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

The incentive means bicycles and accessories can often be bought for half the cost

Cycling locks are an essential piece of kit and it is pointless buying cheap ones. Photograph: Alan Betson

As well as your bike, you will also need some essential accessories to prevent theft and keep you safe . . . and dry

Dublin: A group of tourists from Paris booked and paid for a house in Georgian Dublin for eight days around St Patrick’s Day. However, when they showed up the property owner knew nothing about the arrangement Photograph: David Sleator

Holidaymakers are offered bogus holiday rentals in Dublin and across Europe

A British Airways flight was struck by what is believed to be a drone as it came in to land at Heathrow Airport, according to police. Photograph: PA

Following a collision between a drone and aircraft, strict regulation has been called for

Children love the freedom of a campsite holiday, and they’re usually very safe places too. Photograph: Jason Swain via Getty Images

Camping holidays can be an enjoyable and economical adventure for all the family – so long as you plump for somewhere it isn’t lik(...)

Goonyella finished in fifth place in the Grand National at Aintree. Photograph: Clint Hughes/Getty

‘We’re paying five places on all Grand Nationals’ ad causes confusion

Teresa Wall (59) of Rathingle Cottages, Swords, Dublin, leaving the Four Courts after she was awarded €40,000 damages in her High Court action against Irish National Parks and Wildlife Service. Photograph: Courts Collins

Mountaineering Council expects appeal of award to woman (59) who fell on Wicklow Way

Dolmio pasta sauces: Mars Food has promised to label some of its products, such as these sauces, as “occasional” Photograph: Stefan Wermuth/Reuters

Chef says a lot more action is needed if health of Irish people is to be improved

A seemingly healthy breakfast of cereal, toast and orange juice could take up your daily sugar allowance. Photograph: Thinkstock/Getty Images

It is hard to find the sweet stuff hidden in the small print on many food products

St Vincent’s University Hospital, Dublin yesterday. Photograph: Dave Meehan

Hospital to stop accepting patients for four months because of lack of consultants

Illustration: Getty Images

Fake emails looking for personal details, the ‘chief executive scam’ and the Wangiri fraud are among the most common cons going.(...)

The Charge Now service is for owners of electric BMW cars

Plus: a strange Virgin Media legacy

The average cost of a party at home was put at  €387, compared to €344 for a hired venue and party, according to the survey. Photograph by H. Armstrong Roberts/Retrofile/Getty Images

Children likely to be invited to at least 12 birthday parties per year, says website

Premiums to go up by as much as 14 per cent from next month

A dog at Cara Rescue Centre. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Dogs might be man’s best friend but they are also expensive, so factor in costs such as a licence, insurance, microchipping and fo(...)

Frank Masterson placing his protest placards at the meeting in the Killeshin Hotel on Saturday. Photograph: Conor Pope/The Irish Times

More than 200 seek support and express anger at Portlaoise rally highlighting eviction crisis

British Airways “could have printed the passes if they wanted to”. Photograph: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

A reader complains of intransigence at the check-in desk

Beans means Heinz? Not necessarily

Image: Screenshot of Revolution 1916 website (

Watchdog hears complaint that promotion of event did not make party’s involvement clear

Florian Coulan (c) and friends from France, who fell victim to a sophisticated online accommodation booking scam.

Group lost €1,400 after they booked accommodation through fake company

The Injuries Board said the increase in claims reflected increased economic and social activity and was not unexpected given there are more people at work, higher traffic volumes and higher footfall in public areas. File photograph: Getty Images

Board made 11,734 awards and delivered €268.4m in compensation in 2015

IFA spokesman Tom Doyle said the association rejected Ulster Bank’s strategy of packaging up farm loans with good farm asset security to make a more saleable loan portfolio for vulture funds

Business clients in severe difficulty face deadline for providing repayment details

House prices in Dublin are now 35.1 per cent lower than at their highest level in early 2007

Residential property prices in Dublin just 4% higher than they were a year ago

 The cost of VHI plans will increase by an average of  3 per cent from May. File photograph: Aidan Crawley

Company says rising cost of claims left it with no alternative to pushing up prices

House prices in Dublin are now 35.1 per cent lower than at their highest level in early 2007

Residential prices in Dublin decreased by 0.1 last month, but 4% higher over the year

The failure of the ParkbyText system, operated by National Controlled Parking Systems, was described by one employee contacted by a midlands motorist unable to pay for his parking as a “Y2K moment”. Photograph: The Irish Times

System failure labelled company ‘Y2K moment’ triggers morning panic among drivers

People march  during a New Land League protest in Dublin on Tuesday to highlight financial pressures on people from banking and financial institutions. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Peaceful protests focus on sale of bank loan books to ‘vulture’ funds at heavy discounts

The whiskey was distilled at the long-gone Bandon Distillery in west Cork

Unopened bottle of Irish single pot from Bandon Distillery in 1916 for sale at Adams

An electric tram in Dún Laoghaire circa 1906. Around the time of the Rising, the trams in Dublin operated on lines that ran 95.6km – 60km more than we have now. Photograph: Past Pix/SSPL/Getty Images

A recently published CSO survey paints a vivid picture of the cost of living in the country a century ago. Overall, today’s consum(...)

