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

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