A preview of the Brown Thomas Christmas windows in Dublin. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Retailer launches attraction 64 days before Christmas, two weeks earlier than usual

The cost of renting a home countrywide jumped by almost 10 per cent in the 12 months to the end of July with rents in Dublin reaching record levels. Photograph: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

Shortage of supply with less than two per cent of rental properties available, survey finds

Will London's Kensington borough be emptied post-Brexit?

If the City of London relocates here, its bankers may feel most at home in Blackrock

Shoppers from the South loading their car after a trip to The Quays shopping mall in Newry in 2008. Photograph: Paul McErlane/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Ireland and sterling have had a rocky relationship since 1460 – good news for some, bad news for others

James Dyson photographed outside Dyson headquarters on the outskirts of Malmesbury, in the Cotswolds. Photograph by Adrian Sherratt

James Dyson, head of the hugely successful company that reinvented the vacuum cleaner, says failure is part of the journey

SuperValu said: “We do not believe a price increase on the products under discussion is justified given the current exchange rate.” Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Retailer and supplier of lines such as Lynx and Pot Noodle in dispute over rising costs

The director of the Irish Beverage Council, Kevin McPartlan, said the Minister for Finance is labouring ‘under the delusion that additional taxes on soft drinks will have any positive impact on obesity’. Photograph: Getty Images

Noonan delays levy to prevent ‘boot-loads of soft drinks coming down from Newry’

At present, 19.5 per cent of the adult population smokes – down from 29 per cent in 2003

19.5 per cent of the adult population smokes – down from 29 per cent in 2003

It is worth bearing in mind that middle-income tax payers will still be substantially worse off in 2017 than they were before the economic crash. Photograph: PA

Double-income household with both adults earning €50,000 will be better off by €500

In September, online spending was up 13.4 per cent compared with a year ago, while face-to-face spending recorded an increase of just 0.8 per cent year on year. Photograph: Michaela Rehle/Reuters

Online surge offsets slowdown in spending in physical shops, with overall figure up 5%

Michael Noonan: The Minister for Finance might be surprised to hear that some tax increases would be welcome. Photograph: Alan Betson

This plea to Michael Noonan looks at hits and misses as Budget 2017 approaches

Sensiohome Steama

Four methods put to the test

The AA “obviously deal with new versus existing customers in very different ways”. Photograph: iStock

Plus: when can a shop refuse to give a refund?

Sterling breached the 90p barrier against the euro early Friday morning. This time last year, €1 would have bought about 78p, while just before the Brexit vote it would have bought 82p. Photographs: Getty Images

Exchange hitting 90p ‘worries the hell out of us’, says Dundalk Chamber of Commerce

National Potato Day: The very fact the food authorities believe it is necessary to give the humble spud a day to call its own is a sure sign that competition for a place on the Irish dinner plate is getting serious. File photograph: Getty Images

Carbs like pasta, rice, bread, cous-cous, sweet potato, quinoa all out to corner same market

Conor Pope protecting his home: thieves are opportunists and if they see an open window or another way to access your home, they will take advantage.  Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

From monitored alarm systems that talk to your mobile to reinforced safe rooms, the range of options to keep burglars at bay is gr(...)

 Kevin Kennedy who used to play Curly Watts in Coronation Street but who is now starring in The Commitments, The Musical. Photograph Nick Bradshaw

Conor Pope talks to former ‘Coronation Street’ star Kevin Kennedy about growing up in Manchester and his new role in stage musical(...)

The scene at Millrose Estate in Bluebell, Dublin, where the bodies of William and Daniel McCarthy were discovered on Tuesday. Photograph: Eric Luke/ The Irish Times

Daniel and William McCarthy ‘were very quiet men. They just came and went’

Micheal Briody,  chief executive, Silver Hill Farm. File photograph: Barry Cronin

Co Monaghan producer now exporting 20,000 ducks a month to Asian financial hub

 The Tánaiste and Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald and Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar with moderator Ita Mangan at the nationwid launch of the Abhaile advice service for distressed mortgage holders. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Q&A: Conor Pope explains what Government’s plan to tackle long-term debt entails

 Pensions adviser Laura Doyle wants to get the message across to young people that  the sooner they start saving for retirement the better. Photograph: Eric Luke

Think of a pension as ‘a flexible, tax-efficient savings vehicle’, says one adviser, who wants to change how young people see them(...)

