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

Halloween bonfires: beware of the many dangers. Photograph: Dave Meehan

Fire Brigade highlights dangers in effort to minimise risk around bonfire flames

Dunnes has regained the top spot in the supermarket league.

Aldi leapfrogs Lidl as both record growth while Tesco numbers fall

Dame Street Italian restaurant Nicos is set to close next month. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh/The Irish Times

Well-known Italian restaurant on Dame Street to close doors for last time next month

Most-hated: Japanese knotweed is an incredibly invasive plant

Dubliners feared Japanese Knotweed could damage or devalue homes

Sky in the UK has written to TV providers in US with a deadline for post-Brexit licensing plans

Deputy Fergus O’Dowd (FG) said the capital was in danger of becoming a place ’where only the extremely wealthy live’. File photograph: Eric Luke

Oireachtas committee asks agency to be ‘open and accountable’

Rose Anne ‘Nancy’ Shankey following her second even more successful appearance on the National Lottery’s ‘Winning Streak’ in 2013. Photograph: Mac Innes Photography

Rose Anne Shankey (83) took home €111,000 in previous two times on RTÉ programme

School rules: frivolous subjects like music and art were eschewed in favour of Latin. Photograph: iStock

The threat of mindless violence was never far away in the institutions of old

Wholesale energy prices are almost 50 per cent higher than 12 months ago, according to latest Bord Gáis Energy Index. Photograph: Marcelo Sayao/EPA

Energy index points to fear of future sanctions on oil producers

According to the ESRI, consumers place too much weight on immediate monthly repayments as opposed to costs over the lifetime of a loan. Photograph: iStock

People swayed by top-line figures can end up paying more in the long term

Dark web: 'I could make you physically sick in minutes by showing you stuff now, but the second or the third or fourth time you see it you can get desensitised.' Illustration: iStock/Getty

Conor Pope on the Irish people fighting crime on the internet, and how to protect yourself

Galway City Council workers placing sandbags at the Spanish Arch to prevent flooding by high tides during storm Callum in Galway city on Thursday Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

Warning in place until Orange alert lifted as councils prepare for storm to make landfall

The arrival of Storm Callum. Photograph: Irish Coast Guard

Met Éireann issues updates as gusts of up to 130km/h and flooding are expected

People queue outside the Krispy Kreme outlet in Blanchardstown Shopping Centre. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Conor Pope: Why are people who hate doughnuts joining long queues to buy them?

 Interested groups listen to Paschal Donohoe, deliver the budget at Buswells Hotel, Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Analysis: Smokers will feel the pinch while self-employed receive a reasonable boost

Pro-smokers group Forest Ireland reacted with dismay and said smokers “have been the whipping boys of successive governments for far too long”.

Price hike taking cost of pack of 20 to around €12.70 welcomed and slammed

Last May Tesco in the UK removed the “best before” labels from 70 pre-packed fruit and vegetables.

Move to discourage consumers from binning perfectly edible food

Irish taxpayers will have just €5 extra – at best €7 – a week to spend in 2019. Photograph:  Martin Keene/PA Wire

Conor Pope: Eat in Chapter One (once). Add 1.5 days to your holiday. Paint a small room

Lidl is also trial more upackaged fruit and vegetable options with over 25 per cent of its fresh produce range now packaging-free.

Supermarket taking all single use platic items like straws and disposable cutlery off shelves

A food stand at Semple Stadium, Thurles, was hit with a closure order in September.

Semple Stadium food stand among outlets served closure orders last month

People queue at 6.30am for the opening of   Krispy Kreme in Blanchardstown. Photograph: Leon Farrell/Photocall

Queues for Krispy Kreme; Louis Vuitton sales up – are we throwing caution to the wind?

School Excellence Fund has already seen work done in clusters on wide ranging ideas

Kylie Minogue has promised to buy her fans Guinness.

Singer hit by throat infection to play 3Arena and SSE Arena on December 3rd and 5th

The cost of a crèche in rural Ireland might be as little as €550 a month or in excess of €1,200 a month in Dublin.

