Shoppers walk past a Black Friday event in London, England. Photograph:  Rob Stothard/Getty Images

Shops are questioning whether the sales event is more trouble than it’s worth

The new figures from the Central Statistics Office (CS0) show house prices in Dublin climbed by 1 per cent last month.

Dublin prices 34.9 % lower than at peak while outside capital they are 36.3% lower

Some well-known people tell Conor Pope about their best and worst gifts ever

Kevin Thompson, chief executive of Insurance Ireland, called for steps to address the increasing cost of motor claims. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Most drivers will end up paying around €300 more for a comprehensive policy

From the beginning of next year Greyhound will begin moving domestic customers from an annual payment to a monthly direct-debit system. Photograph: Alan Betson

Customers advised by email and post of monthly direct-debit system, says company

Describing his mammy as “amazing” and “a complete inspiration.” Baz was pleasing humble after the win.

50 Ways To Kill Your Mammy was awarded an International Emmy last night

The latest poll from the Irish League of Credit Unions (ILCU) might give retailers pause for thought. It suggests consumers will spend an average of €563 this Christmas, compared with €600 last year. File photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Credit Union poll suggests average spend of €563 this Christmas compared to €600 in 2014

The latest supermarket share figures from Kantar Worldpanel in Ireland show SuperValu growing its share of the market by 2.5 per cent over the 12 week period to November 8th.

Dunnes close to relegating Tesco to third place

Under pressure: SuperValu, Dunnes and Tesco face stiff rivalry from Lidl and Aldi. Photograph: Dave Meehan

Supermarkets changed dramatically in the recession, but so did consumers

Conor Pope: not SuperValu’s idea of competent. Photograph: Dave Meehan

Checkout staff notice changing consumer habits long before the statisticians do. Our correspondent goes behind the till to see ho(...)

New York City restaurateur Danny Meyer is calling time on tipping across his 13 restaurants in favour of higher wages for all staff, funded by significantly higher prices on all his menus.  Photograph: Sonia Moskowitz/Getty Images

One New York restaurateur is trying to end the famous US tipping culture by increasing wages and menu prices

Europe-wide move: the European Parliament supports fair practices for farmers and other retail suppliers. Photograph: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

Retailers should be made to reveal their profit margins, says the MEP

For the person who’s got everything, you’ll find the perfect gift here

Three million standard chickens are sold in Ireland each week, as well as 65,000 free-range chickens. Photographer: Dara Mac Dónaill

Sales of chicken have rebounded after the recession and global food safety scares, and cheap poultry has become a loss leader for (...)

The annual cost of owning and maintaining a family home has fallen for the first time in four years, according to a new survey. File photograph:  Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

AA Home Insurance research finds that those in negative equity are still suffering

The Irish have more disposable income as a result of jobs growth and greater availability of credit. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Sales of cars, houses and furniture have increased in 2015, says Consumer Market Monitor

Flac director general Noeline Blackwell: said there must be an independent and fair system of identifying what is a mortgage solution. Photographer: Dara Mac Dónaill

Little progress made on tackling arrears issue, says legal advice organisation

Greenpeace activists demonstrate at the entrance to the Volkswagen (VW) plant in Wolfsburg. Photograph:  Peter Steffen/Getty Images

Competition and Consumer Protection Commission ‘deeply concerned’ on CO2 disclosure

A screengrab from a video recording of the incident involving gardaí and protesters at the Ashdown Park Hotel in Gorey on Thursday.

GSOC opens independent investigation into protest at distressed property auction

Ministers Micheal Noonan and Alan Kelly in Phibsboro earlier this week to announce the new rules governing rent. Photograph: Cyril Byrne.

Will the measures to deal with the housing crisis help tenants or landlords or both?

 The IPOA has accused the Government of abdicating its responsibilities towards people who need social housing by attacking a soft target instead. Photograph: Frank Miller /	The Irish Times

Legislation may be unconstitutional, says Irish Property Owners’ Association

Mick Byrne of the Dublin Tenants’ Association said it welcomed moves that would reduce the frequency of rent increases, but the proposed legislation would not curtail ‘the extent or amount’ by which rents could climb. Photograph:  Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Large firms take strategic view of State plans for residential rental sector

Cosumer spending continues to increase. Photograph: Alan Betson

October saw biggest increase in spending in past 14 months

The survey shows the number of Irish people with a smartphone has almost doubled in the last three years.

One in five go online practically every waking hour of the day

Independent News & Media has said it will act as guarantor for GrabOne

Company says decision to shut site made for commercial reasons

No matter how much pocket money a child gets, they should always be taught to put aside 10 per cent

We want to shelter our little ones from the crassness of commerce, but teaching them how to manage money can equip them for later (...)

