Conor Pope gets the hang of it

At Rock Farm on the estate of the Mount Charles family, you can hang from trees, take the ultimate lazy cycle or cook your own woo(...)

Interactive map lets diners find restaurants around Ireland that focus on local artisans and producers

Holidaymakers play in the surf and relax on the beach in Benidorm, Spain last week. As many as 15,000 Irish holidaymakers have been hit by the sudden collapse of online travel agent Lowcostholidays on Friday evening. Photograph: Bloomberg

Holidaymakers can seek refund for packages booked with collapsed company

At least 100 people were scammed into buying fake tickets for Ed Sheeran’s concerts in Croke Park last year summer. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Don’t be fooled into buying fake tickets online. Here’s what to watch out for

Reader had “an unnecessarily stressful end to an otherwise really enjoyable holiday”

Plus: never pay off-site for accommodation listed on Airbnb

Prepacked supermarket prawns put to the test

Holidaymakers sit beneath parasols and play in the surf on the beachfront in Benidorm, Spain Photograph: Matthew Lloyd/Bloomberg

Popular online travel agent folded without warning on Friday evening

Handout photo issued by Alec and Jo Bates of the scene in Nice, France, the day after the terror attack which claimed the lives of at least 84 people. Photograph: Alec and Jo Bates/PA Wire

‘If we cancelled, terrorism wins. Who wants that?’ Irish react to Bastille Day attack

His Pokeballs at the ready and eggs in incubation, Conor Pope becomes the Pokemon hunter

Conor Pope cooks al fresco at Playa Montroig

Despite taking flak for his (ironic) Local Celebrity T-shirt, Conor Pope has a blast at the high-end Playa Montroig campsite in Sp(...)

 A credit union survey found the average cost of sending a child to a non-fee-paying primary school in the coming year will be just under €1,000, while the cost of a “free” education in any of the State’s secondary schools will climb to almost €1,500. File photograph: Dave Thompson/PA Wire

Credit union survey finds 25% of parents likely to struggle with bills in coming months

Bang! And the stain is gone,’was Scott’s cathphrase but it is him and not the stain that is gone now. Image: Youtube/CillitBang

The TV name for Cillit Bang has been replaced by a younger model

Photograph: iStock

A reader in Dublin 8 was lied to by a pushy man claiming to be from a gutter-cleaning service

Customs outside Newry, Co Down, in 1981. Photograph: Pacemaker

Cheaper British imports and tumbling pension values are among potential repercussions

 Pearse Doherty of Sinn Féin: “We are talking about a process that is almost entirely automated . . .  yet the higher costs associated with the tax when paid in two or four instalments instead of one are at the same level as they were 50 years ago.” Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Sinn Féin finance spokesman says cost of paying in instalments is too high

 Jessica and Rebecca Kelly, and Lucy Roberts looking for fairy at Bord na Móna’s Lough Boora Discovery Park  Fairy Fun Day in Co Offaly. Photograph: Jeff Harvey

A fun day at Lough Boora Discovery Park raises funds for the children’s charity

Danny Erskine, son of Anita Reeves, and Julian Erskine, her husband, carry her coffin into the Mansion House in Dublin for her funeral on Saturday. Photograph: Aidan Crawley.

Hundreds gather at Mansion House on Saturday morning for humanist ceremony

A file image of concert goers at Marlay Park in Dublin. Residents of Ballinteer, Rathfarnham and Dundrum have repeated their concerns about the level of disruption they face as a result of the three-day Longitude Festival taking place in the park next weekend. Photograph: Aidan Crawley.

Locals fear drunkenness and disruption due to the three-day Longitude Festival at Marlay Park next weekend

Loitering within tent: Conor Pope in a bell tent at Pod Umna Village in Portumna, Co Galway

Conor Pope experiences how much camping has come on since soggy 1970s summers

ERSI study found a “high cost loan” warning was found to reduce the chances that consumers opted for loans with above average interest rates. Photograph: Alan Betson

Research also shows confusion leads to mistakes in choosing the best value financial product which can end up costing thousand(...)

The interim chief executive of Console, David Hall, has already said the charity cannot survive without the support of the HSE. But he said: “The service will be kept open, whatever has to happen.”

The charity’s good work must be taken on by others, says sources in sector

None of the three options Vodafone gave to our reader were acceptable to her. Photograph: Justin Tallis/AFP/Getty Images

Plus: Ryanair reveals its softer side. Again


Three processed products and the DIY option are put to the test

Conor Pope with his children Molly (9) and Juliette (7), with Alfredo Dona of Gino’s Gelato at Bloom earlier this month. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

On a day out with Gino’s Gelato at Bloom, we learn not to confuse fat-laden, air-filled ice cream with the lighter, softer Italian(...)

