Television broadcasters on Abingdon Green in Westminster, London, as a motion of no confidence in the British government was debated in the parliament nearby.  Photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA

Motorists must apply a month before travelling under Irish insurance industry plan

Britain’s prime minister Theresa May makes a statement outside 10 Downing Street after winning a confidence vote. Photograph: Henry Nicholls/Reuters

Jeremy Corbyn rebuffs prime minister’s invite to talks on the UK’s exit from the EU

Bare shelves during the Beast from the East  showed how reliant we are on food from the UK. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

A hard Brexit would hit our beloved UK products, medicines, and online shopping

"The rationale is that tomatoes traditionally have a more stable and much higher yield than peppers, with up to 110 tonnes of fruit per hectare compared to around three tonnes per hectare where chillies are grown." Photograph: Getty Images

If successful, it might eventually yield benefits for cancer patients and those in pain

 Dunnes Stores held on to the largest market share at the end of 2018 as shoppers spent just under €1 billion on groceries in the run up to Christmas.

Dunnes Stores keeps top spot but Lidl and Aldi see greatest market-share growth

Almost 65 per cent of the cost of each litre of petrol sold in Ireland is made up of taxes. File photograph:  PA Photo

Significant reduction in the cost of crude oil has been among main drivers of change

Switch it up for savings in the new year. Photograph: Getty

More of us should shop around for better value energy and mortgage rates

 Dermot and his fiancee were just two days into their holiday at the Portuguese resort of Albufeira when they were confronted by a gang in the resort town. File photograph: Getty Images

Donegal man complains insurance company did not cover cost of theft in Albufeira

Some Bank of Ireland customers have been told they can no longer use their existing cards for contactless transactions, online or abroad.

BoI will not say how many cards have been restricted

Seáneen Sullivan  in L Mulligan Grocer in Stoneybatter, Dublin which she co-owns. Photograph: James Forde

Irish food is much improved but pub grub and ‘the full Irish’ need to smarten up

I have learned that while it is easy to forget kind words and to allow mean ones become corrosive, it’s also pretty easy to let this corrosion go.

Michael Harding returns to this slot next week but, in the meantime, some life lessons

In the shadow of MacGillycuddy’s Reeks, the Black Valley.  Photograph: Tom Fahy

The mountainous region is among Rough Guide’s six best holiday spots for the year

Musician Brendan Keegan delivering a a sean nós dance class to Chinese guests at Glen Keen Farm, Co Mayo. Thousands of Chinese visitors have been to the facility since 2014.

Fáilte Ireland hopes to more than double the high-spending Chinese market by 2025

Pricewatch: putting porridge oats to the test. Photograph: iStock

Four oats go head to head in this penny pinching mission

Tim Fenn of the Irish Hotels Federation believes the Irish accommodation sector is ‘absolutely good value for money’ and the evidence ‘is to be found in the solid growth we have seen over several years’ Photograph: iStock

Almost 1,000 new rooms added to capital’s market last year with 2,500 more on the way

Tourists enjoy the weather and sites in Trinity College Dublin. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Our tourism sector insists it is still competitive, but it is facing a year of dramatic change

Tourists enjoy a tour of Dublin with Viking Splash Tours. Photograph: Robert Alexander/ Getty Images

Last year was a record year for Irish tourism; the next one is looking a little shaky

Agadir in Morocco is likely to feature very highly on many Irish traveller’s plans for 2019.

Where to go, when to book and what to do for your upcoming trips this year

Those who had flown Ryanair gave it the lowest possible rating for boarding, seat comfort, food and drink as well as cabin environment. File photograph: Wolfgang Rattay/Reuters

Irish budget carrier dismisses ‘Which?’ survey as ‘worthless’, citing 141m passengers

EuroMillions lottery winners Frances (centre) and Patrick  Connolly:  won the £114,969,775 million jackpot in the New Year’s Day draw. Photograph: Paul Faith

Holidays, homes, yachts and jets – or acts of decency and generosity? We look at options

Colin Harmon of 3fe Coffee in Dublin. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Price hikes irk customers as VAT increase is passed on by business owners

 The euro turns 20 in 2019, after two tumultuous decades that saw the single currency  become a fixture on the financial markets and in Europeans’ wallets. Photograph: Philippe Huguen/AFP/Getty

Republic’s population embraced currency, then saw anomalies compared to EU

Hot Yoga is a discipline not for the faint of heart File photograph: iStock

Conor Pope: Of all the fads I have tried, it’s the one that leaves me feeling best about myself

  The research from price comparison website found  95 per cent of those polled   worry about their finances. File photograph: iStock

