Hollie Walker (6) and Kyle Maloney (8) in the  Brown Thomas Christmas Shop in Dublin on Thursday. Photograph: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

Retailer ‘responding to customer demand’ for Christmas shop in August

The cost of making calls from a mobile to some lo-call numbers can be as high as €0.35 a minute. Photograph: Getty Images

Many organisations use numbers with prefixes 1800, 1850, 1890, 0818 and 076

The banner on the Rosie Hackett Bridge in Dublin. Photograph: Conor Pope

Fans of Hajduk Split FC pay tribute to supporter

Filtration systems on modern planes  kill over 99 per cent of airborne microbes

Conor Pope: Online browsing won’t raise airline prices and booking early isn’t cheaper

Members of  An Garda Síochána searching a site in Chapelizod in relation to the disappearance of Trevor Deely. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Chapelizod residents shocked that search for Trevor Deely taking place on their doorsteps

Gardaí search the site in  Chapelizod.  Major excavation of the overgrown plot of wasteland will get under way on Monday. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Missing 22-year-old may have been killed by known criminal and buried at Chapelizod site

 According to a report published  this year by the National Parents’ Council, almost one-third of parents of primary school pupils said their children could not walk to school because of the weight of their schoolbags. Photograph: iStock

The holidays are nearly over, so it’s time to fret about bags, bedtimes, books – and ‘voluntary’ contributions

Megan Depinna as Batgirl and Karen Burke as Wonder Woman at  Dublin Comic Con 2017 in the Convention Centre. Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Batman, Deadpool and Daenerys Targaryen all make appearances at the Dublin event

Mairead Cullen and her son Harry (7), who has cerebral palsy and epilepsy. “Irish Rail certainly did not seem to have any comprehension of what we might need,” said Jonathan Cullen.

Family could not reserve seats online and no wheelchair ramp was available at Heuston

Lorenzo the flying Frenchman at the RDS Horseshow in Ballsbridge. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

‘I do a mental tally and realise my showjumping trolley is already tipping €7,000’

The Ireland team in a huddle before the   World Cup pool C game against Australia at UCD Bowl. Photograph:  INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Fan zone buzzing as it waits to see if Ireland team will answer the call against Australia

'Save money on accommodation by staying in an apartment.' Photograph: Getty Images

It’s not too late to get some sun at a good price. Conor Pope finds last-minute deals

A planning application for a U2 museum in Dublin’s docklands is set to be lodged in the coming days. Photograph: Brendan Fitzsimons

Proposed four-storey facility would be located on the site of the band’s Dublin studio

Irish Rail: One  reader believes the price difference between online and at a station is “exorbitant”.

Irish Rail is left unmoved by our readers’ stories of rail rage

Pricewatch reader query: Rude and obnoxious staff made Lanzarote even worse

Children from around the country compete in table tennis at the Aldi Community Games Festivals. Photo: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland.

The Community Games are a uniquely Irish affair that has been running for 50 years

Increasing the price of a litre of diesel by 10 cent to close the price gap between it and petrol would add about €140 on to the annual cost of driving for diesel motorists. Photograph:  Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images

Government warned not to penalise drivers who were encouraged to switch from petrol

Terrible service: Eir sent a debt recovery agency to collect €14.49 that Barbara didn’t owe. Photograph: David Gould/Photographer’s Choice/Getty

Pricewatch: Ireland’s biggest phone company apologises for failing to deliver in nearly every way

Sarah Eustace (centre) and Michelle Metcalfe (left) and June Tinsley (right), head of advocacy at Barnardos.  at the  the Barnardos annual school costings for the year 2017.Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Case study: School costs force parents to cut back elsewhere

Mother Michelle Metcalfe says back-to-school time is a very stressful time of year for parents. Photograph: Patrick Bolger

Case 1: Parents ‘bearing the brunt of an underfunded education system’

Jayna McCuskey and  Mark Ara at St Enda’s School: “It is 50 years since our free education system was made a constitutional obligation and yet still we are seeing parents being told to foot the bill.” Photograph: Cyril Byrne

'Parents bear the brunt of an underfunded education system'

In its latest pricing survey, Hotel Reservation Services said the cost of a night in a hotel in Dublin jumped by 9.2 per cent – or more than 10 times the rate of inflation – in just 12 months. Photograph: Getty Images¼

New survey suggests average prices in Dublin top €200 – up 10% on 2016

Bord Bia’s Periscope report shows 52 per cent of shoppers say price is the first thing they look at, compared with 64 per cent in 2013 and 60 per cent two years earlier. Photograph: Chris Helgren/Reuters

Food board study reveals greater consumer focus on perceived health rather than price

