science at climate change summit

University Hospital Galway. Its emergency department is the second-busiest such unit in the State. Photograph: Eric Luke

Management plan for new building “rebuffed” , Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin says

The ranking table is based on Higher Education Authority figures for posts in universities in 2014, with University of Limerick having women in 33 per cent of senior posts. File photograph: Press 22

NUI Galway worst performer say women academics on eve of conference on topic

The GAA pitch beside Coláiste Ghobnait on Inis Oírr. Photograph: Cormac Coyne

Offshore island schools – from west Cork up to northwest Donegal – face particular challenges, but they strengthen island life an(...)

The Manuela Riedo Foundation Ireland, named in memory of the Swiss teenager murdered in Galway in 2007, has  announced its best fundraising year to date. Photograph: Manuela Riedo Foundation  website

Manuela Riedo Foundation funding shortfall in State support for rape crisis networks

The former president’s family home, which will become the Mary Robinson Centre, in Ballina, Co Mayo. Photograph: Keith Heneghan/Phocus.

Former president recalls her inauguration 25 years ago this week

Protesters watch during the climate change march in Dublin as a steam train hoots its way across the Liffey on Sunday. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

About 5,000 people march through Dublin to pressure leaders ahead of COP21 summit

Human Rights Campaigner Graca Michel with Mary Robinson during her visit to Ballina, Co Mayo, where she delivered the second Mary Robinson Centre International Human Rights lecture. Photograph: Henry Wills.

Former president expresses sorrow at use of ‘language of war’ in wake of Paris attacks

The Iúda Naofa before it sank north of the Butt of Lewis in January

Micheál Conneely made film on Aran island fleet’s winter pursuit of mackerel

One of the undercover officers, Mark Kennedy, made several visits to Ireland, including attending a Shell to Sea workshop in Mayo. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Campaigners opposed to the Corrib gas project pay tribute to the women deceived into forming relationships with the men, one of (...)

The chimneys were formed as a side effect of chemosynthetic microorganisms over thousands of years of activity.

Scientists have nicknamed the area “Chimney-henge”: In a world of no sunlight, microrganisms living off methane and toxic hydrogen(...)

New chief of staff Vice Admiral Mark Mellett: “We don’t know what’s around the corner, what challenges might face us.” Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

‘Biggest challenge is to ensure our force is ready,’ says Ireland’s most senior sailor

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