Bund (Friends of the Earth, Germany) and the European Environment Bureau say those responsible for air quality in Dublin rely on ‘favourable geographical conditions’ to keep air pollutants below EU limits

Capital came 18th out of 23 European cities for poor effort yet geography clears its air

Many councillors believe Dún Laoghaire (above) has an advantage over the more industrial route from Dublin Port to Dublin itself.  Development of deep water facilities for large ships at Dún Laoghaire would allow cruise ship passengers to arrive within a short stroll of the town itself, amid views of Victorian architecture, the mountains and the bay.  File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Harbour company to launch public consultation on replacing former Stena Line berth

Launching the Medical Fitness to Drive Guidelines, Liz O’Donnell said: ‘It’s right and proper there are rules around when a person should and shouldn’t drive and these include a person’s mental and physical capacity [but] we must not use medical-fitness rules in a heavy-handed way.’ Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill/The Irish Times

Those forced to stop driving can feel isolated, says Liz O’Donnell of Road Safety Authority

Minister for Transport Paschal Donohoe: Changes responded to impact of the withdrawal of number 5, reflecting “the commitment to maintaining access within rural communities”. Photograph: The Irish Times

New schedules for Dungarvan, Waterford, routes to Dublin through west Wicklow

Paschal Donohoe: Did not believe there were “large areas” where road speed limits were too low. Photograph: The Irish Times

Minister indicates that appeals process with independent oversight a later ‘body of work’

A former Wicklow county and town council official who is facing charges of corruption has had his case adjourned again at Wicklow Circuit Court.

Frank O’Toole facing charges of issuing a letter to corruptly obtain ‘an advantage for another person’

Actor Brendan O’Carroll and his wife, actress Jennifer Gibney, lead   the St Patrick’s Day Parade in Dublin today. Photograph: Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images

Alcohol-free event attracts hundreds for activities in Dublin tourism hub

Former Portuguese cabin crew member for Ryanair Monica Barbosa told the tribunal she became unwell in 2010 and on medical advice could no longer work as cabin crew. Photograph: Andy Rain/EPA

Company offered to redeploy Portuguese woman but new role would involve travel

The gathered media snap pictures of solicitor Brian O’Donnell as he returns to his home at Gorse Hill last week. Photograph: Collins Dublin

The huddled media still await a resolution in the O’Donnell’s High Court case

Medical Council hears doctor failed to answer his phone six times when on duty

RTÉ coverage: campaigners on social media were critical of a recent interview by Ryan Tubridy (above) with Socialist Party TD Paul Murphy on The Late Late Show.   Phillip Massey/FilmMagic)

Public consultation period closes April 12th

Former Labour senator Jack Harte: Tánaiste Joan Burton paid tribute to a committed campaigner for social justice.   Photograph: Eric Luke

‘Tireless advocate for working people’ served seven terms in Seanad, from 1973 to 1992

Gardaí who were called to a house in  Landscape Park,  Churchtown, south Dublin,  found the bodies of a couple, said to be in their 80s, in the sitting room of the house.

Possibility of carbon monoxide poisoning investigated in deaths of couple in their 80s

Solicitor Brian O’Donnell, arriving back to Gorse Hill in Killiney after a High Court Hearing into an application for a trespass order was adjourned. John Martin from the ‘New Land League’ (right) opened the gates. Photograph: Alan Betson

New Land League member heard to call ‘go back . . . that’s my foot’

John Martin of the New Land League, pictured on the property of Gorse Hill, the Killiney mansion at the centre of the O’Donnell eviction dispute. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

John Martin claims he was assaulted by broadcaster as media entered Gorse Hill

Brian O Donnell is seen leaving Gorse Hill in  Killiney on Thursday morning. Photograph: Photocall Ireland

‘Nonsense’ for bank to say there was an urgency about getting Gorse Hill, court told

The O’Donnell home, Gorse Hill, on Vico road, Killiney, Co Dublin. The house has been assigned on foot of a claim for debts in excess of €70m owed to Bank of Ireland. Photograph:  Stephen Collins/Collins Photos

Latest move follows expiry of deadline for couple to vacate Vico Road house

Jerry Beades (left) and John Martin of the New Land League, at Gorse Hill , the home of the O’Donnell family, on Vico Road, Killiney, Co Dublin. Photograph: Eric Luke

