“I selected the ‘your conscience’ voice setting for my next run, fully expecting it to pepper my runs with reminders of all the ways I had failed at life.” Photograph: Alan Betson

It gave me updates in a plummy English accent – like Brexit in the palm of my hand

More than 2.2 million people in the Republic now have health insurance policies, according to the Health Insurance Authority.

The health insurance market is packed with hundreds of plans from three key players

Nóra Quoirin  went missing in a Malaysian rainforest resort. Photograph: Quoirin Family/AFP/Getty Images

Couple says suggestions Nóra wandered off by herself are ‘absurd’

Washing clothes at 20 degrees rather than 40 degrees saves approximately 66% of the energy used per load. Photograph: iStock

Study finds clothes washed in colder water last longer, with less energy used for cleaning

Conor Pope in Perpetua Fitness on Windmill Lane, Dublin. Photograph:  Nick Bradshaw

My knee has recovered, and I have new runners, so I set off for Phoenix Park

Clamped car.  Photograph: iStock

Pricewatch: Posh frock horror in Wexford, BA’s no-show policy proves costly for reader

The mirrored room is lit by red neon strips, and I look around in awe as he explains how Shred and Tread worksPhotograph: Nick Bradshaw

'Over and over again he tells me that if I want to have a lean physique, I will need a time machine'

In one outlet a live rodent in an exposed cavity wall in in the basement storage room next to refrigeration and freezer units was found. File photo.

Six establishments issued with FSAI closure orders in December including Lidl branch

Breaking EU consumer laws on large scale may result in a company suffering a big fine – at least 4% of annual turnover.  File photograph: Getty

Consumer rights advanced via compensation for victims of unfair commercial practices

I make the wrong choice. I run in my Converse

Don’t go for a long-distance run in Converse, even if your runners have been stolen

Selfie

Selfies, contactless payments, storm names and Netflix - what have the 2010s given us?

Conor Pope is following the 10km Get Running course and will be writing weekly about how he is getting on. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times.

After agreeing to the challenge I limped home after less than 3km. I have a long way to go

Niall Wynn, owner of Proper Order Coffee Cafe Haymarket, Smithfield, Dublin with one of his compostable coffee cups. In November Minister for Climate Action and Environment Richard Bruton launches a public consultation on levies on single-use coffee cups. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Food scares, Brexit fears, rising costs, and how to cut a pineapple

A Revenue spokesman said  the changes would result in ‘significant efficiencies’ in the accuracy and transparency of tax details. File photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

Employment Detail Summary to take place of old paperwork with real-time information

Disney’s Star Wars is among the media giant’s crown jewels. Photograph: EPA

Move comes ahead of launch of Disney+ streaming service

Jockey Rachel Blackmore, who won the Racing Post Novice Chase at Leopardstown on Thursday, and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Varadkar among crowd of 13,000 attending first of four days of racing at Dublin venue

Hundreds queuing outside Brown Thomas on Dublin’s Grafton Street in the rain. Photograph: Conor Pope

Shoppers queue outside shops in search for sales bargains

Nordmann Firs – which are the most popular Christmas tree – absorb carbon from the air while they’re growing. Photograph: iStock

‘Virtually no waste’ when real trees are recycled properly, says owner of Christmas tree firm

We have said this before and we will say it again, something is only ever worth buying in the sales if you actually need it and will get real use out of it

Many shops have lost the ability to retail, and have replaced it with deep discounting

Mossie Saich is in his 70s and missing from his home in Mitchelstown

Man with dementia in his 70s last seen in Mitchelstown on Friday evening

The new year could see the closures of hundreds of restaurants, cafes and coffee shops across the country.  Photograph: Getty Images.