Photograph: Lam Yik Fei/Getty Images

Plus: Mortgage matters for potential buyers

Trespass four-man, two-room tunnel tent €176.99

We’ve got these tents pegged. So which is best?

Four brands put to the taste test

Readers say Greyhound is changing contracts to pay by weight with a “very expensive” weekly service fee

Company claims that under the new pay-by-weight system, ‘the majority of people who embrace recycling will pay less’

For a while, Daniel McConnell from Airfield seemed to the happiest person in the Living Room pub. Photograph: Conor Pope

Boisterous pre-match mood gives way to disappointing reality for the Irish

Waste management companies have been warned that the Government will not tolerate significant increases in bin collection charges. Photo: David Sleator/The Irish Times.

Coveney meets private waste operators as consumer body starts inquiry into refuse costs

The simple reason travel insurance is a good idea is because it doesn’t cost the earth and could save you a small fortune. Photograph: iStockphoto

Conor Pope give us the dos, don’ts and reasons why you should have travel insurance

Irish soccer fans  watch Ireland playing Sweden in the Living Room bar on Cathal Brugha Street in Dublin. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

In Ireland v Sweden game, it was a case of what might have been – or should have been

Rather than paying interest, prize bonds offer the chance to win cash prizes that are tax-free in Ireland. Photograph: iStock

Chances of winning big have never been worse, so why are prize bonds growing in popularity?

The Republic of Ireland’s first Euro 16 match against Sweden kicks off at 5pm when thousands of Irish employees will still be at work. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Call goes out for bosses and employees to co-operate to ensure staff and firms get result

Four summer sizzlers put to the test

Michael Moran and Josephine O’Connell on “Molly Bloom’s bed” at the Bloomsday brunch and Street Party in Dublin. Photograph: Dave Meehan

More than 120,000 people answer the annual call for those tasty events to celebrate Ulysses

Fianna Fáil’s  Dara Calleary. File Photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

Latest figures show rents up by 8.5 per cent over the past year

House rental: the average monthly rental for a house in Dublin in the first quarter of 2016 was €1,454, according to the latest rent index published by the Residential Tenancies Board. Photograph: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

Average monthly rental for a house in Dublin is €1,454, according to figures

Cars in Dublin’s city centre: The big insurers in the Irish market have pushed up prices dramatically over the past two years, with premiums rising by some 25 per cent last year and further again this year. Photograph:  Dara Mac Donaill

Insurers deny lack of transparency and blame legal costs for spiralling premiums

Households are spending €50 extra on groceries this year, a total of €89 million extra

This time last year, the Phoenix Project charity had about 1,600 live cases of borrowers in danger of losing family homes, of which 20 per cent or 320 were in the ABC1 category. File photograph: Getty Images

Number of distressed property investors doubles in year, says Phoenix Project

 VHI Women’s Mini Marathon:  Eileen Drumgool and Anne Marie Shevlin from Monaghan after finishing.  Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Laughter - and black and white pudding - gets 35,000 women off to a good start

Competitors from  Drumshambo, Denise Mc Weeney, Mary Mc Keon, Claire Fee, Sinead Gillard, Sheila Moran and Catherine Mc Gowan preparing for the VHI womens mini marathon in Dublin.Photograph: Cyril Byrne / The Irish Times.

Road closures in place in capital on Monday for event

Dublin Zoo offers endless entertainment, so consider an annual membership. Photograph: Patrick Bolger

Take a picnic rather than visiting a restaurant, make use of free attractions and museums

Mark O’Meara  got €30,000 from Gavin Duffy, Barry O’Sullivan and Eleanor McEvoy and the moral support of all five dragons for an idea he hopes will help homeless people get food, clothes and a bed.

NCAD student Mark O’Meara aims to make secure cashless currency available to the homeless

Find out which of four products we were nuttiest about

KBC took €10 from our reader’s account. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Plus: Homebase has experts on all things fairy

Women’s mini-marathon in 2015. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill / The Irish Times

Wendy Flynn, who had lost the ability to walk due to a brain injury, will run 10km after rehabilitation

People enjoying the good weather at Forty foot in Sandycove, Co Dublin. Photograph: Stephen Collins/Collins

Met Éireann issues an ‘orange alert’ weather warning for parts of Ireland

A new price survey from Revenue indicates the cost of alcohol and tobacco has climbed in the Republic over the past 12 months while the price of identical products in Northern Ireland has fallen. File photograph: Getty Images

Survey shows alcohol, tobacco costs climbed in Republic in past year while NI prices fell

Image: Irish Council for Civil Liberties website

Irish Council for Civil Liberties’s document provides resources to ‘empower’ older people

Hollie Swift and member of staff in the DSPCA applies sun cream to Fergi the saddleback pig in this picture from 2013. File photograph: David Sleator/The Irish Times.