The couple have been barricaded inside since Monday and remained there after deadline

Broadcaster Vincent Browne (right) and other members of the media entered  the grounds of Gorse Hill on Wednesday. Photograph: Tim O’Brien

New Land League members plan press conference for ‘significant announcement’

Representatives of the bank receiver posting documents on the order of the court on the gate of  the O’Donnell family home, Gorse Hill. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

New Land League says it expects O’Donnells to stay in Gorse Hill and contest legal notices

 A  Land League protester in the grounds of Gorse Hill, Brian O’Donnell’s house in  Killiney. Photograph: Eric Luke

Land League cars ‘protect’ Brian O’Donnell’s home in wealthy suburb from repossession

The  O’Donnell family home at Gorse Hill,   Killiney. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Land League blocks entrance to property as family attempts to halt repossession of house

John Giles who won 59 caps for Ireland was awarded UEFA’s Jubilee Award in 2003  which named him best Irish player in fifty years.

Brother Kevin Crowley and renowned football John Giles to be honoured with award

Before the current reintroduction the last pair of white-tailed eagles were recorded breeding in the wild in Co Mayo in 1912. File image

Bird found near Lough Erne was part of 2011 Killarney National Park scheme

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Paschal Donohoe was one of the speakers at the annual Irish Hotels Federation conference. The conference heard how the Government’s special VAT rate was crucial to lessening the rate of insolvency within the industry. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Irish Hotels Federation hears how Government’s VAT band key to avoiding insolvency

Holidaymakers in Kilronan, Inis Mór, in 2013.  Workers are spending less time planning holidays on  their desktops and are increasingly booking breaks on smartphones,  Google says. File photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

Google says smartphones rapidly replacing PCs for checking out holiday plans

Protesters taking part in a  Solidarity Walk-Rebelling Against Pylons and Wind Turbines at Vinegar Hill, Enniscorthy.  Photograph: Eric Luke

Fears over loss of landscape, and health and safety concerns have slowed the introduction of new energy options in Ireland

Environmental campaigner Peter Sweetman. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill.

Environmentalist is Ireland’s foremost objector to energy projects

 Niall Walsh at his home in Mount Merrion Dublin. Photograph: Eric Luke

Using less power is one way for Ireland to address its energy problem

IHF president Stephen McNally and chief executive Tim Fenn:  occupancy rates in Dublin rose by 3 per cent in 2014 but hoteliers in other areas said they had not done so well. Photograph: Don MacMonagle

Strong growth to €6.45bn masks regional differences, says Irish Hotels Federation

The Healy Pass, Co Kerry. The rise in hotel occupancy in the southwest was up 3 per cent, to 62 per cent. Photograph: Brian Lynch/Bord Fáilte

Industry generated nearly €6.5bn in revenue in 2014, as overseas visitor numbers up 9%

Anti-water charges protest, Central Bank,   Dublin: “Maybe 10,000 people” turned out. Photograph: Dave Meehan

TD Paul Murphy accuses Ryan Tubridy of an ‘exercise in badgering’ on ‘Late Late Show’

Denis Duff of Better Environment with Nuclear Energy (Bene): “Renewable energy is useful but limited”

Nuclear campaigner Denis Duff believes nuclear energy, off the agenda since the Carnsore protests in the 1970s, should be consider(...)

 Derek Byrne of Streamville Road, Donaghmede, at court last week. Photograph: Courtpix

Prisoners on hunger strike say they will refuse liquids

Paul Murphy TD  tweeted: “Afterwards Ryan showed me a video from ISIS and asked me what I thought about it”. Photograph: Collins

Paul Murphy says Ryan Tubridy interview was designed to link him to abusive remarks

Protestors gather in central Dublin to march against ‘political policing’ amid rising anger over jail sentences. Photograph: Tim O’Brien

Anti-water charge protesters also gathered in Castlebar

Stomp has become a global phenomenon over the last 23 years

A selective guide to what’s on around the country

Compulsory microchipping has been announced. Photograph: Dogs Trust

Move would be a deterrent for those who abandon dogs, Minister for Agriculture says

Sinn Féin TD  Dessie Ellis: clamping at Blanchardstown hospital ‘disgraceful’. Photograph: Collins

Minister has sympathy for those clamped at hospitals, but says no to a ban in new Bill