Price discounting remains a prominent feature of the Irish retail landscape. Photograph: Frank Miller

New report suggests bounce from tax cuts will boost consumer spending by 3.5 per cent

Neil Reid with his finished baked tarts .Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Neil Reid, ‘Great Irish Bake Off’ contestant and baker of cakes for his colleagues, reveals the ups and downs of appeari(...)

Colm Hughes with his U2 hedge in Malahide. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Where some just see hedges, topiary obsessives in suburbia see a chance to create amazing living sculptures – the dafter the bette(...)

A Bank of Ireland sign in Dublin. The bank has been forced into a partial climbdown over planned transaction limits. File photograph: Julien Behal./PA Wire

Bank was widely condemned for planned restrictions on over-the-counter dealings

The Bank Of Ireland on College Green in Dublin. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

New limits on how much customers can withdraw or lodge over the counter

Sources working across the Irish banking sector have expressed confusion and surprise over Bank of Ireland’s unilateral decision to impose severe restrictions on the amounts customers can lodge or withdraw over the counter across its branch network.

Confusion and surprise across industry over limits announced by bank

Bank of Ireland is to restrict over-the-counter cash withdrawals and lodgements at branches from later this month. Photograph: Getty Images

Minor climbdown sees bank say staff will help ‘vulnerable’ clients deal with new cash policies

The number of current accounts in the Republic fell from over 5.4 million in 2013 to a little under 5.3 million in the middle of the summer.

Less than 5,400 customers avail of facility

Paddy Cosgrave, co-founder of the Web Summit with Taoiseach Enda Kenny at the event last year. Mr Kenny will not be attended the event this year, the last in Ireland for at least three years. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Invitation to ‘Deputy Kenny’ for event opening on Monday sought RSVP by 1pm Sunday

Hollywood star  Eva Longoria at the 2014 web summit at the RDS in Dublin. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Emailed invite late on Friday evening fails to take account of Kenny’s diary commitments

One emergency call every 40 seconds, with 205 bonfires and 30 assaults attended

Santa Claus school in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, last week: It’s easy to forget what Christmas is about, which is Santa Clause travelling to Bethlehem and climbing down the stable’s chimney. Photograph: Vanderlei Almeida/AFP/Getty

We’re all for legislation prohibiting talk of Christmas until the beginning of December, but if you can’t beat ’em . . .

 Dublin Fire Brigade launches its Halloween campaign.  File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Staff will keep public informed on its progress throughout the night on social media

In this photo taken in October  2015, the Russian airline Kogalymavia’s Airbus A321 with a tail number of EI-ETJ on an airstrip of Moscow’s Domodedovo international airport, outside Moscow, Russia. Photograph: Marina Lystseva/AP

Plane in which 224 died was flown by Russian airline but registered in Dublin

 Aldi’s attempt to gain anonymity in a court case concerning a faulty product backfired. Photograph: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

Issue: When requests for invisibility cloaks are taken in vain by corporations

The National Transport Authority said on Friday the cost of  many fares for Dublin Bus, Irish Rail, Luas and Bus Eireann passengers will rise from December.

Dublin Bus, Irish Rail, Luas and Bus Eireann introduce rises, authority says some fares will fall

Marian Finucane’s Saturday show was the brightest star in the RTÉ stable gaining 23,000 listeners over the last three months taking the programme’s total listenership to 396,000, according to the JNLR figures. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times.

Twenty most popular shows on Irish radio now all aired by State broadcaster - JNLRs

Aiden Cotter of Bord Bia pictured presenting an award to Tom Burgess of Coolattin Cheddar for their Mount Leinster Clothbound at the Irish Cheese Awards at The Grainstore, Ballymaloe House in Cork. Photograph: Diane Cusack

Tom Burgess accepts Supreme Champion prize at Irish Cheese Awards in Co Cork

A sign promoting the rounding scheme at a Spar shop in Dublin. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Scheme aims to reduce dramatically the number of 1c and 2c coins in circulation

Rain or no rain: Dublin is up there as one of the hottest destinations and experiences for the year ahead...say Lonely Planet.  Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Check the map: Quito and Kotor top ‘Lonely Planet’ hottest trends ahead of ‘bouyant’ Dublin

A young woman in Halloween costume speaks on her phone. A complete ban on roaming charges in the EU will take effect on June 15th, 2017. Photograph: Franck Robichon/EPA

Don’t call yet ... while decision has been made charges will not be removed until June 2017

There are more than 25 billion one and two cent coins in circulation across the EU, costing more than €400 million. Photograph: Ulrich Baumgarten via Getty Images

It’s farewell to one and two cent coins as the Central Bank prepares to send the expensive discs to the ha’penny place

U2 tickets were going for a premium on Seatwave. Photograph: Jordi Vidal/Redferns

A reader is unhappy about the going rates for tickets on Ticketmaster-owned resale site Seatwave

Conor Pope walking on fire for Debra Ireland: “As that heat hits my face hard I frantically try to recall the upbeat motivational exhortations by the firewalking trainer.” Photograph: Jason Clarke

The bed of embers in front of me is hotter than 500 degrees. If this madness wasn’t to raise money for the rare, painful skin cond(...)

