Joe Biden, the now former US vice-president, used his final official speech to address growing inequality in wealth distribution.

Business Week: Also, the World Economic Forum at Davos, luring bankers and upbeat SMEs

IPOA warned about  attempting to  influence  its members with respect to the setting of rents and charges.

Competition law expressly forbids trade associations co-ordinating business conduct

Growth driven by the increasing use of card payments by Irish consumers

Company’s new headquarters to be based in Dublin suburb after €9.1m investment

Dr Patrick Honohan  with Prof Philip J. O’Connell; Prof William K. Roche; and Professor Andrea Prothero at the launch of ‘Austerity and Recovery in Ireland’ a new book by independent academics assessing Ireland’s experience after the financial crash. Photograph: Conor Healy.

Ex-Central Bank governor insists State has other strong suits that can attract investment

Public Accounts Committee to examine situation at Our Lady’s Hospital

The Press Council’s remarks are contained in a submission to the Department of Justice, which is carrying out a review of the Defamation Act.

‘Unreasonable and frequent threats’ of defamation actions affecting press freedom

Unite regional secretary Jimmy Kelly: found that the union had offered the building on Merrion Square to a number of organisations for social housing three years ago. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Details emerge despite application by trade union for exemption for Merrion Sq building

 John Hume in 2000: “The many aspects of John’s life and legacy – as a man of courage, a committed European and a dedicated and visionary peacemaker – serve as a much-needed inspiration to all of us,” said President Higgins. Photograph: Frank Miller

Founding member of SDLP ‘helped deliver Belfast Agreement’ though peaceful means

Anand Mahindra, chairman of Tech Mahindra. Photograph: Prashanth Vishwanathan/Bloomberg News

Facility in Dublin will be operational during first quarter of 2017

The company’s proprietary technology can be broadly applied to the more than 30 human protein misfolding diseases

Company has option to increase shareholding to 67% under terms of transaction

Donald Trump: “We’ve got to get our drug industry back.” Photograph: Justin Lane/EPA

Also in the news: Brexit consequences, industrial action at Pfizer, changes at Tullow Oil

Almost 70 per cent of adults in the Republic believe they are strong enough to beat the winter blues

Market research agency iReach Insights survey reveals coping mechanisms

The under-50s age group was more likely to feel negatively about their ability to save in December

Impact of Brexit believed to have contributed to more prudent holiday period

There is still a problem with people over 65 and health workers not being vaccinated.  Photograph: iStock

Rate of increase in outbreak could continue week-on-week until peak is reached

 Kate Cronin and Laura Cotter from Colaiste Muire, Crosshaven, Cork,  at this year’s BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition. Photograph: Alan Betson

Students welcome increased participation by girls as schools ‘move with the times’

President Michael D Higgins said  late TK Whitaker  was “as fine an Irishman as there has been.” Photograph: Jane Barlow/PA Wire

President leads tributes to Ireland’s most revered public servant who died on Monday

Main Street, Ballaghaderreen. According to the document the fact that the town’s Abbeyfield Hotel would be ready in “reasonable time” was one reason it was chosen for the centre. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Syrian asylum seekers: Government document says property was only one suitable

The man in his early 50s has been arrested detained at Carrick-on-Shannon garda station. Photograph: Getty Images/iStockphoto

‘Highly sophisticated’ grow house had more than 250 plants worth estimated €200,000

‘It was a fantastic Christmas. The whole family were at home and we had even more reason to celebrate with our Lotto win’. File photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Father says Cavan family will not be giving up their jobs ‘anytime soon’ despite win

US president Barack Obama at College Green, Dublin in 2011 . Photograph: Eric Luke

Kevin O’Malley does not think change to US corporate tax rate will affect investment in Ireland

A man has been charged in connection with an alleged sexual assault on an 18-year-old woman last month

Edward Boaca in court over incident on December 18th in Littlepace area of Dublin

The resignation of Sir Ivan Rogers,  Britain’s ambassador to the EU, has raised fears that a hard Brexit is becoming more likely. Photograph: EPA/Thierry Roge