Sky says “such services may be provided by third parties and as such their availability is out of our control”. Photograph: Chris Radburn/PA Wire

Reader raging after option was unavailable for BBC’s Wimbledon coverage

The number of people buying organic food is increasing. Photograph: iStock

Bord Bia reports paint a picture of Ireland’s roller-coaster ride over the last two decades

The crowd at the Galway Races in 2015. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

‘Sky-high’ prices give city bad name, says former mayor but hoteliers claim they are inaccurate

The Commission for Energy Regulation gave the green light to an increase in the Public Service Obligation levy for the year ahead on Friday. Photograph: Getty Images

Regulator gives green light to more than 30 per cent increase but savings still possible

Eason in Dublin. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Easonschoolbooks.com does not accept One4All vouchers or Eason evouchers

How hard is it to stop payments from a credit card account? Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Stopping payments from a closed credit card account may be harder than you think

As it stands, there is no legal impediment stopping a landlord from demanding a deposit of any amount

Setting financial bar so high is effectively screening potential tenants – spokeswoman

Nearly one-in-four parents will deny their children basic school items this year as they struggle to cover the cost of returning to school next month, an Irish League of Credit Unions survey has revealed.  Photograph: Lorraine Teevan

Average spend per primary school child has risen €81 to €1,048 per year

‘Car-hire companies operate like low-fare airlines, with top-line prices looking good with bottom lines enhanced through the sale of last minute add-ons to people who are frequently stressed-out, confused and tired after long flights.’ Photograph: Getty Images

Tourists to other countries can face extra bills of over €1,000 when they return hire cars

“It is not how we treat customers who come to us to let us know about a family bereavement.”

Company displayed ‘total indifference’ to death and seemed irritated dealing with it

Protesters on Dorset Street, Dublin on Saturday voicing concerns over the proliferation of ‘massage parlours’ in the area. Photograph: Conor Pope

‘You hear the door opening and closing all the time, and all the time it’s men’

The summer is flying by, but there’s still time to find a deal in August and top up your tan

The Red Sea resort of Dahab (marked) is hugely popular with divers from all over the world. Image: Google Maps

Man believed to be in his 30s was in popular resort town of Dahab

The Mosney direct provision centre in Co Meath. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

People living in centres being denied hope claims author of landmark report on process

Temperatures could reach as high as 22 degrees on Sunday when big crowds are expected at the Bray Air Display. Photograph:  Gareth Chaney Collins

Temperatures set to top 20 degrees over the weekend but showers expected too

The summer of 1992 was when everything changed, when the stranglehold a handful of high-priced flag-carrying airlines had held over all Europeans started to loosen.

It’s 25 years since cheap, frequent air travel began – and it’s down to the EU just as much as it is to Michael O’Leary and Ryanai(...)

Passenger reported his missing bag and was given a reference number and told to track the bag online. Photograph: iStock

Bags go walkabout for days and customer says she was given no concrete information

Michael O’Leary: ‘People are whining and whingeing - but you can’t sit where you want.’ File photograph: Stephanie Lecocq/EPA

Ryanair chief says company’s seating algorithm has changed but policy has not

Refunding those who have moved home may prove to be a logistical nightmare

Everything you need to know, from the refunds to the conservation grant

The average cost of the food waste put at just under €10 €11.50 per household, according to a new survey carried out by Sainsbury’s. Photograph: Getty Images

Food and drink binned ahead of breaks away include bread, milk and salad leaves

Should tomatoes be kept in the fridge? Only if you want to destroy their flavour. Photograph: iStock/Getty

Irish consumers, send us your random queries

Ryanair insists there is no deliberate policy in place which separates those who don’t pay for allocated seats

Pricewatch: ‘We should refuse to pay for dedicated seats and instead swap at no cost’

 The Killers at the Barclaycard British Summer Time Festival in Hyde Park, London this week. Photograph:  Eamonn M McCormack/Getty

Pricewatch reader query: Seatwave sales make life easy for those making money from music fans

Some PTSB customers who contacted The Irish Times said their charges were going from €3.18 a quarter to €18, a rise of 466 per cent. File photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Bank which is 75 per cent State-owned says increases bring it in line with competition

Ed Sheeran has added extra concert dates for Dublin and Cork after the 300,000 tickets for his first seven Irish gigs sold out in less than 24 hours. Tickets for May 6th at Páirc Uí Chaoimh and May 19th at Phoenix Park will go on sale this Saturday at 9am. Photograph: Isabel Infantes/PA

Pricewatch reader query: Rules aimed at stopping touting have readers in a flap

British Airways Boeing 777: airline blamed a wedding party’s ticket confirmation problem on human error.   Photograph: Tim Ockenden/PA

