Best country house breakfast: Longueville House, Mallow, Co Cork

Awards recognise the people providing the best start to the day, with two castles on the Wild Atlantic Way taking the top prizes

The value of accounts in longer-term arrears over 360 days remains large, amounting to just under €7.9 billion. File photograph: Alan Betson

Central Bank figures show 87% of restructured mortgage holders meeting repayments

Tonnes of perfectly edible food – worth about €700m – ends up in Irish bins every year

Much of the fruit on sale is labelled as being healthy and wholesome. However, most of it comes entombed in plastic, difficult-to-recycle shrouds. Photograph: iStock

It is estimated retailers here produce 80,000 tonnes of plastic waste every year

 Overflowing Dublin City Council rubbish waste bin by the Grand Canal in Ranelagh, Dublin. File photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

Psychologist Prof Paul Wesley Schultz believes it is more about the environment than the individual: people are far less likely to(...)

When dumped or destroyed or otherwise mistreated, the million of tonnes of electronics discarded across the globe every year pose a real and potentially devastating threat to human health and to the well-being of the planet. Photograph: Frank Miller

When recycled carefully, discarded electronics can provide a rich and lucrative seam of precious metals and other raw materials

Funeral director Colin McAteer at Woodbrook Natural Burial Grounds, Killane, Co Wexford, with his own headstone. Photograph: Patrick Browne

Seeking an ethical departure from this world is not that simple

The price of bread and cereals in the Republic could rise by up to 30 per cent in a hard Brexit scenario

Trade barriers would push up retail prices, ESRI finds

The average rent in Dublin city was put at €1,511, while in the Greater Dublin Area  average rents were said to be €1,103. Photograph: Lauren Hurley/PA Wire

Average monthly rent in Dublin, Kildare, Meath and Wicklow is above €1,000, but rate of increase slows in city

Images from the IFI film archive of the Aran Islands in 1939 taken from the Sean Keating Collection which is made up of some of the earliest colour moving images of the islands.

Thousands of hours of film will be safeguarded from decay

When the carpet fitters lifted the old carpet them made a surprise discovery. Photograph: iStock.

Men pulled up carpet and made discovery in two plastic bags

Bank of Ireland  blocked  Oonagh Taffe’s card even though she had informed them she was in New York. Photograph: Frantzesco Kangaris/Bloomberg

Your consumer queries answered: ‘As it was Sunday there was nothing they could do’

Empty shelves in a supermarket during Storm Emma. Photograph: Reuters / Clodagh Kilcoyne

Pricewatch checks out supermarkets’ response to the Beast from the East

Around quarter of a million disposable coffee cups could be diverted from Irish landfill every day if a 15 cent levy on cups was introduced alongside other environmentally friendly measures. Photograph:  iStock

The Government has proposed a new 15-cent levy on most disposable coffee cups to incentivise the use of reusable cups

If Ireland were reduced to a nation of just 100 people, most of us would live a rotund and middle-aged life within the Pale. Photograph: iStock

The bad news is the Ireland of the Hundred would be mostly fat

According to AA estimates, the average motorist is still paying an extra 25.3 per cent for insurance than they were in November 2015. Photograph: PA

Insurance broker AA says Government attention has wavered and reforms stalled

Panda is unlikely to be acting alone and other waste companies are probably going to pass on increased costs to their customers in the coming weeks. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Fees for mixed dry recyclables coming for some consumers from middle of next month

When Dublin was excluded, the rate of increase in the Republic was put at 13 per cent in the year to January.  Photograph: iStock

Latest CSO figures show property in some areas rising by more than 17%

The first doughnut machine was invented in New York City in 1920.

Krispy Kreme is to open its first Irish outlet in the autumn

‘Long-term lead exposure can damage the nervous system and be especially hazardous for children’ - HSA inspector

Ryanair said staff would  be given the opportunity to make up hours lost to the snow. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien / The Irish Times

Most other major employers, including Aer Lingus, will pay staff for days lost

“Today, Facebook reminds us all, every single day, whose birthday it is.” Photograph: Chris Jackson/Getty Images

British computer scientist’s proposal led to transformation of services and data access

Siptu’s organiser for the agriculture, ingredients, food and drink sector Michael Browne said  many of the union’s members working at other meat-processing facilities had been told they would be paid as normal for downtime during Storm Emma. File photograph: Getty Images

Siptu condemns move but Dawn Meats insists arrangements in line with sector norms

“Everything broke down 30 minutes after the technician left, and continued to do so at intervals,” one former Eir customer said.