Business Week: Also in the news, hundreds apply for ‘help to buy’ scheme as housing crisis lumbers on

Stobart Air chief commercial officer said  Aer Lingus Regional was pleased with the expansion of its services:  the Cornwall flights bring its  routes out of Cork up to nine

Airline expects to carry more than 330,000 passengers through Cork Airport this year

Takings include about €50 million in prepayments for 2017 and €70 million in payments for 2015 and earlier years

Revenue says tax had 97% compliance but hundreds were still referred for collection

Generally, people with stronger immune systems stand a better chance of having the vaccine take to their systems. Age is also a factor, with efficacy declining with the elderly.  Photograph: David Cheskin/PA Wire

The ‘seasonal flu’ vaccine can help prevent catching the virus, or minimise its severity

HSE assistant national director for public health Dr Kevin Kelleher said people suffering flu symptoms should stay at home and look after themselves . Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Virus outbreak could be two or three weeks from peak with over-65s particularly at risk

Of the 21 deaths on farms, 10 involved tractors or farm vehicles and  two involved machinery or equipment

Watchdog warns of ‘systemic problem’ with safety, but rates dropping in other sectors

Conal Keaney celebrates with Ballyboden team-mate Colm Basquel after winning the All-Ireland football club final at Croke Park last March. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Ballyboden St Enda’s medals taken after car window smashed before Christmas

Former golfer Wayne Westner in 1999. File photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

South African was well known in Ireland after opening a golf school in Celbridge

Doctors have warned about potential health risks arising from popular New Year’s ‘detox’ programmes after people had severe reactions to them.

Doctors issue warning about the potential health risks of taking herbal remedies

A spokesman for the Garda said there was an altercation and the woman received a stab wound to her neck

No arrests have been made and gardaí are appealing for witnesses to the incident

Noel Kirwan’s killing has come less than a fortnight after a new command structure for armed Garda units was fast-tracked in response to the deepening feud. Photograph: Frank Miller

‘Monk’ associate the latest victim of bloody conflict sparked by Regency Hotel attack

Belvedere College students and past pupils during the school’s annual sleepout at the GPO, Dublin. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Belvedere College pupils aim to raise €200,000 for charities through the event

An Bord Pleanála has given EirGrid approval to proceed with the North-South Interconnector, which will link the existing electricity transmission network of the State in Co Meath with a planned substation in Co Tyrone. Photograph:  David Sleator

An Bord Pleanála approves EirGrid plans for electricity link from Meath to Tyrone

Under Operation Thor gardaí have increased checkpoints and sought to apprehend gangs linked to break-ins. Photograph: Collins

CSO figures show number of sexual offences rose 6.6% compared to last year

Rising rents have been cited as a major contributor to the State’s homelessness crisis. Photograph: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

Also in the news was corporate tax, growth figures, Brexit, and the Fed’s interest rates

The latest disclosure from Bank of Ireland comes after a previous review by the bank in 2010 led to the restoration of 2,100 customer accounts to tracker rates

Over 4,000 account holders in line for refund after Central Bank review reveals anomaly

By late morning in London, the euro was trading 0.3 per cent higher on the day at $1.0442

Markets had seen little chance of dollar surge before year’s end until Fed rate hike

SBCI chief executive Nick Ashmore (right): “Our new funding arrangements will allow us to support even more SMEs.” Photograph: Dave Meehan

Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland says cash will facilitate ‘growing demand’

Musgrave will initially supply up to 40 own-brand ambient products including SuperValu breakfast cereals, coffee, jam, biscuits and healthy snacks. Photograph: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

Move comes as wholesaler strikes deal with Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba

Characters from Macnas gearing up for the Dublin St Patrick’s Day parade, which is to receive €1 million in funding. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

Key drivers of tourism, chosen events have ‘significant international appeal’

Retailers have seen a measured increase in Black Friday  shopping at discounted prices. Photograph: Stan Honda/AFP/Getty

Retail Excellence says trading is down on last year as Christmas approaches

Brendan McAtamney: his  total package for last year came to just under €1.9 million. His predecessor, Liam Fitzgerald, earned more than €2 million. Photograph: Dave Meehan