Donohoe rules out Government assistance after four firms announce plans to withdraw

Ryanair has achieved an unenviable four in a row after again being declared the worst short haul airline in a survey carried out by one of the leading consumer watchdogs in Europe. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Which? Travel survey rates Aer Lingus highly but marks Ryanair andf BA down

Robert Fitzsimons on his Cork farm with   his son Robert jnr. He fears there is little for his son when it comes to making a living as a poultry farmer. Photograph: Dan Linehan

‘A huge amount of work goes into producing a turkey and it is absolutely ridiculous to see them for sale for as low as €8.99’

News that car insurance has climbed by more than 40%  over the last decade will hardly come as a surprise to the vast majority of Irish drivers. Photograph: Getty Images

‘I am convinced we are being ripped off...It makes absolutely no sense. I think the Government will have to get involved’

President Michael D Higgins has led tributes to the chairman of Labour Youth Cormac Ó Braonáin, who died after being struck by a Luas early on Sunday morning.

19-year-old died after being struck by Luas at near Charlemont Bridge on Sunday morning

'Maybe look for reusable alternatives to wrapping papers this year. Whatever you do, avoid the stuff with glitter on it, it is hideous for the environment.'

Is it Kris Kindle or Kris Kringle? And what exactly is egg nog?

Twelve-week old collie crosses Heidi and Hugo in the puppy wing at Dogs Trust in Finglas, Dublin. The charity has suspended all adoptions from today until January 4th. Photograph: Fran Veale

Animal welfare charity says people should wait for a less busy time of year in order to give a puppy the time they need

Cormac Ó Braonáin was chairperson of Labour Youth

President Michael D Higgins pays tribute to 19-year-old Cormac Ó Braonáin

Flowers are taken from graves more often in the days leading up to Christmas, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. Photograph: Tom Honan

Funeral director warns of likely spike in stealing from mourners ahead of Christmas

Chef JP McMahon with  Matei Balasca (9) and Grace Dalton (5), both from Dublin at the launch of Safefood’s Christmas campaign. Photograph: Julien Behal

Talking turkey: Safefood serves up advice for Christmas cooks

RTÉ broadcaster Gay Byrne died on November 4th

Most searched in Ireland also included how to stop snoring, vegan recipes and Boris Johnson

The presence of rodents and other pests presents a grave and immediate danger to consumers’ health, said the Food Safety Authority of Ireland. Photograph: iStock

More restaurants closed or sanctioned by watchdog than any time in last 20 years

Some websites we were familiar with, but many more were completely new to us.

Why not enable more cash to circulate in the local economy . . . where delivery is free?

All dressed up: Conor Pope with his daughter Ruby

I’m pretty sure she asked ‘who in the name of Baby Jesus is this crazy-looking man?’

 Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Minister for Heritage  Josepha Madigan and Zoe Reid of the National Archives  attend a launch  for the Beyond 2022: Ireland’s Virtual Record Treasury research project. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Tributes paid at launch event to project’s co-lead who died on Mount Everest

Leo Varadkar said that while Dara Murphy ‘is no longer a member of the Dáil’ . . .questions ‘have been raised about his attendance and his expenses and those questions need to be answered’. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill / The Irish Times

Taoiseach calls for clerk of Dáil to launch investigation into ex-FG TD Dara Murphy

Nell Maughan, whose son William Maughan is missing, during the seventh annual National Missing Persons’ Day event. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Family and friends of almost 900 missing Irish people gather in Dublin

On call: women check their phones 54 times each day on average, with men said to look at them 46 times every day, according to Deloitte’s Mobile Consumer Survey 2019

Some 29% blame phones for failure to go to bed on time, survey says

Bingo players joined by Michael Healy-Rae and Róisín Shortall to play bingo outside Leinster House to protest gambling legislation. Photograph: Maxpix Dublin

Dozens of bingo players gather on Kildare Street against move capping prize money

The fault machine causing problems for park-and-ride Luas users: one user tried to input the number four, but the machine recorded it as the number three. It did this on several occasions

Motorists at risk of clamping after machine printed incorrect car registration numbers

‘Quietly emerging trend: the dream of a green Christmas and the notion of making the season more sustainable.’ Photorgraph: iStock

Not everyone can make gifts but happily there are talented craftspeole who can

Readers have reported ticket machines registering wrong information when registration numbers are being inputted.