Online study indicates 14 per cent fearful of losing their job in the next 12 months

A punter looks on during racing. Photograph: Donall Farmer

It doesn’t seem the cheery staff member’s advice was heeded, given bookies’ €1.5m haul

Under the terms of its licence the National Lottery is required to pay a minimum of 50 cent in every Euro in prizes. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

The biggest prize paid out this year was €17m EuroMillions jackpot won in Thurles

Last-minute Christmas shopping. Photograph: iStock/Getty

From Andy Warhol socks to skydiving and Exploding Kittens: 37 ideas for every budget

Plans seek to ban companies insisting vouchers spent in one transaction

“One evolutionary zealot told me to let my little girl pull the tree down to teach her not to mess with it again” Photograph: iStock

Conor Pope: I took to Twitter for advice: the consensus was my tree was doomed

Consumer advocate Brendan Burgess said the current system which protects distressed borrowers should be “more or less maintained to protect those who are paying what they can”. Photograph: David Sleator

Lack of evictions forces banks to pass on costs to performing loans, consumer advocate says

Dunnes Stores was Ireland’s leading grocery retailer in the 12 weeks to December 2nd with a share of 22.4 per cent. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Less than one percentage point separates three largest chains, figures show

Lar Corbett’s Coppingers in Thurles was the subject of a complaint in two parts: promoting alcohol in a way that could be harmful; and an image offensive to the complainant as a Catholic.

Advertising watchdog said Dealz campaign unnecessarily objectified men

Just over 10 years ago, making a four-minute call to Ireland while on a Paris trip would have cost as much as € 5. File photograph: PA

Use of mobile data services while roaming in the EU and EEA increased by 435 per cent

New research suggests that as Irish people age, they become less likely to want to do good through their shopping habits. File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

New study suggests younger buyers are more likely to demand higher ethical standards

Flowers at Bell’s Beach where a baby girls body was discovered in Balbriggan North County Dublin. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Gardaí appeal to mother to contact doctor after postmortem finds baby was born full term

At one point your typical Irish home featured a bulky stereo systems, ashtrays galore, VHS cassettes and a budgie. Illustration: Paul Scott

Conor Pope remembers when hallways had telephone tables and beds had blankets?

Flooding in Enniscorthy during Storm Deirdre. Photograph: Liam Ruth/Twitter

Girl (9) hospitalised in Cork city after being struck by falling branch

 Seven in 10 people seek the best value when Christmas shopping, a survey has found. Photograph: Tom Honan.

Survey finds consumers’ altruism can lead to overspending during Christmas period

You never know what you’ll find in the ridiculous room. A small bear for €450? A baseball cap for €175? Photograph: iStock

Conor Pope: I actually have a soft spot for the hardy Christmas annual that is BTs Marvel Room

A screen shot from the official video of Fairytale of New York.

Singer addresses controversy over reference in Pogues Christmas song

Some 16 per cent of respondents said they were ‘just about coping’. Photograph: iStock

Study finds most consumers have funds for current needs but not for unexpected issues

Actor Dónall Farmer

Actor and director played role of Fr Tim Devereux in soap

File image of Brianna Lynch and her Great Danes.

Brianna Lynch’s epilepsy seizures intensified after suspected theft of Great Danes

Reader has lost confidence in MacBook Pro after two breakdowns. Photograph: Lucas Jackson/Reuters/ File Photo

Cancelling cash back deal and when ‘20% off everything’ sale doesn’t mean everything

Candella No 4 Grapefruit

Three grapefruit candles – and one mandarin orange – are put through their paces

An image of what the redeveloped Apollo House building on Tara Street in Dublin will look like. The  site comes with planning permission for a 10-storey over-basement office building.

This was substantially higher than the asking price of €40 million for the 0.72-acre site

A Christmas window at Brown Thomas on Grafton Street, Dublin, this year. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Retail Ireland predicts 3% year-on-year rise in spending by households in Ireland

Aer Lingus confirmed that passengers who failed to switch their phones to flight mode could be hit with unexpectedly high bills, but stressed it was not making any money as a result

Man who left phone on in overhead compartment while flying to US got bill for almost $300

Minister for Enterprise Heather Humphreys. In June, the Minister secured the backing of Cabinet for plans to introduce a minimum five-year expiry date on gift vouchers. Photograph Nick Bradshaw

Changes proposed by Humphreys will not come into effect ahead of Christmas shopping period

Minister of State Sean Kyne said he was pleased his department had reached an agreement setting out a plan for future of the service to the Aran Islands

Owner of Aer Arann Islands had offered to sell it to local communities for sum of €1

 Pope Francis mugs among some of the range of Pope Francis memorabilia and souvenirs on sale at Veritas  earlier this year . Photograph: Bryan O’Brien / The Irish Times

Difficult trading sees more focus on online sales for business owned by Irish bishops

Management at Lillie’s Bordello said they had “exciting plans coming down the tracks”.