Bosch PSR Select

Spoiler alert: Ikea wins

Experience of Carphone Warehouse has left one client wary of dealing with them again. Photograph: iStock

But all’s well that ends with a goodwill gesture of six months’ free credit

 A Lidl brochure has been found to be  in breach of the ASAI code. File photograph: Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images

Advertising Standards Authority of Ireland censures discount retailer over ‘crab claws’

Michael ‘Mouse’ Morris, his son Jamie and Rory Cowan  hold carbon monoxide alarms. Photograph:  Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

‘Mrs Brown’s Boys’ actor Rory Cowan helps raise awareness after being poisoned

An Post has confirmed an internal investigation has been launched after a batch of undelivered mail was discovered.  File photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

Garda and An Post investigate after letters including medical appointments discovered

The affected line is the 800g Johnston Mooney & O’Brien “Toastie” bread with a best before date of September 29th and carrying the codes D27 and E27. File photograph: Frank Miller

Breadmaker concerned ‘Toastie’ batches may contain pieces of plastic tubing

Kantar Worldpanel’s figures  covering the 12 weeks to September 11th show the Irish grocery market growing rapidly with sales up 3.7 per cent year on year.

SuperValu extends overall lead as Dunnes increases year-on-year sales by 6.3 per cent

After accepting payment for an all-inclusive landline, mobile and broadband package, Eir never delivered. Photograph: Maxwells

Two customers complain of the customer service they have received from the company

We know we’re generalising here, but men tend to spend a lot more on gadgets than women.

How to be a Man: Women pay more for products aimed at them, but men are fast catching up

Central Bank deputy governor Sharon Donnery said the short- and medium-term impact of Brexit was likely to be negative.

‘Stable rules are valuable in eliminating avoidable uncertainty’, says deputy governor

 Green Party  leader Eamon Ryan TD with Catherine Martin TD  at the press conference following the party’s think-in  in Dublin on Saturday. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

The party leader criticised Government for returning to the economic model that created recession

Pro-choice campaigners taking part in the 5th annual March for Choice, in Dublin Saturday. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

London, Paris, Brussels and New York among cities hosting demonstrations

 Dublin Bus workers on the picket line at Donnybrook bus depot Saturday. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

Some stores consider closing early because footfall down so much in capital

 More than 120 million one and two cent coins have been decommissioned since the Central Bank moved to take them out of circulation almost 12 months ago, a new report  indicates. Photograph: Michaela Rehle/Reuters

New report shows positive response to the decommissioning of 1c and 2c coins

It is always better to come across as a reasonable person who has been wronged, instead of an unreasonable person who is wrong. Photograph: iStock

And if you don’t like it, then don’t come complaining to us . . .

Dublin Bus workers picketing at the Clontarf garage Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

Monthly, annual ticket users will be in line for funds if planned drivers’ strikes proceed

A credit union survey earlier this year 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

Parents to get some financial relief under government’s Action Plan for Education

Raising the bar:  Publicans David O’Grady,  Deirdre Devitt  and Gary Pepper, at Devitt’s pub, The Two Sisters, in Terenure, Dublin. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

There are almost as many Irish pubs abroad as there are in Ireland, where the number has fallen by 10 per cent in a decade. What (...)

The latest figures from the Residential Tenancies Board find Dublin rents are now at an all-time high

Average monthly cost of renting home in Dublin rises by €113 to reach all-time high

Chris Kane first took an interest in his father’s job when he was nine, and the father and son team are now working side-by-side in the Old Bushmills Distillery Cooperage.

Chris Kane has picked up the same-tools his great-grandfather used at Bushmills Distillery

Proposal would give lenders more flexibility to breach Central Bank mortgage limits

There are around 1.7 million households in the Republic and at least half have remained (foolishly) loyal to their electricity and gas suppliers over the last five years. Photograph: iStockphoto

People who change energy providers can make annual savings of up to €360. So why are we so slow to switch to better gas and electr(...)

Colin the Caterpillar Fruit Sours

Value for money: From Colin the Caterpillar to Haribo Spaghetti

Countless hours of communication: reader has to use an internet cafe. Photograph: iStock

One reader has had internet connection problems for three months; another has her head scrambled by a pricing anomaly

The streets of Dublin and its environs were filled with thousands of cyclists for the second ever Great Dublin Bike Ride on Sunday. Photograph: Sportsfile

Capital welcomes cyclists of all shapes and sizes for Great Dublin Bike Ride

The European Commission has been forced into an embarrassing u-turn over proposals to impose caps on free mobile phone roaming across the EU. Photograph: Reuters.