Former customers describe frustrating experiences with telecoms provider

As Technotronic urged me to ‘Pump Up The Jam’ I considered jumping off the machine and going back to the park

Pounding pavements should have prepared me for a few kilometres on a machine, I reckoned

 Empty bread shelves  in a supermarket in Bath, England, during the recent extreme weather. Photograph: Matt Cardy/Getty Images

Breadmakers express hope that recent concern over loaves will start a long-term trend

Gardaí at the  scene of a damaged Lidl store in Fortunestown Lane, Co Dublin. Photograph: Stephen Collins

West Dublin outlet was damaged using a digger during Storm Emma looting

“My phone rings, I answer it and a recorded female voice says: ‘Please dial the number you are calling.’  It is now wrecking my head and I dread the phone ringing.”

Reader Ann Slaven thought cancelling her account would be easy – she was wrong

Irish Defence Forces cadets help clean up Sallins, Co Kildare: business groups have estimated the cost of the severe weather at over €100 million. Photograph:  Niall Carson/PA

Impact of one most extreme weather events to hit Ireland in 50 years yet to be assessed - Taoiseach

Breathe Right: translucent and almost possible not see in the dimness of a darkened bedroom

We check out four methods for quieter slumber and compare quality and price

When it comes to taking money off those who don’t really have it, the finger of blame can be pointed at companies big and small. Photograph: iStock

Pricewatch: It’s a strange paradox, but the richer you are, the less you have to pay for life’s essentials. Those who can least af(...)

The scene at Sandycove harbour as a lone swimmer walks to the edge as the storm subsides. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/THE IRISH TIMES

Roads and schools in parts of Leinster, and health services nationally, still affected

Ciara Reddan says passengers at Lyon airport were trapped on an escalator without food or water for over an hour.

Poor communication from airlines a common feature of all travellers’ tales

High tide on the Dart line at  Seapoint in south Dublin on Saturday morning.  Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Tomorrow will ‘not be a normal Monday in many areas’, public warned

Irish online fashion retailer saw a  25 per cent spike in sales.

Strong sales across e-tailers were expected to continue over the weekend

A snow covered Dublin Airport. The snow storm has forced the cancellation of hundreds of flights from Irish airports. Photograph: Reuters

At least 100,000 airline passengers need to be accommodated due to flight cancellations

Snow-covered boats on the river Barrow in Athy, Co Kildare. Photograph:  Niall Carson

‘I’m 41, and I can safely say this is the first time I have ever built a snowman’

John Houlden was eight-years-old during the snow of 1947.

There was no fuel and very little food, recalls 80-year-old taxi driver John Houlden

Frosty reception: Disgruntled tourists Gregor Hohmann, Sigrid Stiera and Alexander Lunte from Germany. “The archaeology museum is closed. Why? It is inside for God’s sake,” says Hohmann.  Photograph: Conor Pope

German visitors unimpressed as much of Dublin shuts down due to weather alert

Conor Pope and Paula Mendes stand in the Globe of Death, as Maycon Douglas and Lucius Zafalon ride their bikes during the Cirque Berserk at the Bord Gais Energy Theatre. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

From bikes flying past his head in the Globe of Death to getting knives thrown at him, Conor Pope runs away to a madcap circus

Pedestrians cross the millennium bridge as heavy snowfall hits London on Tuesday. Photograph: AFP

120,000 tonnes of salt at the ready as Beast from the East sets in

Homeowners should consider taking steps to protect themselves and their property from the big chill. Photograph: iStock

The ‘beast from the East’ could cause burst water pipes and slippery paths

Kenny’s Bookshop in Galway was online long before Jeff Bezos set up Amazon

Pricewatch: rather than watch their sales disappear into cyberspace, many Irish retailers are setting up shop on the web – and are(...)

Music shop Waltons closed down this week after more than 20 years on South Great George’s Street in Dublin. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

The more we spend online, the harder it is for shops like Waltons to survive, writes Conor Pope

In 2000, Lidl had less than 10 Irish suppliers: the number now stands at in excess of 200. Photograph: Thomas Lohnes/AFP/Getty Images

Chain spends €500m on produce from over 200 local suppliers

Less than 30%  of Irish retailers have an e-commerce capability on their websites, and 22%  have no online presence at all. Photograph: Getty Images

Retail Excellence Ireland says town centres will struggle to survive if businesses close

The danger of using widely available lice treatments near naked flames has prompted the State’s regulatory authority to issue a stark warning. Photograph: iStock

State agency cautions users of certain treatments after being told of ‘serious incidents’

Last week Ryanair’s ‘guaranteed exchange rate’ was £1 to €1.20. Rates available elsewhere were about £1 to €1.12 Photograph: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

Airline is under fire over its currency conversion option when booking flights

“A great favourite for starters”: Maura Bourke says she was always able to get avocados in the late 1970s

Pricewatch: Some of you begged to differ with our 1980s nostalgia-fest

Frustrated: returning emigrants are being treated like 17-year-old boy racers.