Irish ‘celebrity’ haunt had a regular bar as well as a ‘library’ that required a special key

‘What is best for the child must prevail in every case.’ Photograph: iStock

Paper from Irish Foster Care Association says carers should get enhanced supports

Under the traffic light system, the box will have a panel listing energy, fat, saturates, sugars and salt. Photograph: Peter Morris/Fairfax Media

Cereal maker redesigning box for colour-coded ‘traffic light’ ingredient display

In the analysis of more than 80,000 people, researchers found that one quarter of individuals who attempted or died by suicide had problems in basic sensory experiences. Photograph: iStock

Problems in basic sensory experiences include hearing or seeing things that are not there

Dublin City Council staff work to secure a tree blown over by  strong winds in  Dublin’s Merrion Square. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Power continues to be restored to householders as weather front passes

The plan was to walk to school as normal, laughing in the face of the weather, with me singing ‘Singing in the Rain’. Photograph: iStock

Conor Pope: In the world of my two daughters, I’m now as uncool as a pink unicorn umbrella

From Wednesday afternoon there will no longer be a requirement for parents to go to a Garda station to get an application signed. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Passport Office computer system overhaul to dramatically speed up processing times

The number of Irish workers who described themselves as stressed at work more than doubled in just five years from 2010 to 2015. Photograph: Getty Images

ESRI study finds Irish staff are less likely to report time and deadline-related stresses

 A couple enjoy the view over the Upper Lake from the Spink Trail in Glendalough, Co Wicklow. Photograph: Getty Images

Global campaign ‘Fill your Heart with Ireland’ will launch in four countries next month

Six-ingredient supper: Conor Pope's chorizo and chickpea stew

Black Friday was initially welcomed by retailers “who had fallen to their knees in the wake of the economic crash”.  Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

US concept is here to stay, but consumers warned not to assume prices are rock bottom

Black Friday  was brought to this part of the world by the Walmart-owned Asda in 2013 and by everyone else a year later. Photograph: Rob Stothard/Getty Images

An A–Z of the bargains to be found on Friday and over the weekend

The mobile provider said it no longer dealt with that particular insurance company ‘so I was effectively on my own’.

Customer was told insurance company ‘doesn’t cover this type of damage’

Don’t be bullied into taking out a policy at the point of sale. Photograph: Getty Images

Do remember there is a 14-day cooling-off period; don’t go for the cheapest deal

Insurance policies for gadets can save consumers money but can also be confusing. File photograph: Daniel Law/PA Wire

Buyers can be confused over what policies cover, how long they last and when to update them

The Central Bank said the overall price of gadget insurance was not clearly presented

Central Bank finds 21 per cent of consumers do not cancel device policies

“I liked her instantly. We talked about the weather and the traffic jams.” Photograph: iStock

Conor Pope: A humble, wise older woman and an entitled younger woman demanding wine

The research suggests that 20 per cent of Irish adults check their phones within five minutes of waking up, down from 27 per cent in 2017. Photograph: iStock

Deloitte research shows 56% of adults believe they use their smartphone excessively

From the beginning of 2019 the hospitality sector will revert to paying VAT at 13.5 per cent. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Additional cost of about €500 will be borne by many couples having average-sized events

“This is a tax on the health of the people of Ireland,” said the Health Stores Ireland spokesman Matt Ronan. Photograph: iStock

Revenue believes some shops zero-rating supplements that should carry 23% VAT rate

Niamh Mahon, from Dublin, with her New Zealand-born fiance, Rowan Babe, at the Aviva Stadium, on Saturday. “I started crying immediately and I think I might have taken a little bit longer than I should have to say ‘yes’ as a result,” says Mahon.

Rowan Babe says: ‘I’m delighted she said yes but I’m gutted about the match’

Tesco Veggie Steak: “It does not taste bad but nor does it taste good”

Confirmed carnivores unlikely to be impressed – but it’s probably not aimed at them

There are some 66,000 mortgages in arrears in Ireland

Community Action Network says State has lost sight of humanity of arrears situation

Photograph: iStock

Report calls for measures to stop consumers being hit with interest rates of almost 300%

In the new version of the game, well-known landmarks including the Ha’penny Bridge stand alongside commercial enterprises such as the Nord Anglia International School, the restaurant chain Freshly Chopped and Maxwell Photography. Photograph: Hasbro/PA Wire

Game makers accused of ‘lacking transparency’ in selling space to companies

Monopoly, the Dublin edition

Conor Pope: DCU but not UCD. Arnotts over Brown Thomas. Why the odd choices?