Your retirement income may come from a variety of sources but pension funds are likely to be the most tax efficient. Photograph: Thinkstock

The world of finance is growing more complex, putting more pressure on trustees

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin. Photograph: Sara Freund

Tax relief on pension contributions has been retained at marginal rate of income tax

The centrepiece of what is  undeniably the most consumer-friendly budget since the dawn of the age of austerity is the widely anticipated cut in the main Universal Social Charge rate.

Quintessential election budget must be assessed in light of cuts post-2008, however

Customer was told that an 18-month term had been applied

Plus: former VHI customer told to wait eight weeks for refund

A screengrab of the Dublin Well Woman Centre advert which Facebook refused to allow as a post.

Social media firm told Well Woman Centre the original decision was an error

Shoppers on Grafton Street, Dublin. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Recovery taking hold and consumer sentiment rising each month, conference hears

A Retail Ireland conference has heard that consumers will soon have to wait no longer than an hour for online purchases to arrive on their doorstep. Photograph: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Amazon and eBay will automatically place orders for customers in future, event hears

 Banking and Payments Federation of Ireland figures show a decline in mortgage approvals and drawdowns for the first time in two years

Central Bank rules capping mortgages at 80 per cent makes it harder to buy homes

A screengrab of the Dublin Well Woman Centre advert which Facebook refused to allow as a post.

Advert features line drawings of woman with breasts exposed to explain correct examination

Just under 800,000 people have applied for the Water Conservation Grant. Photograph: Thinkstock

Flood of calls over conservation grant as 800,000 people make contact

Views on being sought on  legislative changes that would mean all restaurants would have to publish comprehensive details of the calories of the food they serve.

Public views sought on legislation that will make menu calorie counts mandatory

Investigation found some aspects of’s arrangements restricted price competition

A budget boost would mean more disposable income for hard-pressed consumers. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

We should see an increase in take-home pay but interest rate rises could cut it back again

With these changes Ní Ógáin can cut her outgoings by €51 while not noticing any appreciable difference to the quality of her life. Photograph: Getty Images

Pricewatch proposes a few changes and helps Bernadette Ní Ógáin save €600 a year

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan: Is likely to freeze property tax at existing level. Photograph: The Irish Times

Cuts to the Universal Social Charge will have most impact on people’s take-home pay

“The latest figures confirm that the Central Bank borrowing rules have had a dramatic impact on house price inflation in the dearest parts of the country,” said author of the report economist Ronan Lyons.

Borrowing rules cited for impact on house inflation

Lead piping excavated from a driveway in Sandymount, Dublin last August after it ruptured causing a leak. Photograph: Frank Miller.

Helpline to operate extended hours ahead of Thursday’s cut-off for conservation grant

Aoife Ryan: ‘I have no loyalty to any supermarket and will shop in them all, from Lidl to Avoca.’ Photograph: Alan Betson

In our continuing series on Ireland’s stubbornly low disposable incomes, a panel of experts advises on ways to increase your dispo(...)

The Weekend Read: Although our economy grows stronger, disposable incomes in Ireland remain stubbornly low. This new series advise(...)

There are 1,620 sets of traffic lights in the Dublin region across all four local authorities, and the red light running campaign launch has said  road users put themselves at great risk by driving, cycling or crossing through red lights every day.

Pre-Christmas campaign aims to reduce number and severity of city traffic incidents

An Post handles 2.5 million pieces of correspondence every day. All told, 90 per cent of it is either business-to-business or business-to-consumer. File photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

National postal services handles 2.5 million pieces of correspondence every day

The variable rate cut takes the bank’s standard rate to 4.25 per cent

Variable rate mortgages of Irish banks have come under increasing scrutiny recently

The NSAI stressed that a wrongly-calibrated meter does not necessarily mean people were deliberately trying to overcharge customers. Photograph: Cyril Byrne / The Irish Times

NSAI inspects 128 complaints by consumers over inaccurate weights, measurements

The rise is part of a major overhaul of its dealings with distressed borrowers. Photograph: Getty Images

People with unsecured borrowings of up to €35,000 will be able to get write-offs

The survey, in conjunction with Davy, says the average price for  properties is €205,000 and €286,000 in Dublin