Pricewatch: Insurance companies are making drivers pay for their time abroad

Getting the balance right between chocolate, orange goo, and sponge can be tricky

Going up: a home worth €300,000 at the start of 2017 rose in value by almost €100 every day of last year. Photograph: Aidan Crawley/Bloomberg

Ireland’s property roller coaster is on another crazy climb. Any chance of a soft landing?

Jack Gallagher, from Winter Park in Florida, travelled for the Dublin City Marathon last October. He has still not got his prize.

Jack Gallagher is still awaiting his €125 reward after winning the over-80s category

The Charities Regulator has imposed sanctions on a Donegal-based charity over its failure to keep proper financial records. File photograph: Getty Images

Charities Regulator imposes sanctions on the Good and New Shop over fiscal procedures

Residential property prices in Dublin have increased  87.3%  from their February 2012 low, while residential property prices in the rest of the State are 64.8%  higher than their lowest point in May 2013

House prices in Dublin increase 10.8%, while the cost of apartments climbs 14.7%

The Taoiseach’s last treat. Photograph: @Campaignforleo

Taoiseach posts ‘last treat’ pancake before ‘uber healthy’ Lenten fast

Ned and Eileen Cusack at their home near Moycullen  in Co Galway: ‘We never had too much, but we always had enough.’ Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

Ned and Eileen Cusack, one of Ireland’s oldest married couples, mark their 73rd Valentine’s Day together

Happily ever after? Lower your expectations and it will all work out. Photograph: iStock

Low-key weddings and fewer expectations, according to the dozens of Irish couples interviewed about married life for an RTÉ TV pro(...)

‘We are looking for a social media-savvy local with a love of all things Kildare to showcase the county to a global audience,’ says Co Kildare tourism development manager Aine Mangan. Photograph: Getty Images
Co Kildare seeks a new CEO

The Lily Whites search for first Chief Experience Officer to promote Kildare county

New data from retail analysts Kantar Worldpanel suggests that shoppers are now less inclined to shop around.

Data also suggests shoppers are more interested in vegetarian and vegan lifestyles

A  vintage video game. The gaming world has travelled some distance since the 1980s

Pricewatch: When Houghton put the ball in the English net avocados were not part of our world

The State’s consumer watchdog has been poring over hundreds of thousands of emails and other electronic documents as part of its investigation into ticket-touting. File photograph:  iStockphoto

Consumer watchdog is investigating suspected breaches of law by ticketing agents

Aisling Casey. Photograph: Fred van’t Slot

Surprise win for music collective meant nobody was there to accept prize in New York

“My phone rings, I answer it and a recorded female voice says: ‘Please dial the number you are calling.’  It is now wrecking my head and I dread the phone ringing.”

Pricewatch: Phone and broadband supplier tops the list for most complaints to us

Amazon’s centre in Peterborough, England. A report from Retail Ireland report indicates that events such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday are hoovering up spending in the run-up to Christmas. Photograph: Phil Noble/Reuters

Much revenue from major sales events going to UK-based traders, Retail Ireland says

The couple took out a mortgage with Bank of Ireland in 2003 but it was only when a letter arrived in early January 2018 that they realised they were in line for a windfall. Photograph: Frantzesco Kangaris/Bloomberg

The mortgage-holders were unaware they had been affected by overcharging scandal

The Central Bank is to crack down on so-called commemorative coins. File photograph: Conor McCabe Photography

Bank to act amid concerns over private firms selling medals marking historic events

Sticks, floss and harps: the best value in dental hygiene

Pricewatch opens wide for the best value in tooth floss, sticks and brushes

According to internet conspiracy theorists, the giants of the tech world are using the microphones on our smartphones to listen in to our conversations and then deploy mysterious algorithms to work out what we want. Photograph: iStock

Pricewatch: Conspiracy theories abound but the truth is probably more prosaic

British authorities examine if Ryanair deliberately splitting up groups

Ashford Castle sits on 365 acres overlooking Lough Corrib. Photograph: Keith Heneghan/Phocus

For years, Ashford Castle was in the doldrums – but a €75 million refit has put it back on the map, and it has been winning intern(...)