Pricewatch: Park-and-ride system proves costly but it is user error or faulty machines?

Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin says people need to be wary of a ‘seductive culture’ which plays down the ‘value of each life’. Photograph: Eric Luke

Archbishop gravely concerned at ‘traces of racism’ among Ireland’s Roman Catholics

Ireland is the first European country to  legislate to protect consumers from the gift voucher industry. Photograph: iStock

Consumer-friendly rules include a minimum expiry date of five years for all vouchers

The so-called Non Geographic Numbers (NGN) numbers are those beginning with 1850, 1890, 0818, and 076 and many large and small organisations, Government departments and charities use them with the suggestion being they are entirely to the consumer’s benefit.

Comreg’s overhaul of rates comes as survey shows 37% of consumers believe freecall 1800 numbers are charged

Tom Monaghan at his shop Monaghan’s Cashmere on Dublin’s South Anne Street. Photograph: Alan Betson

Tom Monaghan has faith in customer base built over six decades

The commission heard  40% of energy-related emissions come from diesel and petrol vehicles and, in spite of Government commitments to move towards electric vehicles, that number would increase. Photograph: Lewis Whyld/PA Wire

Climate action committee hears criticism of National Development Plan’s emphasis on motorways

Archaeological works ongoing on Monday at the site where Apollo House previously stood, on the junction of Tara Street and Poolbeg Street in Dublin city centre. Photograph: Chris Maddaloni

Archaeologists at work on site of high-profile sit-in by homeless activists at Christmas 2016

 Which? urged people to not get carried away by the hype of Black Friday and to do their research. Photograph: Justin Lane/EPA

Consumer watchdog tracked 83 products and found them cheaper or same price at other times

Photograph: iStock

Despite commonplace incidence of financial abuse, 43% of people say they’re not concerned

Is this the future for coffee consumers?

Some pioneering outlets are refusing to serve customers who don’t have reusable cups

According to Repak, Ireland will generate almost 90,000 tonnes of packaging waste this Christmas.

Pricewatch: About 15m crackers will be pulled in Ireland over festive season

‘I’m happy that I put in an X and that the ticket shows that.’ Photograph: David Sleator

One unhappily clamped driver complains that the NCPS cannot tell its Xs from its Zs

The Angry Birds themed Advent calendar from the people at Cadbury looks impressive and we can imagine that most children will receive it with delight

What’s the point of an advent calendar if you have to keep it in the fridge?

 Vodafone will refund a total of €416,972 and tell customers when they are buying phone credit that they can lose some existing credit if phones are topped up by certain amounts

Funds to be reissued to pay-as-you-go over inadequacies in their contracts

Young redhead celebrating good news on her mobile phone cheering and raising her fist in exultation

Messaging platforms used much more than traditional texting

The scale and sophistication of frauds targeting vulnerable consumers looks set to rise as Christmas approaches. Photograph: iStock.

Alert urges consumers to be ‘extremely cautious’ in the weeks ahead

Reader found out that the e-tickets she’d booked were actually flying Dublin to Heathrow and then from Gatwick to Seville. Photograph: iStock

Pricewatch: Eir leaves customer without phone service and another without a modem

Addressing the party’s Ógra conference Micheál Martin said that at the next election people ‘will be faced with a clear choice’. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Fianna Fáil leader offers insight into party’s key policies for next general election

The two men – in their 20s and 30s – who were arrested, are still be held under the Offences Against The State Act at Clondalkin Garda station. Photograph: An Garda Síochána/Twitter

Gardaí intervene in ‘a potential threat to life incident’ during intelligence-led operation

Earlier this month the university published a strategic plan which will see it develop a new campus in the heart of Limerick city.