Ancient Greeks used olive oil to protect themselves from the worst ravages of the sun

Illustration: iStock

Pricewatch has joined forces with TV3 to uncover unscrupulous practices

“A large percentage of people say their bills are difficult to check for accuracy, which puts them in a vulnerable position.” Photograph: iStock

New research shows that people are bad at discerning value when presented with a number of factors – but it is a mistake to trust (...)

Four boxes of fruity frozen lollies put to the test

Anna Flynn  with her children Isobel and Tommy at their home in Meadowgate, Gorey, Co Wexford. Photograph: Mary Browne

Vulture fund that bought mother-of-four's mortgage told her to pay off arrears or leave

Dónal Clancy, managing director of Laya Healthcare. File photograph: Jason Clarke Photography

Company claims public hospital bed charges are responsible for the increase in costs

Photograph: iStock

Energy regulator finds growing numbers of consumers are negotiating better deals with existing providers

Many of the properties in the auction sold for substantially more than the reserve.

Three one-bedroom apartments in Ballsbridge failed to attract a single bid

House prices in Dublin are now 33.1 per cent lower than at their highest level in early 2007 while apartments in the capital are 41.5 per cent lower than they were at the peak of the boom.

Rate of increase significantly lower than 15.8% reported 12 months previously

Growing confidence: The Irish market outperformed Europe as a whole which had a 1.5 per cent rise over the same period while the UK saw a 0.5 per cent rise. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Evidence of consumer confidence growth seen in 2.2% rise in volume of goods bought

Etihad says the couple arrived late to board, so the airline was not obliged to refund them. Photograph: Hasan Mroue/AFP/Getty Images

A reader recounts a nightmare experience with Etihad Airways

European law gives air passengers huge levels of protection. Photograph: iStock

As the UK Brexit vote looms, Irish consumers can bask securely in EU membership benefits in travel, mortgages, healthcare and othe(...)

You pay a premium for airport pick-ups and drop-offs, but picking up a car in a town near where you are flying into can be a real hassle and resolving problems can be more difficult. Photograph: iStock

Car rental helps to make a holiday simpler, but getting it wrong can be costly and stressful. From insurance to fuel to damage pol(...)

As things stand, there is nothing Irish Water can really do to compel him to pay. Photograph: Philippe Huguen/AFP/Getty Images

Plus: concerns about pricey plastic shopping bags and price-free websites

The study shows that when a single additional factor, alongside price, is used to describe two comparable products, consumers struggle to identify which is the best value for money. File photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

Extra information about products, beyond price, makes people struggle to see value

Smartphones are seen as a key driver in the growth of takeaway services. Photograph: Getty Images

Sector forecast to grow by up to 60pc over coming four years

The FSAI has advised consumers not to eat apricot kernels due to a risk of cyanide poisoning.

Food Safety Authority of Ireland issues warning on dangers of eating kernels

Buying a home: 20 per cent of Irish adults who do not own their own homes believe it is beyond them because of high rents and tighter Central Bank mortgage lending rules. Photograph: Istock

Survey of more than 3,000 by online brokers highlights pressure tenants are under

The dream of home ownership remains as strong for most people as it has been at any point

Survey shows that many are struggling to pay rising rents, one in five say they will never own a home, and ‘accidental’ landlords (...)

New  Vintners Federation of Ireland president Pat Crotty  said: “For a long time the pub has been central to many communities but it is in danger of becoming peripheral.”

Pat Crotty: Publicans hit with VAT, excise duty and minimum wage rises amid recession

Audiologist Orla Walsh at Specsavers in the Henry Street arcade gives Conor Pope a hearing impairment.Photograph: Alan Betson

Conor Pope has always had “good ears”. Until today that is...

The highest rise was in Cork city (above), where rents were up by 16% in a year. In Galway they were up 12.7%, in Limerick 12.4% , Waterford city 11.1% and Dublin 8.8% report finds supply at lowest ebb, with under 3,100 rental properties nationwide

AIB’s latest move will benefit around 76,000 mortgage accounts, leading to very significant annual savings.