A reader’s experience: “This was our first visit to Canada and I have never felt so stressed in all my life, because of not knowing why this happened and finding it very hard to get information on our flights from Aer Lingus.”

Pricewatch: A trip to Canada with Aer Lingus left this couple stressed, out of pocket and unable to get answers

Photograph: iStock

New figures from AIB shows Irish people’s spending habits

Frances McGinnity, lead author of the ESRI report: “Immigrants from Europe and North America are performing very well in the Irish labour market. However, more concerning findings emerge for other groups, including African nationals.”  Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Well-educated western Europeans settling well in Ireland, but African nationals fare poorly

 Selling anything door-to-door on a dark winter’s evening and dealing with grumpy people  can’t be easy. Photograph: iSTOCK

Conor Pope: I didn’t want to let it lie, but I didn’t want to ruin this guy’s life either

This price hike will see SSE Airtricity customer’s average annual electricity bill increase by €61.36 and €52.52 added to their average annual gas bill.

Latest price hike is direct result of rising wholesale costs of energy, company says

The Court of Appeal ruling could see the repossession of some homes speeded up, which could also mean homes that could not be sold because a cloud was hanging over the title deeds can now be sold. File photograph: Getty Images

Judges’ decision could see repossession of some homes speeded up

Almost 85 per cent of Irish people are happy or fairly happy with their work life balance, according to a Eurobarometer study. File photograph: iStock

Eurobarometer finds women slightly less satisfied than men

The soon to be opened George Best hotel on Belfast’s Donegall Square

The hotel will be also named in honour of the late footballer

A survey finds  68 per cent of people polled had been thinking about switching utility or service provider but decided not to do it despite potential savings. Photograph:  iStock finds that despite plans to change utility service providers, most do not bother

With no hair to grey or to lose my head is now much the same as it was 20 years ago. Photograph: Alan Betson

Conor Pope: Shaving my head allowed me to tackle one of aging's obvious signs

Teija Avila from Finland

Runners in Dublin’s 38th marathon recount personal bests and the buzz from the event

 Runners taking part in the SSE Airtricity Dublin Marathon in Dublin’s city centre on Sunday. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Despite the pain, mood among 20,000 runners was euphoric as they crossed finish line

Ryan’s Daybreak and Post Office in the village of Milltown, Co Galway sold the winning ticket for Saturday’s draw.

And the winning numbers are: 14, 24, 30, 38, 40, 45, but no winner of Plus 1 or 2 draws

A general view of runners in the Phoenix Park during the 2018 SSE Airtricity Dublin Marathon. Photograph: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

First runners started at 8.55am and rolling road closures are in place along the route

Leo Varadkar:  “An element of anti-Traveller sentiment” behind at least  some of the vote received by Peter Casey.  Photograph: Tom Honan/The Irish Times.

Taoiseach’s comments come as Fine Gael begin confidence-and-supply talks with Fianna Fáil

File photograph: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

Temperatures could fall to minus 4 degrees in midlands with frost and ice a concern

President Michael D Higgins makes his victory speech afterhis re-election was announced at Dublin Castle.  Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Casey polls strongly to finish second while voters back removal of blasphemy offence

Conor Pope (left) of The Irish Times chatted to members of the public about the candidates in Dublin city centre

Majority unable to identify more than two presidential candidates

Pictured is JiLL, a robot with inbuilt facial recognition software, who greets visitors at real estate firm JLL’s Sydney office.

Expert says ‘perceived unstoppable march of robots coming to take our jobs is overstated’

The bogus email attempts to get Netflix customers’ credit card details.

Bogus phishing email circulating since beginning of this week

“For the majority, this guy seemed to speak a common person’s language,” says Independent Cllr Shaun Cunniffe of Peter Casey. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA

Conor Pope: The perils of having to renew your passport and driving licences all at once

A Ryanair check-in counter at  Dublin Airport. Photograph: Paulo Nunes dos Santos/  New York Times

Airline generates €1.3 billion in revenue from baggage charges and other fees in first six months

One of Oliver Cromwell’s torturers ( Jordan Begley) scares his audience at Vaults Live

Vaults Live takes visitors on a hilarious and gruesome journey through Irish history

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