Annual report says pay had not been increased in recent years despite profit rise

While industry groups have criticised the tax, the study, published in the Lancet Public Health journal,   concluded it will have significant health benefits, especially among children

Major new study on effects of the tax says it will reduce obesity, diabetes and tooth decay

NUJ secretary Séamus Dooley has said the Republic’s blasphemy laws are ’outdated’. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Séamus Dooley says ‘Charlie Hebdo’ would be in ‘clear breach’ of Irish legislation

The number of patients dying in hospital after presenting with a heart attack has almost halved over the past decade, the first audit of hospital mortality rates has shown. File photograph: Vincent Hazat/PhotoAlto/Getty

Audit reveals significant reduction in number of deaths from the condition in hospitals

Sinéad Higgins and son Oisín were found dead at a house in London.

Bodies of Sinéad Higgins (37) from Co Mayo and Oisín O’Driscoll (7) found at London home

People Before Profit TD Gino Kenny: his Private Member’s Bill on the medicinal use of cannabis was passed in the Dáil without a vote earlier in December. Photograph: Alan Betson

People Before Profit TD behind medicinal cannabis Bill calls Donald Trump ‘a maniac’

Minister for Transport Shane Ross: the group said he  had been “open and sympathetic” to  proposals on northwest roads. Photograph: Dave Meehan

Business leaders ask Minister for Transport Shane Ross to invest in ‘vital lifeline’ to area

Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland chief Nick Ashmore said the agreement “marks an exciting new phase” for  SBCI. Photograph: Dave Meehan

Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland to share credit risk with lenders for first time

Michael Noonan suggested  ECB’s  Mario Draghi, above, would not allow Italian   banks get into difficulty. Photograph: Ralph Orlowski/Reuters

Also in the news was Brexit in numbers, a common corporate tax, and the Central Bank

The Central Bank said the breaches represented “significant failings” at Bray Credit Union. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

Central Bank fines financial institution almost €100,000 following investigation

 Members of the North Inner City Community Choir perform  at the turning on of  Christmas tree lights - commemorating those who have died of  drug-related causes - at the junction of Buckingham Street and Killarney Street in Dublin’s inner city on Thursday, December 8th, 2016. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Stars placed on city tree for 20th year, each one marking loss of family member or friend

Crime rates are continuing to fall in most areas, new figures from the Central Statistics Office show. File photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

CSO data shows gardaí are failing to build strong enough cases to bring proceedings

Peter Ward said Shane Ross’ attack on judges was “an extraordinary event”

Chairman of Free Legal Advice Centres sharply criticises Minister at lecture

 Justice Edwin Cameron, of the South African Constitutional Court,  visiting the FLAC head office in Dublin. Photograph: Derek Speirs.

South African Justice Edwin Cameron says result ‘deeply moving’ for LGBTI people

A member of the Garda Technical Bureau pictured at a scene in Parlickstown, Mulhuddart on Monday night where a shooting took place.Photograph: Dave Meehan/The Irish Times

Victim (38) received up to six gunshot wounds after incident in Mulhuddart

RTÉ’s announcement that it intends to outsource young people’s programming led to a series of “town hall” meetings at the Montrose headquarters

Also in the news were Project Eagle, mortgages, jobs, and economic forecasts

 A view of the  collapsed fourth-floor balcony at an apartment in  Berkeley, California. The collapse led to the deaths of six students, five of them Irish, in June 2015. Photograph: Peter Da Silva/EPA.

Six students died in June 2015 when structure erected by Segue Construction collapsed

United Cinemas International operates 11 cinemas in the Republic. It says the main risk to the business is lower attendances

Directors say they remain confident in business model going forward

Two former Jurys Doyle executives, Seamus McGowan and Richard O’Sullivan, along with accountant Stan Cooney, took over Travelodge’s Irish portfolio in a €22.5m deal in 2004

Deal consolidates Goldman Sachs-backed firm’s place as second largest hotel group

Aileen Donoghue of Virgin Media with  Ottilie Higson and Caroline Keogh of Boy & Girl at the Marketer of the Year 2016 finalists breakfast, hosted by  The Irish Times. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

The three finalists of this year’s Marketer of the Year competition explain their strategies

The unemployment rate for women in November  was 6.1 per cent – down from 6.2 per cent in October. Photograph: Frank Miller

Youth unemployment also slips to 15.5%, according to new CSO figures for November

The four-star Gresham Hotel on O’Connell Street in the Dublin was sold to Spanish company Riu Hotels for €92m.