New ‘fair usage’ policy for phone users published this week scrapped after ‘feed-back’

Coca-Cola retained the number-one position for the 12th consecutive year in Checkout magazine’s list of the 100 most popular brands in the Irish grocery marketplace. Photograph: Remy Gabalda/AFP/Getty Images

Cadbury Dairy Milk takes second place in list of top 100 brands, with Brennan’s in third

Conor Pope. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

But he’ll give it a go

A leading  consultant has said people should not be  alarmed by the findings of a Dublin inquest earlier this week, which linked the death of a woman to the ingestion of talcum powder. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Consultant responds to findings of a Dublin inquest on the death of Therese Lawlor

The European Commission has been criticised for an apparent U-turn on plans to scrap roaming charges across the EU. File photograph: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

New ‘fair usage policy’ contradicts plan to scrap fees, says Fianna Fáil’s Timmy Dooley

Prof Donal O’Shea, consultant endocrinologist and chairman of the the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland Policy Group on Obesity, dismissed claims from the Irish Beverage Council that a sugar tax will not work. Photograph: Getty Images

Contentious levy ‘most important’ thing Government can do to tackle this malaise

Bus Éireann introduced a seat-reservation trial on some routes in July. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

The company’s trial seat-reservation system caused one customer heartache

Keep mealtimes as relaxed as possible and always eat at the table, away from TV and screens – that goes for parents too. Photograph: iStock

Food purchasing isn’t just about cost. If you don’t consider health factors also, you could end up paying the ultimate price

Kevin and Muriel Thornton at home in Ranelagh, Co Dublin. The couple plan to offer cooking masterclasses and high-end catering services for weddings and the corporate sector. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

One of Ireland’s top chefs is to close his Dublin restaurant after more than 25 years

 Chef Kevin Thornton plans to focus on cooking masterclasses from his Rathmines home and is developing a high-end corporate and wedding catering enterprise. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Chef widely regarded as one of country’s best makes ‘sad decision’ to shut business in October

“The only way to get in contact with Aer Lingus about this issue is through an online feedback form.” Photograph: iStock

Plus: The buyer of a faulty printer is not automatically entitled to a replacement

Conor Pope encounters a Steller’s sea eagle at Tayto Park in Ashbourne, Co Meath. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times Conor Pope gets up close and personal with a Steller’s sea eagle at Tayto Park in Ashbourne, Co Meath. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

A Verreaux’s eagle can bring 700lb of pressure to bear with its talons. And for some reason I’m about to invite Storm, a prime exa(...)

Photograph: iStock

Bottled water sales are growing at a much faster rate than soft drinks. This might be better for your health, but it is terrible f(...)

Grocery retailers reported a 2.6 per cent rise in takings at the tills

Fourth highest quarterly takings in eight years helped by Euro 2016 bounce

From left, Minions Water Bottle; Frozen Sports Bottle; Mega Value Super Grip; Sistema Twist ’n’ Sip

It’s almost back-to-school time – which of these four vessels will last the distance?

Our reader was told that items containing batteries can be posted into Ireland, but couldn’t be posted out of Ireland. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Plus: can debt collectors pursue a late debtor’s offspring?

The Irish: “no friendlier drinkers”. Photograph: Marco Cristofori/Corbis/Getty

Dublin and Galway are both among Condé Nast Traveller’s top cities. Are we not a nation of begrdugers after all?

Just over two-thirds of students work throughout the academic year to fund third-level education, working on average  17 hours weekly for €12 an hour. Photograph: Getty Images

Irish League of Credit Unions data shows 87% will back children financially while in college

Charleston, South Carolina was declared to be the friendliest place in the world while Sydney finished in second spot just ahead of dear old Dublin

Conde Naste have voted Dublin and Galway in the top ten most friendly cities, but who else made the list?

It all started when an Irish man called Kevin Mallon, who works for a UK sports hospitality company called THG Sports, was arrested as the Games began. He was found in possession of around 800 tickets for high-profile sporting events as well as the opening and closing ceremonies.  Photograph: Tasso Marcelo/AFP/Getty Images.

Conor Pope’s Q&A on the background to the ongoing row over Irish tickets in Rio

Beautiful vista: sunset in Connemara, September 2014. For its rankings, the Social Progress Index, compiled in conjunction with Deloitte, eschews economic indicators in favour of things it determines matter the most to people, irrespective of personal wealth or the wealth of their country. File photograph: Getty Images

Social Progress Index: Republic scores well on needs such as health, education, equality

Photograph: iStock

Irish parents of two children will have to spend an estimated half a million euro over 25 years as a direct consequence of their(...)