Does creche, au-pair, relative or stay-at-home parent make most financial sense?

“Details of hell enclosed, well worth reading! Understand many go there and there is much crying and wailing! So terrible.” Illustration: iStockPhoto

Conor Pope: I’ve broken most of the commandments at one stage but didn’t think I would be damned for this

There was initial reluctance to the pedestrianisation of Grafton Street. Photograph: Dermot O’Shea/The Irish Times

From bikes and trams to tunnels, the Dublin transport system has had its fair share of critics

The new data for the first time draws a distinction between existing and new tenancies and shows a substantial divergence between rates of increase for sitting tenants and those looking to rent for the first time. Photograph: iStock

Residential Tenancies Board says rent registry would bring ‘transparency’ for new tenancies

The average rent in the greater Dublin area  is now €1,587, a monthly increase of €128 over a 12-month period. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Average monthly rent in Dublin nears €1,600

Non-medical expenses including overnight accommodation and travel costs can become “an enormous financial burden

Non-medical costs for parents can top €10,000 annually

There is nothing pleasing in Conor Pope’s letterbox. Photograph: iStock

Conor Pope: I hadn’t paid, but is there really a need for all the red ink and capital letters?

Hotel of the year:  Adare Manor, Adare, Co Limerick

‘Frighteningly high prices’ put Ireland in danger of losing ‘hard-earned reputation as a value destination’

An Post has a plan which will see it enter the Irish mortgage market next year. Photograph: Getty Images/iStockphoto

First-time buyers and mortgage-holders alike should care about the State firm’s plans

A Google sign in Shanghai, China, September 17th, 2018. Reuters/Aly Song

Google, which turns 20 this week, has ruined medicine, map-making and pub quizzes

Leaky golf shoes: if a product proves to be faulty and a replacement given under warranty, the warranty clock never resets to zero. Photograph: iStock

Two queries illustrate the limits of warranties and the intricacies of mistaken prices

Give your toast the butter it deserves, with a little help from Pricewatch

An Post: the move will significantly shake up the Irish mortgage market. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien / The Irish Times

Offers will be available to both new and switching mortgage holders

Of the 2,000 people polled, 60 per cent said it was harder to find a suitable home than it was this time last year with 58 per cent accepting they would have to compromise about the type of home they bought. Photograph: Alan Betson

Process of buying a house is one ‘to be endured rather than enjoyed’

Study based on analysis of the Property Price Register reveals sales volumes in Dublin were more than twice the national average, with the value of sales in the capital up by 26 per cent. Photograph: File picture from Getty Images

Value of sales across State grew by almost 20% compared with same period last year

The Irish countryside is many things – cold, wet, grey, green, remote, wet, barren, cow-filled, morose, stoney, wet, brown... Photograph: iStock Photo

A new report named Ireland’s countryside as a top romantic spot to take a seflie. Conor Pope disagrees

The research commissioned by the Health Insurance Authority  provides a benchmarking comparison of the Irish healthcare system against those in Australia, Belgium, Germany and the UK. Photograph: Getty Images

Author says long waiting lists mean people treated at later stage in illness, at higher cost

Mary Berry said  people responded to Storm Ali ‘in a very Irish way and were very cheerful about it’. File photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

'Great British Bake Off' star says: ‘I was brought up on Irish Stew’

High winds knocked down trees and tore down power cables close to the Beechwood station  in Ranelagh, Dublin 6. File photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Planes, trains and trams all cancelled due to high winds

''And you have the house babyproofed,' the nurse said. Have I what?' Photograph: iStock

Conor Pope: Now that our little one is crawling it’s all about hardcore babyproofing

“I’m forever getting involved in altercations with randomerrs over injustices I perceive”

A recent row in Dublin Zoo involved a child feeding broccoli to the sealions.

John Mulcahy at home in Ranelagh with his dog Bonnie in 2009. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh/The Irish Times

Trinity graduate started ‘Phoenix’ in 1983 and edited satirical magazine for many years

Barney Cully of Cully’s Craft Bakery, Ava, Co Cavan as he gets ready for National Bread Week, which starts on Monday.