Aengus Ó Snodaigh: said JobBridge  was too narrowly focused on the unemployed and he proposed a more broadly based system, including apprenticeships. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Aengus Ó Snodaigh says unions views have contributed to plans

Emergency legislation which banned the payment of large scale bonuses to bankers in 2010, was not meant to apply to the payment of salary increments to general staff. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Workers say legislation to ban bankers bonuses was improperly applied to increments

JTI Ireland, owner of the Benson & Hedges and Silk Cut brands, has told the Government  it will take legal action if they fail to promise by Friday that no further steps will be taken to enact the draft law on plain packaging. Photograph: Reuters

Tobacco firm says it will take action if Government keeps working on plain packaging

Gardaí in Co Wicklow are investigating a shooting in Greystones on Monday night. Photograph: Tim O’Brien

Man (58) seriously injured after being shot when he opened front door to two gunmen

A wide-ranging review of the Irish Prison Service, to include the ‘culture within the service’, and whether it meets its objectives, has been announced by the inspector of the prison service, judge Michael Reilly.  Photograph: Cyril Byrne /The Irish Times

Independent judge embarks on broad-based report and says move is timely

The NRA is keen to develop policies which will curb congestion on Dublin’s orbital route.

NRA says cutting speed limit to 60km/h would reduce ‘accordion effect’

Passive house standards involve very high levels of insulation and typically triple-glazed windows, which makes the buildings virtually air tight.

Councillors vote to include passive house specification in draft development plan

The €250,000 cost to the city of the new panels is part-funded by the EU Ace Interreg IVB project.

IBM report recommends solar power assessment for public buildings and housing

Kilkenny, Tidy Town winner 2014

Athlone meeting draws up a list of proposals for clarity and consistency in judging

Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council last year “ringfenced” the money to redevelop or rebuild the former Glenalbyn swimming pool.

Council hesitates on spending €10m in order to reopen Glenalbyn swimming pool

Mr Justice Nial Fennelly: Was asked to investigate the extent and nature of recordings of the “non-999” calls to certain stations over a 30-year period. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Interim report on departure of former Garda commissioner expected within weeks

Labour TD Tommy Broughan was told that Garda management continually reviews numbers in the Traffic Corps “in the context of crime trends and policing priorities”. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Labour TD Tommy Broughan fears increased road deaths linked to fewer gardaí

Minister for Transport Paschal Donohoe: “We are seeing an increase in the number of cars on the road and a build-up of congestion.” Photograph: The Irish Times

New buses feature leather seats, air conditioning, toilets, journey monitors, USB points

Professor Bill Black speaking before the Committee of Inquiry into the Banking Crisis, 5th February 2015

US expert William Black says penalties ‘must include jail’

Donohoe wants spending on transport to return to pre-crisis level

Minister says current the budget is one ‘I or my successor will have to build upon’

Minister for Transport Paschal Donohoe: Provision for 175 bridge rehabilitation schemes and 211 low-cost safety projects was also included in this year’s allocation. Photograph: The Irish Times

Allocation for 2015 to be supplemented with unspecified spend via property tax receipts

Blanket ban on sexually active gay men donating blood may be revised

Director gives opinion on blood given by homosexual and bisexual men

Architect image of the proposed new RDS arena in Ballsbridge, Co Dublin

Royal Dublin Society and Leinster Rugby announce €20m redevelopment of Ballsbridge venue, with capacity for 25,000 to attend rugby(...)

Image from the winning entry in the competition for the €20 million redevelopment of the RDS arena. The winner was a consortium made up of Newenham Mulligan and Grimshaw Architects. Photograph: Newenham Mulligan/Grimshaw via Leinster Rugby

Consortium of architect firms chosen to lead €20 million stadium redevelopment

PAC chairman John McGuinness of Fianna Fáil said the committee would seek more information on the church properties. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Shortfall of funds relating to Catholic Church redress scheme will also be examined

The pier at Inishbofin. The airstrips at Inishbofin and Cleggan, Co Galway, were developed over five years and were completed in about 2009. Photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

Department of Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht’s annual budget for islands is now only €600,000

Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan said the card would be useful for young people who currently use their passports as a form of identification. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times.