A grave can be anything from 4 to 10 feet deep. “The gravediggers used to get paid by the foot and they’d always be delighted to get a 10-footer.” Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

The heroes of 1916 may be the initial draw for many, but Dublin’s Glasnevin Cemetery is full of weird and wonderful stories, from (...)

The General Post Office on O’Connell Street, Dublin. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

‘1916 was worth it as we have our own government and we can decide who the head is’

People planning to take public transport into Dublin city centre this weekend will have to use the bus rather than the Luas as the dispute at the light rail company over pay continues. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times.

All you need to know about unrest, refunds and invoking rebel leaders

The busiest day for off-licences in Ireland is Holy Thursday. Wonder why.

Going to the big match tonight? Going for the football or the alcohol?

Employees prepare for Easter in Sceaux, France. Photograph: Thierry Chesnot/Getty Images

Research says 20,000 tonnes of packaging waste will be generated over next few days

A protest organised by Tyrrelstown Tenants Action Group before it marched to Leinster House in Dublin. Photograph: Eric Luke

Residents of Dublin housing estate served with notices to quit take their case to the Dáil

Bruzzesls Zaventem was closed almost as soon as the bomb detonated shortly after 8am local time yesterday. Photograph:   Patrik Stollarz/AFP/Getty Images

Brussels Zaventem airport closed but Ryanair flights to Charleroi running with delays

Irish student Luke Mac an Bháird

Luke Mac an Bháird from Ballinasloe arrived in airport minutes before bomb went off

Tributes are left at the Place de la Bourse following attacks in Brussels, Belgium. Photograph: Getty

‘We don’t know if we are in the safest place in the city or the most dangerous’

Policemen stand guard at the entrance of a security perimeter set near Maelbeek metro station. Photograph: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images

Heavy military presence in aftermath of fatal Maelbeek explosion: ‘People started to run’

When booking, bear in mind that you don’t have to take the same airline to and from your destination. Photograph: Thinkstock

Travelling light, using specialist websites and apps, and booking with different airlines to and from your destination: these are (...)

William Healy from Kerry: had Blackrock Clinic chosen to pursue him for the cost, he would have been liable to pay €7,200.

Blackrock Clinic was the only hospital that had a bed for desperately ill man

With only 5% of policies fully covering emergency care in private hospitals, the vast majority of those who become seriously ill while undergoing treatment in private hospitals are in danger of being financially penalised or denied care. Photograph: The Irish Times

Dr Stephen Frohlich says fewer ICU beds in public system contributing to lives at risk

Tesco says it is passing on the manufacturer’s price increase. Photograph: Luke MacGregor/Reuters

Plus: You can blame the EU for the ban on baby formula promotions

Elaine Stenson (33): “People seem to be more more optimistic now than they were when I left”

Emigration’s tide is slow turning, as the stories of three homecomers show

Evidence of activity: Prof Donal O’Shea of Loughlinstown hospital said that at a glance it might seem “stupidly obvious”, but it was important because it “definitively proved” that an over-reliance on cars was bad for the nation’s health. Photograph: Eric Luke

People who cycle or walk to work have significantly less fat, major study shows

Dunnes Stores is just 0.1 per cent behind Tesco in the Irish supermarket league, according to the latest share figures from Kantar Worldpanel in Ireland.

SuperValu solidified its position at the top of the pile with Dunnes close to pushing Tesco into third place

Codema home energy-saving kit

Homeowners can find out if their energy spend is going out the window, thanks to a project in Dublin that is making easy-to-use ki(...)

Sixty families have been told to leave their homes in Tyrrelstown in Dublin after the houses were sold to a Goldman Sachs vulture fund. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw.

Up to 90,000 Irish loans are now owned by foreign investment funds

Tim Redfern’s motor insurance renewal quote was €600, up from €456 the previous year, but he shopped around and eventually got his cover renewed for €404

Motorists will pay more due to the demise of Setanta and the cost of fraudulent claims

Guinness Luxury Fudge

Irish confectionery for the week that’s in it

Lidl: sold damaged TV. Photograph: Thomas Lohnes/AFP/Getty

Plus: another tale of Virgin woe

Carrolls’ Irish Gifts on O’Connell Street in Dublin commemorates the 1916 Rising. Photograph: Conor Pope

Special ‘1916’ fridge magnets and Proclamation jerseys among items on offer

Health insurance experts suggest that anyone who has been on the same health insurance policy for more than two years is almost certainly spending more than they need to for the level of cover required.