Report shows Irish hotel investment turnover of €283m across 36 deals this year

There was a decrease of 0.4 per cent in the value of retail sales in October when compared with September.

Largest monthly increase seen in sales of hardware, paints and glass which rose 3.1%

One51 chief executive Alan Walsh said the company would adopt a “cautious stance” on the UK economy. Photograph: Dave Meehan

Statement from plastics company cites ‘strong performance’ of Canadian division

Kainos chief executive Brendan Mooney: underlying market conditions for digital services “remain very positive”. Photographer: Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Belfast IT services company remains confident despite ‘continued uncertainty’

Draper Esprit managing director Brian Caulfield head of private equity Fergal McAleavey with Orla O’Gorman, head of the Irish Stock Exchange: the firm was floated on Dublin and London’s junior markets in June. Photograph: Chris Bellew

Interim results published following Dublin and London flotation earlier this year

Bank of Ireland chief economist Dr Loretta O’Sullivan said Mr Trump’s election following closely after the UK’s decision to leave the EU “looks to have unsettled consumers and firms”. Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg

Bank of Ireland says US election and Brexit ‘have unsettled consumers and firms’

 Tánaiste and Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald has said getting twomen into positions of power and decision-making has been disappointingly slow. Photograph: Collins

Fitzgerald also worried by ‘deeply troubling’ misogynistic rhetoric during US election

Kym Owens from Castleblaney, Co Monaghan who  sustained life-threatening head injuries during an assault in Maynooth Co Kildare last weekend. Photograph: via Facebook

Kym Owens (18) was attacked just metres from her student accommodation on Sunday

The European Digital City Index cited the growing number of tech giants that call Dublin home, including Google, Facebook, Linkedin, Airbnb, HubSpot, AdRoll, Twitter, Amazon and eBay

Capital attracts young tech talent, but digital infrastructure is in bottom 10 of 60-city index

Central Bank governor Philip Lane said he would  intervene in the event of reckless lending as he relaxed the bank’s controversial mortgage rules. Photograph: Eric Luke

Also in the news: the UK’s autumn economic statement, the banks and Project Eagle

Gardaí recorded the largest rise of 5% from €1,191.01 to €1,251.09 in the year to the third quarter

New figures from CSO also show education sector had highest hourly wage

Met Éireann has   issued  status  yellow and orange weather warnings for  Connacht, west Ulster and the midlands for freezing and foggy conditions.

Fog and cold temperatures could persist throughout Friday, says Met Éireann

Tim Bicknell, general manager at RaboDirect Ireland. The company has over 90,000 customers in the Republic, about 6 per cent of which have active investment accounts. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Customers are being offered the option to sell at any time prior to April 24th

Dublin Mid-West TD Frances Fitzgerald said she was delighted to welcome   the 60 Cosmo  jobs to Liffey Valley. Photograph: Eric Luke

Chain says it will try to source all produce and supplies from local distributors

Kym Owens (18), from Castleblaney, Co Monaghan, was walking to her student accommodation in the Moyglare Abbey Estate on the outskirts of Maynooth when she was attacked at about 8.30pm. Photograph: Facebook

Kym Owens (18) suffered ‘serious head injuries’ in violent assault near student digs

Frankfurt in Germany. “Frankfurt is a love at second sight,” gushed Thomas Steffen, the state secretary at the German federal ministry of finance. “But a love that lasts all the longer.” Photograph: EPA/Boris Roessler

Also in the news this week was housing, corporation tax, Aer Lingus and Ryanair

Former Olympic Council of Ireland president Pat Hickey: Bail bond of €410,000 must be paid in order to leave Brazil. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Olympic Council of Ireland will not facilitate the payment required for him to leave Brazil