Card to be available from July at €35, and acceptable on all airlines within EU and EEA

A number of rural bodies, including the IFA and Irish Rural Link, fear as many as one in four bank branches will close leaving many rural towns and villages without any local branch. Photograph: Tim O’Brien

AIB has closed 67 branches citing increased availability of online banking

Members of the Oireachtas Committee on Transport said they are prepared to recommend a change in the law to set up an industry-funded compensation scheme for beleaguered motorists who in future are faced with the full costs of replacing  engines damaged by adulterated fuels. Photograph: Nick Ansell/PA Wire

Insurance Ireland acknowledges even comprehensive policies may not cover bad fuel

 Fianna Fáil environment spokesman Barry Cowen who challenged claims about how much would be raised by a tax on new developments. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Oireachtas committee hears arguments for social element in new schemes or a tax instead

The EPA has highlighted 121 vulnerable drinking water supplies across the State, including an unstable tunnel which supplies 80 million litres a day to south Dublin and north Wicklow.  Photograph: Ian Waldie/Bloomberg

‘Specific and serious problems’ occurring in State’s drinking water supplies, says EPA

Winter walkers on the East Pier in Dún Laoghaire. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Council reaffirms plans for artificial beach and swimming facility at East Pier

Guided tours of Dublin Airport from about  1968

Photographic exhibitions commemorate early days of flights from Dublin

Snow at the Dark Hedges tree tunnel, which was featured in the TV series Game of Thrones, near Ballymoney in Co Antrim. Photograph: AFP/Paul Faith/Getty Images

Met Éireann forecasts low temperatures and possibility of snow

A Greek orthodox priest in front of a pre-election kiosk of the radical left Syriza party in Athens. Greeks will vote on their next government on January 25th. Photograph: Orestis Panagiotou/EPA

Party is prepared to negotiate with EU on debt issue, says Dimitris Papadimoulis

Latvia’s prime minister Laimdota Straujuma addresses the European Parliament on January 14th, 2015. Photograph: Vincent Kessler/Reuters.

Latvian prime minister includes a strong stance on Russia in EU presidency priorities

Dublin MEP Lynn Boylan: final legislation was a “watered down” version of earlier drafts. Photograph: The Irish Times

New laws to be in place by spring will enable action on genetically modified organisms

Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament, said that “seventy years on from the liberation of Auschwitz we must fight for the rights of each and every human being”. Photograph: Patrick Seeger/EPA.

Martin Schulz remembers horror of Auschwitz at 70th anniversary of the liberation

Ballybrophy-Limerick used to be part of  the main route from Dublin to Limerick, but now it’s the State’s least used branch line. Just 23,000 passengers travelled it in 2014, a half a million fewer than used the longer, but now faster, route via Limerick Junction

Little-used railway runs from Ballybrophy through Nenagh to Limerick city

Ballybrophy-Limerick used to be part of  the main route from Dublin to Limerick, but now it’s the State’s least used branch line. Just 23,000 passengers travelled it in 2014, a half a million fewer than used the longer, but now faster, route via Limerick Junction

Little-used railway runs from Ballybrophy through Nenagh to Limerick city

The Employment Appeals Tribunal heard that Mr Shields has not worked for Dundalk Simon Community since 2008. Photograph: David Sleator

Joseph Shields claims unfair dismissal but charity says he was never officially let go

Dart and other commuter services reached 29.3 million journeys. Photograph: Iarnród Éireann

But Nenagh and Waterford to Limerick branch lines show decline in usage

A new application for planning permission for 26 houses of three and four storeys in the shell of the old hotel and 58 car spaces. Photograph: Protect the La Touche facebook

Greystones ‘most prominent’ building has been derelict for more than 10 years

The scene of the fatal accident at Lower Main Street, in Ballyshannon, Co Donegal,  where a woman was  hit by a van on New Year’s Day. Photograph: Thomas Gallagher

RSA figures show 196 people died in 2014 – six more than in 2013

A spokesman for Irish water said no water meter had been installed higher than existing pipework, but some had been installed lower. File photograph: Colm Mahady/Fennells

Evelyn McDermott says water started to spout from domestic meter during heavy frost

Katie Mangan and  Donnacha Ireland took the 5.55pm train  from Killarney to Dublin on Sunday. They arrived in Heuston Station at 8.45pm and are believed to be staying in the Dublin city area

Kilkenny gardaí take body, believed to be missing man Shane Drennan, from the Nore

Gardaí in Dublin investigating a collision in which a six-year-old girl was seriously injured have renewed their appeal for help.