Unite union say vote needed in absence of ‘proper consultation’ on number of issues

A line of taxis wait for customers near Grafton Street, Dublin. “Passengers are urged to establish the likely cost before taking a taxi and to get receipts to ensure dates and times are accurately recorded and all additions applied are valid.” Photograph:  Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Conor Pope: Learn to navigate the €3.80 standard fare, booking fees and more

  Irish people look set to spend more than €8.5 billion on food and drink prepared or consumed outside the homes this year. Photograph: iStock

Popularity of plant-based products are on the rise among consumers, seminar told

Burger King’s Rebel Whopper: the nonmeat burger looks like the real thing

Weirdly meaty Rebel Whopper is chain’s attempt to catch plant-based-food wave

Ryanair  said  it ‘expressly advertises that sale fares are subject to availability so it is not surprising that, by the time Which? eventually got around to checking the sale prices, some of the sale prices were no longer available.’ Photograph: Pascal Pavani/AFP via Getty Images

Consumer watchdog says airfares were no cheaper than when checked two weeks later

Renters in Dublin can expect to pay in excess of €24,000 a year

Latest quarterly rental report puts average monthly rent across State at €1,403

Home for the holidays: Christmas Day falls on a Wednesday, one of the best days for the canny leave-taker, this year. Photograph: iStock/Getty

Canny calendar use can get you 32 days off at Christmas and Easter, plus 27 more in 2020

Many of us still find ourselves looking disconsolately at drained bank accounts towards the end of the month

Pricewatch: Many of us are still scrabbling around back of couch looking for change

Two dead rats were found in a food storage area of a retail unit in Galway’s Westside.  File photograph: Getty

Pizza takeaway in Rathgar closed due to mice while city restaurant falls foul of rat infestation

Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly spent a portion of this summer and the summer of 2017 drawing their respective family trees in the midlands and in Cork.

Greatgrandmother’s death by tuberculosis concealed in the records, Ant McPartlin told

Niall Wynn, owner  of the Proper Order Coffee Company in Dublin’s Smithfield, with one of his compostable coffee cups. Photograph: Alan Betson

Coffee shop owners says proposed levy on disposable cups will penalise those already trying to do their bit for the environment

The queue to sign a book of condolence for broadcaster Gay Byrne in Dublin’s Mansion House. Photograph: Tom Honan

Joe Duffy and Ryan Tubridy among first to sign book in Mansion House

A nokia 3310 mobile phone, which was first Introduced in  2000. Photograph: iStock

The way we were: DVD players, landline phones and no social media reminders for birthdays

People queue outside the newly opened Krispy Kreme outlet at Blanchardstown Shopping Centre last year. File photograph: Aidan Crawley

Pricewatch: Trendy gadgets and superfoods all have one thing in common. They cost a bomb

KBC Bank does not accept cash lodgements. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Pricewatch: Cadbury reduces sugar and value for money in new Dairy Milk

An Aldi hot tub, which sold out online within hours. The budget supermarket made a splash when it revealed the inflatable four-person Spa Pool, featuring “120 jets and a powerful heater for ultimate comfort”. Photograph: Aldi/PA

‘One Thursday night I bought a chainsaw and a bottle of wine. A strange combination’

It was greeted with a mix of excitement, suspicion and lots of confusion from Irish shoppers when it first arrived

Members of Dublin Fire Brigade from Dolphins Barn attend to a bin fire in a flat complex in Bluebell, Dublin. Photograph: Aidan Crawley/The Irish Times

Most hazardous thing fire fighters have to contend with are not fires but people

Ross Castle, Co Meath: the bedroom of Sabina, daughter of the Black Barron, who is said to have died of a broken heart. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

A girl cried ‘murder’ in the dead of night and a table shook violently as a ghost tried to get in touch

Several ranges of own brand houmous sold by Aldi and Lidl have been recalled over fears they may have been contaminated with salmonella. Photograph: FSAI