Pricewatch: Party of 10 arrives in Dublin Airport to be told they have no tickets

For sale signs on houses in Dublin. New figures from the CSO show that the rate of house price inflation has accelerated. Photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

Property prices in south-east region climbed by 18.6% during the 12 month period

Dublin Airport taxis: failing to take the shortest route can lead to  a €2,500 fine. Photograph: Eric Luke

Garda stops five taxi drivers bringing passengers on more expensive route

In giving two replacements for a clock that started running slowly, Brown Thomas went well beyond its duty. Photograph: Eric Luke

Pricewatch: What to do with a timepiece that slows down every two years like clockwork

Ballymaloe Irish Beetroot

Despite that, Irish food producers such as Ballymaloe relish the challenge

Pricewatch trials and tastes four juices to see which is the best, for value and taste

“My husband bought me diamond earrings. I exchanged them for a cheaper pair and the difference was €1,100. The shop informed me that I would only be allowed a credit note and not a refund.”

Pricewatch: what are your rights to refunds, repairs and replacements?

“If you’re hungry and you want to get something quick I think it’s great that there are other options there and you’re not only limited to crisps and things.”

Is a protein bar any better than a chocolate bar? And are you actually even hungry?

Private rooms are never guaranteed – no matter which route a mother takes, that depends on availability. Photograph: iStock

Pricewatch: Should our pregnant reader give birth in the public or private system?

Häagen-Dazs: Our favourite. We loved its creaminess and we loved the vanilla flavours that cut through the subtle sugariness

Pricewatch devours four types of the summer treat to see which is best value for money

Most of us apply only 20-50 per cent of the recommended amount of sunscreen, which means we end up with a lot less protection than we imagine. Photograph: iStockphoto

Pricewatch: So you don’t want to be a lobster. Here's our guide to staying protected

Lisa Quinlan, owner of the Rolling Donut in South King Street, Dublin. Photograph: Alan Betson

Dublin has seen 20 doughnut shops open in recent years

Samsonite Cosmolite Spinner: €248.50

Pricewatch wheels out four cases to find out which is best value for money

Room at the inn: Teresa and Joseph “Gerry” Ryan arrived at their hotel not knowing if they would have to pay €400 extra

Pricewatch consumer queries: Pricing anomaly discovered at Tesco

The VHI Swiftcare clinic in Dundum, Dublin

Clinics seen as alternative to visiting hospital emergency units

Rents in Dublin and surrounding commuter counties are among the highest relative to the national average, with parts of Cork and Galway cities also above the average. Photograph: Getty Images

Residential Tenancies Board says it is too early to say if rent pressure zones are effective

From Thursday making telephone calls and sending text messages will cost exactly the same no matter where in the EU you are making them. Photograph: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Rules governing using data on your phone while away come into effect on Thursday

It’s World Cucumber Day today – and just to show we’ve really lost the run of ourselves, you can look forward to Take Your Plant For A Walk Day next month

There’s a World Goats Cheese Day, a VCR Day, a Flip Flop Day. Can anyone name a day?

Businessman Rupert Murdoch leaves the Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin as Irish Times journalist Conor Pope tries to question him. Photograph: John Dardis

The Shelbourne Hotel hosted the media mogul and a group of Irish luminaries

One Californian study  found that children born to mothers with traces of organophosphate metabolites – a key element of many pesticides – during pregnancy had more ‘adverse mental development at two years of age, attention problems at three-and-a-half and five years, and poorer intellectual development at seven years’. Photograph: Getty Images

If we can’t taste the difference, and health benefits are unclear, why spend so much on it?

You have to expect rain sometimes and while you can buy rain gear for less than €20, it will not stand up to a downpour. Photograph Nick Bradshaw

You can choose any price for the bike you like, but its’s worth paying extra for security and safety

Fleet founder Maurice Sheehy. Photograph: Colm Mahady/Fennells

Fleet reaches a deal with Axa Insurance to offer drivers cover for €7-€10 a day

Two wheels good: Cycling is healthier, cheaper, better for the environment, and can still get you to work on time.   Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

In honour of National Bike Week, here are 10 good reasons to switch to pedal power

Guns N’ Roses at Slane Castle. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Pricewatch: A reader who booked a hotel to stay in after Slane was left out in the cold

‘There is no doubt that this is a ploy to make people pay to pre-book seats’. File photograph: Getty

Airline denies it has changed how it assigns seating

The electricity and gas supply market generated 83 per cent of all the complaints which required a full investigation by the Commission for Energy Regulation in 2016. Photograph: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

Cases include incorrect charge of €2,500 by provider as a result of faulty domestic meter