Incident occurred on Malahide Road on Wednesday at about 7.20pm

A man is being treated in Tallaght Hospital after being shot in the leg. His injuries are not thought to be life threatening. Photograph: David Sleator/The Irish Times

The shooting happened in Clondalkin on Sunday night

Richard Bruton: said he looked forward to hearing feedback ‘from all stakeholders’ before making decisions on the final regulations for implementation next year.

Call for submissions on the Competition and Consumer Protection Act

A pensioner sleeping rough. The annual Belvedere Sleepout has raised over €1 million for homeless charities in the past 30 years. Photograph: Maurice O’Mahony

Students raise money for Peter McVerry Trust, Focus Ireland and Home Again through #sleepout14

Fianna Fáil TD Barry Cowen said Ulster Bank was going back on a pledge not to close a bank where no other bank was available. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Up to 1,000 people march in Ferbane seeking reversal of decision to shut town’s last bank branch

The sun shines along the passage floor into the inner chamber at Newgrange during the winter solstice. The earliest sunset for the year has already been recorded and longer evenings are on the way. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Evenings are getting brighter even before December 21st

Paul Clarke, overall winner of the BT Young Scientist and Technologist 2014 Award. Students who take part in next January’s competition could win a scholarship to the Irish university of their choice.  Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition adds new prizes before 2015 competition

Beaumont Hospital has asked people to avoid the emergency department because of overcrowding. Photograph: David Sleator/The Irish Times

Conditions at emergency department ‘very challenging’ says hospital CEO Liam Duffy

Paschal Donohoe TD announcing the amended road traffic legislation to deal with penalty points. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons / The Irish Times

Minister for Justice pledges ‘there will be accountability, there will be transparency’

Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald who wants to see
 “maximum public information out there about what happens in family courts”. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/Irish Times

Frances Fitzgerald seeks balance between privacy of families and accountability

Report found  there was a “failure to achieve standards”at Ireland’s largest waste water treatment plant at Ringsend in Dublin, largely due to it operating beyond capacity.

Agency finds 44 areas discharging raw sewage into lakes, rivers and coastal areas

Christian Windirsch and Doreen Germerodt, from Frankfurt, Germany, viewing the cliffs on Loop Head peninsula near Kilkee , Co Clare. Photograph: Alan Betson

‘Sustainable Destinations’ list includes Easter Island, Vancouver, La Palma and Svalbard

A case in which a former Wicklow county and town council official is facing charges of corruption has been adjourned at Wicklow Circuit Court. File photograph: Reuters

Frank O’Toole faces charges relating to attempt to ’corruptly advantage’another

The strip  runs parallel to a small car park where Garda intelligence has indicated Pender’s killer brought her body after abducting her in August 1996. Photograph: Tim O’Brien

‘Cadaver’ dog will seek out human remains before gardaí commence digging on site

The full penalty point list also includes a range of offences such as failing to drive on the left. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Changes to the penalty points system to affect holders of L-plates, novice drivers and others

Members of social justice and human rights NGOs mark the 25th anniversary of Ireland’s ratification of the Covenant of Economic Social and Cultural Rights. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Amnesty International calls for basic rights to be enshrined in the Constitution

Fine Gael TD Seán Conlan (centre) denies he harassed and bullied his former secretarial assistant Cathy Shevlin. Photograph: Sasko Lazarov

Allegations of intimidation and harassment designed to embarrass, claims politician

The Smithwick tribunal found on the balance of probability that there was collusion between the Garda and IRA in the killing of Harry Breen and Bob Buchanan in March 1989.

Northern solicitor John McBurney says he wants to know what Taoiseach and Garda Commissioner are going to do about claims in book (...)

A looming cash crisis at CIÉ seems to have been averted by a Government decision to provide an additional €162 in finding for transport and sport. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

Paschal Donohoe to brief Oireachtas on extra transport funding

Some families have lost as many as three cars to engine damage as a result of contaminated fuel, while a number of insurance companies have refused to pay repair estimates of up to €12,000.  Photographer: Dara Mac Dónaill / THE IRISH TIMES

Oireachtas Committee on Transport hears cars have been lost to contaminated fuel

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