 Pat Hickey, former president of the Olympic Council of Ireland, has been granted his passport back by a Brazilian judge so he can leave Brazil for medical treatment. Photograph: Alan Betson

Lawyer for former Olympic Council of Ireland chief - ‘unclear’ how bond will be funded

Gardaí at the scene in Rahin Wood, near Carbury in Co Kildare, where the body of Philip Finnegan (24) was discovered by walkers. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin

Dublin man’s remains were discovered by walkers in a Co Kildare wood in September

A peregrine falcon at Randalstown, Co Wicklow. File photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

National Parks and Wildlife Service figures also reveal the number of illegal shootings

The Police Service of Northern Ireland, a coroner and the Prisoner Ombudsman will conduct a full investigation

Prison Service has expressed its sympathy to the prisoner’s family

The puppies have been returned to Ireland and are now in the care of the DSPCA. Photograph: DSPCA/Facebook

Several of the animals are ill and undergoing veterinary treatment in the DSPCA

 Marcin Piotrowski: “Ireland is my home now. We’re building a network with other parts of the country to help integration.”

Marcin Piotrowski wins award for ‘building bridges’ between Polish and Irish people

Web Summit attendees light up  their phone torches. Photograph: Patricia de Melo Moreira/AFP/Getty Images

Business Week: Brexit, corporation tax, rents, Ryanair and the Web Summit

Buds of cannabis at a a medical marijuana dispensary in Oakland, California, US. Minister for Health Simon Harris has promised he will take action on the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes. File photograph: Jim Wilson/The New York Times

Minister makes promise to mother of child with a catastrophic form of epilepsy

The Government has doubled the amount of salt available to clear Irish roads this winter. File photograph: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Minister for Transport doubles the amount of salt available to clear Irish roads

Children in DEIS schools less likely to eat fresh fruit daily compared to those in others schools

HSE-commissioned report finds DEIS students spend more time watching television

There were just over 3,600 properties available to rent nationwide on October 1st report sees no sign of let-up and calls for policy solutions for ‘depressing’ crisis

The assistant to Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary must have the ‘ability to operate without sleep’

Assistant to airline chief Michael O’Leary labelled ‘worst job in Ireland’

Declan Ganley: said dummy “bid boxes” were stolen as they were being delivered, as the correct bid documents were delivered separately  for security reasons.

Rivada Networks launching legal action over failed $7 billion mobile network bid

Diesel vs petrol: in the first 10 months of 2016, seven out of every 10 new private cars licensed were diesel.

Volkswagen was most popular make of new private car purchased in October

The family of Diarmaid Lawlor (32), who was  last seen on Friday, October 28th, at  Synge Street in Dublin are anxious to trace him.

Diarmaid Lawlor (32) was last seen on October 28th at 6pm at Synge Street in Dublin

Khalid Kelly (born Terence Edward Kelly) from the Liberties. Photograph (taken in 2010): Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

Terence Kelly from the Liberties said he wanted ‘black flag of Islam’ over Dáil Éireann

Republican candidate Donald Trump took a one-point lead over Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton for the first time since May in a Washington Post/ABC News tracking poll. Photograph: Zach Gibson and Damon Winter/The New York Times

Also Brexit opportunities, financial improprieties, and unemployment decrease

(Left  to right ) Kevin Staunton, Kate Quinn, Minister for Children Katherine Zappone,  Carrie Staunton and Laura Egan at the launch of the ESRI’s Growing up in Ireland study at Croke Park in Dublin. Photograph: Maxwells.

Major ESRI study shows disparity on education, health, weight, and behaviour

One in 10 17-18-year-olds reported that they had been diagnosed with depression, anxiety or both by a medical professional, the ESRI study found. Photograph posed by models. Photographer: Image Source

ESRI study also finds one in 10 young people diagnosed with depression or anxiety

More than 2,300 household products were involved in poisoning incidents in Ireland last year. There were 344 incidents involving laundry products such as washing powders, liquid detergent products and fabric softeners. Photograph: Yves Herman/Reuters

Household cleaning products and paracetamol among domestic products posing risks

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