The west of Ireland showed the greatest price growth, with house prices increasing 17.8%

Latest CSO figures show overall prices now 30.7% lower than at the height of the boom

The study found that men aged 20-29 have a particularly high risk of collisions with other vehicles. Photograph: Getty

Study also finds enormous health benefits to cycling and calls for improved infrastructure

Survey reveals that 25 per cent of people admit they regularly forget to turn the immersion  off after a bath or shower. Photograph: Istock

Irish homeowners could be wasting as much €1,500 a year, according to a new survey

Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary: the airline has denied changing its seat allocation policy. Photograph: PA

People travelling with the airline have expressed concern over seat allocation

Hailo became MyTaxi in March but for two months after the changeover both apps were running side by side. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

MyTaxi says ‘vast majority’ of transition has been successful

Web Summit CEO Paddy Cosgrave will bring financial technology conference Moneyconf to Dublin next summer. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

Moneyconf to move from Madrid next summer

The neurologist leading the as yet unpublished study on Trinity’s Under-20 rugby side has said more work needs to be done to assess the impact of contact sports in general. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Neurologist leading research on Trinity’s Under-20 season does not support underage ban

The Guinness Storehouse in Dublin. Other popular visitor attractions in 2016 were the National Gallery of Ireland, The Irish Museum of Modern Art and the National Botanic Gardens. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Visits to Guinness Storehouse topped 1.6m in bumper year for Irish tourist attractions

Fianna Fail’s finance spokesman Michael McGrath. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Distressed borrowers may be pressurised over €1.5bn of ‘warehoused’ mortgage debt

SuperValu’s 22.5 per cent share of the Irish grocery market  continues to put it ahead of Tesco and Dunnes Stores. Photograph: Cyril Byrne / THE IRISH TIMES

More than half of products now own-brand as consumers seek out bargains

The fatal crash occurred just south of the toll plaza at Gormanston after 8.30am. Photograph: Google Street View

Fifth weekend road fatality comes after death of pedestrian in Arklow early on Monday

Strike a pose...Madonna vogues

Before mocking fidget spinners, cast your mind back to the crazes you got caught up in – embarrassing, isn’t it?

This shop in Co Donegal has sold the second highest number of Lotto jackpot tickets. Photograph: Google Street

Dublin and Donegal the places to buy ahead of €150m jackpot

Cellist Jenny Dowdall playing in the FBD ‘Transition’ garden designed by Oliver and Liat Schurmann at Bloom. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

Five-day event in Dublin’s Phoenix Park kicks off on Thursday with tens of thousands of visitors expected

The questions about the AIB share sale you were afraid to ask

One of the Klimmek-designed tables from the seventh floor of the former Central Bank building in Dame Street which went on sale at The Heritage Resort, Portarlington.

Thousands of unwanted items from Dame Street headquarters auctioned in Portarlington

Your calls and texts may cost the same abroad as at home, but beware of your data usage. Photograph: Getty Images

Free to roam from home but data remains a costly holiday extra

“I started looking into getting speculative quotations on a 1.4 litre petrol-engine Toyota Corolla, year 2010”

Nick McGinley left Ireland for two years - when he came back he was treated as a first-time driver

Laya Healthcare blames rise on increases in cost and volume of claims from both public and private hospitals

Ryanair customers can now connect on to Air Europa long-haul flights through Madrid

Airline takes first step into long-haul market in partnership with Spain's Air Europa

“What if the attack had happened last weekend when Ariana Grande was in Dublin?” Photograph:  Paul Ellis/AFP/Getty Images

Manchester attack will be only topic of conversation among classmates at school today

The third annual Student Attitudes Index indicates  60 per cent of students worry about how much they used their phones, but 80 per cent said they also used the devices for educational purposes.

Student Attitudes Index investigates device use, exercise and feeling on education loans

Remarkably resilient: books seem to have turned the tide against ereaders. Photograph: Iain Masterton/Canopy/Getty

Ebook sales are down, physical-book sales are up. Has the tide turned?

Victoria Wassondela (8), from Carrickmines, at the Africa Day family event in Farmleigh in the Phoenix Park, Dublin. Photograph:  Kenneth O’Halloran

Annual festival at Farmleigh featured food, music and a reminder of direct provision

While no Irish staff are impacted by the UK industrial unrest union officials have warned there is likely to be a knock-on effect here as large volumes of deliveries are likely to be delayed. Photograph: Eric Luke

Up to 1,400 workers at UK distribution centres to begin two-week strike

Can a store charge for booking an appointment to try on a wedding dress? Photograph: Alan Betson

Pricewatch reader queries: Bride-to-be asked to pay non-refundable deposit to make appointment.

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