Consumers told not to eat several ranges on German discounter shelves

Some airlines now charge more for your bag to travel than you

Pricewatch: We may not pay library fines anymore, but banking fees have gone up

Spectators cheer on the runners as they make their way through the Phoenix Park during the Dublin Marathon on Sunday. Photograph: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

The capital’s people show their supportive side for the race’s 22,500 competitors

  Low stocks of water in Supervalu, Castleknock, Dublin,  due to the boil water notice. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Limerick company said it had more orders in one day than it would normally sell in a week

Pavement power: The group has called for fixed charged notices against people who cycle “without reasonable consideration”. Photograph: iStock

Footpaths and pavements throughout Ireland in need of urgent repair, says group

In her interactions with Eir, a reader, Fidelma, dealt with “many rude reps and two nice ones”. Photograph: Alan Betson

Pricewatch: Attempt to get broadband service leads to ‘nightmare’ experience

Use of cloud computing to save files such as pictures, music, videos and documents, is on the increase, according to a CSO survey. File photograph: PA Wire

Almost 80 per cent of households go online every day, according to CSO research

Ireland.com: the presidential candidate Mary McAleese answering questions for Irish Times readers in 1997, watched by technical co-ordinator George Walker and web journalist Conor Pope. Photograph: Frank Miller

In 1994 we took our pioneering, if stumbling, first steps on to the ‘world wide web’

A vaporiser or electronic cigarette is used to inhale vapour made from liquid, concentrate or dry herb and while the practice is widely viewed as less harmful than smoking, it is not without its critics. Photograph: Getty Images

Cancer Research UK, which funded study, warns vaping is ‘not risk free’

‘This is a really significant day for our Irish credit union sector,’ said Minister for Community Development Michael Ring. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins

Over 110 branches to provide debit cards, standing orders, direct debits and overdrafts

Toblerone made the gap between the chunks in some of its chocolate bar wider while keeping the size of its packaging

Pricewatch: It is common in markets where profit margins can be tighter than Rod Stewart’s trousers

One reader went to great effort to acquire the public services card to renew his truck driving licence, only to discover   truck licence renewals are not permitted online. File photograph: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Pricewatch: Our reader offers a ‘salutary tale’ on the vagaries of the driving licence system

Initial signs were good for Jamie’s garlic press, but it didn’t deliver

Pricewatch: Joseph Joseph’s was pointless, Oxo’s seems reliable but Jamie Oliver’s made us sad

Plans to open the Oireachtas to the public this weekend have been scrapped due to fears that the Extinction Rebellion movement demonstrations on Merrion Street could disrupt the event. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins.

Ceann Comhairle cites fears over ‘health and safety risks’ after incident on Thursday night

A heavy smoker  who drives long distances in a diesel-powered car and burns  fossil fuel  in winter has the most to fear from Budget 2020. Photograph: Getty

Analysis: No changes to personal tax regime while welfare payments largely untouched

 Marks & Spencer  has  reshaped Irish retail and  consumer habits since it first arrived. In the early days Irish people could not get enough of its chicken Kievs, while its Cornish pasties ent down a treat

Pricewatch: M&S’s operation in the Republic turns 40 next month, and it could not have picked a worse time to celebrate an anniver(...)

“Regular energy drinks are basically sugary drinks with added caffeine.” Photograph: Getty Images

Safefood survey finds slight increase in number of energy drinks for sale

A shopper pushes a trolley in a supermarket. There is a common assumption that we are entitled to get a product at whatever price it is marked at in a shop. File photograph: Neil Hall/Reuters

Pricewatch: Is a public services card necessary when renewing a driving licence?

If in Tuesday night’s draw no player matches the five numbers from the main panel plus an additional two so-called Lucky Star numbers it will have to be shared at the next prize tier at which there are winners.

Current prize has been rolling over since July 23rd and has now hit its maximum limit

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