Low levels of alcohol ’flush the brain of toxins’

New study reports low levels of alcohol flush out brain toxins, including those associated with Alzheimer’s

Dr Padraic Kenna: Guide sets out how existing EU law should be routinely applied. Photograph: Aengus McMahon

Authors say document can also be used by anyone forced off a tracker mortgage or given incorrect interest calculations

Conor Pope doing his warm-up in St Anne’s Park, Dublin. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

After my first attempt to run without a warm-up routine, I was laid low for days

The views of older people in long-term residential care and their families are being sought by the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission. Photograph: iStock

CCPC wants submissions from older people in long-term residential care, their families or representatives

Authority says there is no single test to diagnose food intolerance

Pricewatch reader tells of excellent customer service in Lidl

Debbie Murphy’s problems started when she ordered two grey headboards

On hold for 52 minutes pursuing missing Ikea sofa bed

PTSB: if it believed a man was alive for the last 25 years, why did it never send a debit card in his name during this time? Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Reader query: Conor Pope assists readers with their consumer problems and praises Lidl

Upgrade: Enter a world of champagne and calm and canapés and cutlery.  Photograph: Getty Images/E+

Without paying through the nose, can you escape cramped seats, bad food and wailing babies?

The real measure of companies is not how perfect they are but how they handle customers’ problems.

Some top tips to help businesses stay off our pages

Pricewatch: Overpaying, finding the right plans, and the fear of switching insurers...

Learning the hard way: there is a reason experts tell you to warm up before jogging

Among your new year cost-conscious resolutions, be sure to include contacting Pricewatch with your consumer woes.

Pricewatch: Pay day is a long way off so it's time to make you a more savvy spender

‘I don’t know what a tracker mortgage is.’ You do now, pal

The Crash – 10 years on: habits have been transformed, from switching providers to buying own-brand to shopping online

Michael O’Leary: “We deeply regret any doubt we caused existing customers about Ryanair’s reliability, or the risk of further cancellations.” Photograph: Niall Carson/PA

‘Cock-ups’ and staff revolt put Michael O’Leary under unprecedented pressure

Central Bank governor Philip Lane said there was an issue with the culture of the banking system. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

News review of the year 2017: Many still await redress after almost 34,000 overcharged

Sort the crackers from the turkeys with this review of seasonal supermarket trimmings

Some  Irish-based Ryanair  pilots are to take pre-Christmas strike action. Photograph: PA

If your flight is cancelled you must be offered a refund or a seat on the next available flight

Adjusting the lights on College Street for the Luas. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Malfunctioning traffic lights contribute to city-wide gridlock during morning rush hour

There were delays on sections of the Cross City Luas during its first morning rush hour on Monday. Photograph: Collins

Commuters frustrated as congestion causes early morning delays in Dublin city centre

No one is going to thank you for giving them  a  voucher with ridiculously restrictive terms and conditions for Christmas. Photograph: iStock

Pricewatch: We are being fleeced by unregulated, restrictive vouchers – when will it end?

Rehab lottery:  any prize money won up to December 1st will be paid in full.  Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Charity says lottery was losing money. Radio bingo also ends at 12 stations

Mr Men framed family portrait, €30 unframed, €50 framed, Arnotts

Avoid tears with our tips on secret gift-giving

'Before bed, I tally up the number of times I have used my phone today:  167.'

Conor Pope tracks his smartphone usage for 24 hours to find out how he measures up

Reader Query: Her Eir broadband was useless so she tried to cancel - then the real frustration began

Only 10 per cent of phone users have switched mobile phone handset due to coverage or signal problems and of those, 55 per cent found that switching improved their coverage, compared to 4 per cent who found that their service deteriorated. File photograph: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

Just 62 per cent of people living in very rural areas happy with coverage

 “Social norms will develop over time, and it will be interesting to see if the fear of being without one’s phone – nomophobia – starts to become more widely recognised.” File photograph: iStock/Getty Images.

Just under third of users look at devices when crossing road, Deloitte survey finds

“It’s far from smug and intelligent robot toys that I was reared, but Cozmo – set to be one of the big toys this Christmas – is a small signpost to a changing world.” Photograph: Anki

Once you’re beaten, this toy can sing in a way best described as irritatingly triumphalist

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