More than 40 per cent of those surveyed said bread made them feel happy

Barry John Crowe from Cavan who holds the record for the most sausages made in a minute in the lastest  Guinness World Records. Photograph: PA

Guinness World Record holder Barry John Crowe started making sausages at the age of eight

Only 40% of millennials believe they will be financially better off than their parents, while only 31% think they will be happier. Photograph: iStock

Survey finds most young people think they will have less money than older generation

 The puppeteer, Eugene Lambert. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh / THE IRISH TIMES

From ‘Wanderly Wagon’ to the Safe Cross Code, the theatre is full of memories for children of the ’60s and ’70s

The most common virus detected on  security trays was the rhinovirus which causes the common cold. Photograph: i Stock

Dublin Airport says security trays are ‘cleaned on a continuous cycle’

My gang: The Boomtown Rats. I can vividly recall watching the band performing Lookin’ After Number One on The Late Late Show in 1977. Photograph: Fin Costello/Redferns

Conor Pope: The Boomtown Rats, Bowie, Toasted Heretic, Shakira, Cyndi Lauper and, ahem, Gary Glitter

A basket of leading consumer food brands in Ireland.

Drinks firm leads ‘Checkout Magazine’s’ Top 100 Brands survey for 14th year running

No reputable organisation will ever contact a customer seeking details such as passwords or bank account numbers.

Activities of criminals targeting vulnerable people are becoming wearyingly familiar

Students starting college for the first time this September have been warned of the dangers which may be found in their new homes. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

NSAI urges students to ensure their housing meets health and safety requirements

DHL had noted the shipment was delivered on July 16th but I had not received it. Photograph: Ralph Orlowski/ Bloomberg

‘I ordered the bed because I need it, why can’t they now send me out another one?’

The company refused to let the customer speak to a supervisor.

‘I’m 54 and in all my time I have never experienced anything like it’

Several other readers have been in touch with us in recent months with very similar stories. File photograph: Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images

‘My heart sinks at the thought of ringing again and going around in the same circles’

Flight attendants Megan La Salle from Philadelphia and  Christy Parks from Delaware soaking up the All-Ireland atmosphere in the Big Tree pub. Photograph: Conor Pope

Northerners’ pre-match nerves turn out to be justified as Dublin cruise to four-in-a-row

 Irish Rail is to reduce the number of trains stopping at the  town’s station from 12 to 9 between 6.00am and 9.30am on weekdays. File photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

Move prompts anger among local commuters who say service is already over-crowded

We got a response from Liberty which was remarkable only for the manner in which it completely ignored its customer’s concerns.  Photograph: Alan Betson

Liberty’s revealing response shows a blasé attitude to customer’s concerns

Consumers who shop online have more rights than those who shop in regular shops. Photograph: iStock

Under EU law, consumers are entitled to a full refund which includes the cost of delivery

Parents contribute about €46 million a year to schools, and many parents have said they feel pressurised into doing so.

Fine Gael promised us free school books more than 80 years ago. We’re still waiting

An extra hour of daylight in winter would see energy costs and carbon emissions fall. Photograph: Brian Snyder/Reuters

Businesses and schools to open and close in darkness for months if EU ends clock change

The proportion of people with access to the internet at home has remained steady at 89 per cent, with the vast majority using smartphones to go online, the research found.

Hundreds of thousands see no need, feel they lack skills or live in area not linked to web

C Pope Image uploaded directly

Conor Pope feared he boarded the property rollercoaster too late when he bought his Stoneybatter home, turns out it was just geari(...)

Michelle Fowler at home in Enniscorthy, Co Wexford. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Permanent TSB says retired garda’s job was to find location of people

Minister for Sport, Shane Ross. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Disadvantaged areas set to receive higher priority following Wesley grant controversy

There was a dress for an eight-year-old with a price tag of £5,050 – and no, that is not a misprint. Photograph: Istock

Despite my outrage at the prices, I resolved not to leave without buying at least one thing

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