Falling fuel prices at the pump are partly the result of a recent drop in the cost of oil. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Aftermath of Brexit not dimming confidence, claims Smurfit business school monitor

A tangential factor driving spending power is wage increases which added an average of 2.7% to household incomes last year. Photograph: Getty Images

Confidence still strong despite Brexit and certainty concerning sustained recovery

Photograph: Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Ryanair defends policy by saying it can’t afford to take the risk of a £4,000-per-passenger fine

Recent years have been marked by vulture funds moving into the Irish mortgage market as banks look to offload troubled loan books and clean up their balance sheets. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Plans in train for voluntary body to competefor €150m home loans by next summer

In 2015, the Consumer Protection Commission received over 3,500 contacts from consumers relating to the motor sector. Photograph: Getty Images

Bid rigging and second-hand motor sector to be viewed as area of priority over next year

AA Ireland’s Conor Faughnan: said that motor insurance premiums could be reduced by up to €200. CSO figures show that premiums  have jumped by 38.3 per cent over the past 12 months. Photograph: Eric Luke

AA Ireland’s Conor Faughnan says there is sickness in Irish insurance market

Retailers will defend themselves against keyboard warriors (and journalists like this one) who will rage against early onset Christmas by pointing out they are responding to demand

Delivery of festive shopping booklet marks the beginning of this year’s onslaught

Up to 40 per cent of smokers with life insurance don’t admit to the habit when applying or renewing health insurance and their propensity to lie costs non-smokers money, figures from AA Life Insurance suggest. Photograph: Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters.

Many do not reveal their habit when seeking or renewing polices pushing up costs for others

Fade Street Social was served with a closure order by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland in the middle of July.  Photograph :Collins Courts

Restaurant shut for one day last month over ‘minor plumbing issue’

Photograph: iStock

Plus: Beware the extended warranty

Old El Paso

Four easily available options put to the test

Illustration: iStock

Rent is the big one, but there are several fiscal advantages to being in a couple

Auditing firm DeloitteIt determined there had been problems with the installation of banking software used in direct debit collections

Software glitch exposed donor accounts to hugely inflated monthly withdrawals

Fergus Finlay, chief executive of Barnardos. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Charity says parents ‘at the end of their tether trying to grapple with’ school costs

Chief executive of the Irish Life Group, David Harney: “Through the acquisition of these two very strong existing businesses...we will create a significant new force in the Irish health insurance market.” Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Acquisition of Aviva Health and GloHealth will give new brand 21% share of the market

According to the latest supermarket figures from Kantar Worldpanel, in the 12 weeks to July 17th, Irish supermarkets saw a sales bounce of over 3 per cent compared with the same period last year

Irish market records a 3% sales bounce during football tournament as Supervalu retains its lead

Ireland is the second most expensive country in Europe in which to buy potatoes, according to an EU study.

State is also the most expensive country in EU for alcohol, according to Eurostat study

An employee arranges a display on a Christmas tree during the opening day of the Christmas shop in the Selfridges, London,  Monday. Photograph: Jason Alden/Bloomberg

Selfridges opens its seasonal shop in response to ‘overseas’ demand

The National Gallery of Ireland (above left) and the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin (above right) top visitor attractions in Ireland, according to rankings compiled by Fáilte Ireland. File photographs: The Irish Times

Cliffs of Moher and IMMA among best performers, Fáilte Ireland figures show

Minster for Education Richard Bruton. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Since free education was introduced in the 1960s, Irish parents have spent more than €20 billion putting their children through sc(...)

Reader feels Ryanair has not responded adequately. Photograph: Chris Radburn/PA

Plus: Knock-on effects of Low Cost Holidays going bust

File photograph taken in 2014 of Oliver Hughes. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Co-founder of the Porterhouse group and owner of Lillies Bordello taken ill on Saturday night

Ireland’s bankruptcy laws, unchanged for more than a century, have been radically overhauled in less than three years. Photographs: Getty Images

First group set to restart lives without the onerous ‘burden of unsustainable debt’

Conor Pope, seconds after taking the notorious Carolina Reaper chilli pepper.

Conor Pope takes on the notorious Carolina Reaper chilli - and lives to tell the tale

The Center Parcs village will be the biggest private tourism development in the State.

There will be over 500 lodges and apartments and a glass-roofed swimming complex

The It Makes Sense loan scheme have been available in 30 credit unions, on a pilot basis. Photograph: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.

Since the scheme was launched, more than 1,200 loans have been drawn down

The EU announces cuts to roaming rates. Photograph: Getty

Plus: High praise for Amazon’s helpdesk

DIY option

Three shop-bought jars and a DIY option: which is the tastiest?

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

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