Price of Dublin new listings drops by 0.1% in third quarter, the first decline in three years

Health insurer says first price rise in 20 months is needed to cover cost of claims

A Team Hope shoebox. Photograph: Team Hope

Arsen Khachatryan arrives in Ireland to meet Claire Fahy, who sent him gift as a child

Portions of the Martian surface shot by Nasa’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter show many channels  on a scarp in the Hellas impact basin, in this photograph taken January 14th, 2011 and released by Nasa on  March 9th, 2011. Scientists have found the first evidence that briny water may flow on the surface of Mars during the planet’s summer months, a paper published on Monday showed. File photograph: Nasa/JPL-Caltech/ University  of Arizona/Reuters

New discovery takes scientists tantalisingly close to uncovering actual life on Red Planet

The latest Kantar Worldpanel figures show Tesco – which remains Ireland’s biggest supermarket – returning to growth for the first time since March 2013. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Lidl and Dunnes enjoy strong sales figures

A giant screen at the 2015 Internet of Things Solutions World Congress in Barcelona in September. Photograph: Josep Lago/AFP Photo

Smart pills, driverless cars and fridges that know what you need to stock up on: everything is about to become connected in what s(...)

Gardaí have received reports of vishing scams  where the targets have lost more than €38,000. Photograph: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg.

Gardaí warn ‘vishing’ scams are on the rise with reports of victims losing thousands

Newstalk denied an  advertising campaign had encouraged the use of bad language but had been “a play on words to get across the message that they were determined to get to the bottom of important news stories and be truthful to their listeners”. File photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

Some people complained to ASAI that language used was ‘coarse, vulgar and offensive’

Irish teenagers appear more likely to be the victims of cyberbullying that teens in other countries a new survey has revealed. Photograph: Thinkstock

Two thirds of young people said online victimisation was worse than face-to-face

Twitter users expressed general disquiet at the manner in which Irish Water was set up and criticised  how it was being run

People take to social media to express their main concerns about controversial utility

The new Code of Standards for Advertising and Marketing in Ireland features a new section on gambling

When complaints about advertisements are made and upheld, a rap on the knuckles is unlikely to cause a company much concern

U2 on stage. File photograph: Ian West/PA Wire

Bank of Ireland customers who bought ‘paperless’ tickets need old cards for gig

The 10th International Plain Conference heard  communication in the health sector was frequently a matter of life and death - and fear of litigation rather an attempt to communicate effectively was behind much of the language in correspondence and on packaging. File photograph: Getty Images

Conference on clearer language hears communication often a matter of life and death

Conor Pope: ‘Today, Michael O’Leary, I’ll be wearing a suitcase coat.’

Good news: one doesn’t need to carry 40 coats – you need 40 pockets in one coat

The Greenhouse in Dublin has been awarded a Michelin Star, according to the official Twitter account of the celebrated dining guide. Photograph: David Sleator/The Irish Times.

Thornton’s loses out as Belfast eateries Eipic and Ox also recognised

Householders who have registered with Irish Water and applied for the Water Conservation Grant through the Department of Social Protection will start receiving the €100 payment this week. Photograph: The Irish Times

People do not have to prove they have paid their water bills in order to receive grant

Directors confer after the main part of the Eircom annual general meeting in the RDS in Dublin. Photograph: Frank Miller

The telecoms company is about to announce a shiny new name, but will it press our buttons?

Motorists are set to pay around €300 per year more for a comprehensive policy in 2016 than they did in 2014. Photograph: Getty Images.

Most drivers will be paying about €300 more for a policy next year than in 2014

 Former taoiseach Bertie Ahern leaving the Oireachtas banking inquiry on July 16th, 2015. File photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

Just over 7,000 people watch ex-taoiseach issue something of an apology for role in collapse

U2 will finish their current world tour in Ireland. Photograph: EPA/Alessandro Di Marco

Reselling websites already listing tickets, most expensive priced at almost €3,700

Photograph: Thinkstock

Ireland has the highest excise duty on wine in the EU. Wine sellers are angry, but alcohol awareness groups want the tax increased(...)

Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Plus: takeaway coffee campaign to help humanitarian crisis

Larry Mullen, The Edge, Bono and Adam Clayton on stage during the U2 concert at Turin’s Pala Alpitour Arena as the band kicks off their European leg of their Innocence and Experience tour. Photograph: PA

Tickets for Belfast and Dublin gigs go on sale through Ticketmaster on Monday at 9am

Ulster Bank has announced plans to cut its mortgage rates for both new and existing customers

New variable rate cut depends on the loan-to-value ratio home owners have

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