Move comes on the back of research showing that switching rates are very low in the Republic

It is worth remembering that au pairs  are looking after your children so treating  them like the hired help or worse will have consequences. Photograph: Getty Images

What should parents who employ them do? Treat them well, they care for your children

China’s economic slowdown is a worry. Photograph: Reuters/China Daily

The economy might be slowly recovering but we remain ever-vulnerable to external shocks, from Brexit and a Chinese slump to rises (...)

Photograph: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

Customer told by Virgin Media ‘it is basically her word against theirs’

Irish romantics spent more on Valentine’s Day flowers than their loved-up peers in countries across Europe, a Visa survey  suggests. File photograph: Ina Fassbender/EPA

Visa survey shows significant rise in consumer spending in February on last year

Some 745,000 households – or about 50 per cent – made a payment during the second water billing cycle. File photograph: Getty Images

Election result puts utility’s future in doubt and raises questions about payment of bills

Mark Wynne and Darina McGrath from Wicklow kissing their Leap Day baby boy Oliver, who was born at 4.20am at Holles Street Hospital. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/ The Irish Times.

Parents Darina McGrath and Mark Wynne barely made it to hospital for delivery

Marks & Spencer

Four cheeses put to the test

 Ads suggesting e-cigarettes are positive or ones which exaggerate the environmental benefits of particular products will fall foul of a new advertising watchdog code coming into force on Tuesday. Photograph: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

New code from advertising standards body to come into force on Tuesday

Dublin Fingal: Third TD elected of five

Dublin Fingal: Fifth TD elected of five

Plus: a fight to get an iPad fixed

Fairtrade: labourers pick tea in the Sorwathe plantations in Rwanda. Photograph: Phil Moore/AFP/Getty

Big retail chains in Ireland lag well behind United Kingdom counterparts in pushing the products

 Darragh O’Brien in his constituency office in Malahide.

Dublin Fingal: First TD elected of five

Travel: Escape to España

With war and conflict affecting some popular tourist haunts this summer, more people are returning to old reliables such as Spain.(...)

Labour’s Brendan Ryan, Fine Gael’s Alan Farrell, and Sinn Féin’s Louise O’Reilly are elected

Almost two-thirds of claims are for cancellations due to changing circumstances or family bereavement. Photograph: Getty Images

If worried about crime, repatriation costs or cancellation, then cover could be the answer

Cllr Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran canvassing Maura and Billy Golden, with their dog Rosie, in the Coosan area of Athlone. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Independent Alliance hopeful has a loyal base and is ready for the fight in Friday’s election

“Retail pharmacies are making medicines unaffordable for patients”

Plus: Vodafone Red Roaming user caught unawares

Tánaiste and Labour Party leader Joan Burton with Galway West candidate Derek Nolan TD. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

Burton is up with the lark, Kenny is now on instagram while the Healy-Raes astonish

Driving upturn: The ‘Consumer Market Monitor’ said the growth in consumer spending was “a reflection of the pent-up demand from rapidly growing sales of big ticket items”, including new cars, homes and home furnishings. Photograph: Thinkstock

Market evaluation predicts spending will continue to grow ‘for the foreseeable future’

About 40 per cent of all the food produced in the US is never eaten. Photograph: Jill Toyoshiba via Getty Images

About 10% of Irish people suffer from food poverty yet a million tons of food are thrown out each year in Ireland

Customer’s €615 refund outstanding since November 2nd. Photograph: Cathal McNaughton/Reuters

Plus: a disputed fine for ‘fare evasion’

Armed police on horseback patrol Marhaba beach in June where 38 people were killed in a terrorist attack in Sousse, Tunisia. File photograph: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

Holidaymakers abandon Tunisia, Egypt and Turkey in favour of Spain

Over 160,000 tickets for two Springsteen concerts on May 27th and May 29th sold out within two hours of going on sale. Photograph: Gilbert Carrasquillo/GC Images

Online marketplace to prevent sale of prized tickets when price tops 30% of face value

The average monthly rent being paid between October and December of 2015 was €979. Photograph: Kate Geraghty quarterly report shows average annual rent increase was close to €1,000

Photograph: Thinkstock

FRIENDSHIP WEEK: Shakespeare wrote ‘neither a borrower nor a lender be’, but was he being a bit dogmatic?

A garda on duty at the cordoned off entrance to the Regency Hotel, Dublin. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Staff member who made emergency call describes terror as gunmen attack hotel

Photograph: Thinkstock

Plus: Problem setting up Tesco direct debit

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