Latest reduction in standard variable rate is the bank's fourth in 18 months

“That Irish consumers are eschewing brand names in favour of the own-brand offerings on the shelves of Aldi and Lidl in greater numbers than ever should come as no surprise.” File photograph: Getty Images

Aldi and Lidl prove incredibly astute at tapping into what Irish consumers want

The combined share of German discounters, Lidl and Aldi, of the Republic’s grocery spend is now within touching distance of market leader Supervalu, which has a share of 23 per cent. File photograph: Getty Images

More than 22% of grocery shoppers spend at the German discounters, figures show

If you have a sick relative, ensure you are covered in case you have to cancel

Plus: the cracked windscreen that never was; and a point about price

Toyota recently fell foul of the Advertising Standards Authority of Ireland over a 20-year-old claim that its products are “the best-built cars in the world”. File photograph: Toru Hanai/Reuters

Is Disneyland the happiest place on earth? Really? Is Guinness actually good for you? In the wake of the Advertising Standards Aut(...)

STRANGFORD CANDIDATES: Kellie Armstrong (Alliance); Jonathan Bell (DUP); Joe Boyle (SDLP); Stephen Cooper (TUV); Stephen Crawford (Ukip); Georgia Grainger (Greens); Dermot Kennedy (Sinn Féin); Simon Hamilton (DUP); Harry Harvey (DUP); Bill McKendry (NI Conservatives); Michelle McIlveen (DUP); Mike Nesbitt (UUP); Philip Smith (UUP).

Veteran SDLP candidate Joe Boyle once again comes agonisingly close but fails to win seat

Located on the Ards Peninsula, bordering the southern shores of Belfast Lough, the affluent area takes in towns such as Bangor, where the count is taking place, Holywood and Donaghadee.

Steven Agnew: ‘We need to let people who love each other marry in Northern Ireland too’

Pay, don’t pay. Either way, the taxpayer always pays in the end.

Has the latest Fine Gael-Fianna Fáil accord simply muddied the waters?

Some 25 per cent of the bacon products analysed in a new study by food scientists  were found to have salt content which was above the guidelines with some of the products assessed having as much as 50 per cent more salt than the packaging suggested. Photograph: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

Some bacon products analysed found to have 50% more salt than labels suggest

Camilla Hansson (left) pictured with Donald Trump. Photograph: Camilla Hansson

Billionaire ‘a larger than life character’, says model Camilla Hansson following comments

Illustration: Thinkstock

Robot butlers might be some way off, but our homes will soon become so head-spinningly smart we might need a lie-down

Cyclists in Dublin. Almost 600 cyclists were given on-the-spot fines  in the first six months of a new penalty regime. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

New programme allows for on-the-spot fines for breaking red lights and other offences

Care providers have warned that neither parents or children will benefit if a childcare tax credit forms part of a deal between Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil on the formation of a government. Photograph: Edmond Terakopian/PA Wire

Industry boss expresses concern over ‘populist’ proposals in government deal

Nissan Qashqai: reader has experienced a litany of problems

Customer feels dealership has not taken stress of car problems into account

Less than 10 years ago, making a four-minute call to Ireland while on a trip to Paris would have cost an Irish consumer as much as €5, while someone in Malta would have had to pay €9.76 for a call of the same length. File photograph: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

Interim cap on surcharges of 5 cent per minute as union moves to end ‘bill-shock’

The announcement marks the company’s third electricity price decrease in less than two years.

Decrease will benefit 1.2 million residential electricity customers by €57.75 per year

Revenue has promised to step up its focus on the use of offshore locations by those seeking to avoid tax.

Annual report says Revenue collected some €60m from offshore investigations

A standalone water utility now exists and will most likely continue to exist, but it might get a new name. File photograph: Getty Images

Conor Pope: Few winners as Irish Water proves stumbling in government formation

Image: Thinkstock/Irish Times Premedia

In our digital world, the human elements of customer service are being lost, and research shows that companies that go too far dow(...)

Primal Pantry Hazelnut and Cocoa – €2.65 for 45g, €58.88 per kg

The more chocolately the bar, the better

Debenhams delivered a pair of shoes in two different sizes. Photograph: Tim Ireland/PA Wire

Plus: Ryanair shows its compassionate side

“On no planet will any claim for the medicinal benefits of a feed of pints ever stand up.”

Advertising Standards Authority says Toyota must stop ‘best built cars in the world’ claim

In response to the findings, the bemused car maker accused the advertising watchdog of ‘dancing on a pin head’.  Photograph: Kimimasa Mayama/EPA

Well-known slogan’s claim could ‘never be fully proven’, says Irish advertising authority

UFC competitor Conor McGregor, who  appeared to have announced his retirement from UFC, with sport boss Dana White later saying the Irishman had been pulled from his Las Vegas showdown with Nate Diaz. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire.

Scheduled bout on July 9th cancelled in what appears to be a row over pre-fight publicity

In excess of 4.5 million journeys were taken on city bikes across the State last year. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Since it was set up in 2009, 13.5m trips have been made using the Dublin bike scheme

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