Arts and Entertainment Roddy Doyle and Roy Keane as 'The Commitments' author Doyle has signed a deal to work with Keane to write the footballer's autobiography

Roddy Doyle, author of "The Commitments", has signed a deal to work with Roy Keane on the controversial ex-footballer’s latest autobiography.

The Player: Niall FitzGerald, Chairman of Unilever: Charting a course for large flotilla

PERSONAL DETAILS: Aged 53. Lives in Chelsea. Drives a BMW 840. He is passionate about sport and music. He has been a Manchester United supporter since the age of three and enjoys opera and jazz piano. He often runs the 5.3 miles between his home and office. In 1998, he was paid pounds 1.1m.

Outlook: Bank of Ireland

Outlook: Bank of Ireland

Lloyds looms over Anglo-Irish tie-up

Market Report

Alliance & Leicester and BoI confirm pounds 11.5bn merger talks

NEARLY pounds 600M was added to the value of Alliance & Leicester and Bank of Ireland yesterday after the two banks confirmed weekend reports that they were in discussions about an pounds 11.5bn merger deal.

Concern over Bank of Ireland A&L deal

THE BANK of Ireland was last night in urgent talks with the Irish government in a bid to meet concerns that plans for an pounds 11bn merger with Britain's Alliance & Leicester could spark a free-for-all for Ireland's companies.

A&L in merger talks

A FRESH round of speculation on link-ups between high street banks will be triggered Monday, when Alliance & Leicester and the Bank of Ireland announce they are in merger talks.

BoI promises to return spare cash to investors

THE BANK OF Ireland said yesterday it would return some of its capital to shareholders if it fails to find a big acquisition on which to spend the $760m proceeds of last year's sale of its interest in Citizens Bank.

Financial Makeover: In on the act

NAME: KATE REYNOLDS AGE: 26 OCCUPATION: ACTRESS

The Player: Brian Williamson, executive Chairman of LIFFE - Can Williamson give Liffe a new lease of life?

PERSONAL DETAILS: Aged 54. Pay, pounds 330,000. Lives in Chelsea. No car of his own, but drives wife's Subaru. When time allows, enjoys skiing and sailing.

Market Report: Takeover talk takes mid caps to dizzy heights

AS BLUE CHIPS dillied and dallied the long neglected second liners enjoyed another exhilarating session, spurred by an array of takeover stories.

Racing: O'Brien ready to play French ace

LE COUDRAY, who won five races in France before being bought by J P McManus, makes his debut for Aidan O'Brien in the Bank of Ireland Hurdle at Naas on Sunday. Held in high regard, Le Coudray is entered in the Stayers' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival for which he is a top- priced 10-1 with William Hill.

Rugby Union: European Cup final -Friends of the north

Ulster harvest their home-grown talents to present a united front of pure rugby

People and Business: Mr Burke, the office clerk who got to the top

THE YORKSHIREMAN who steered Bristol & West out of its building society status and into the arms of Bank of Ireland two years ago is standing down as chief executive after 34 years with the same institution.

Market report: Bid talk brings 6,000 in reach

IT WAS back to basics yesterday, with takeover activity - real and rumoured - driving the market higher.

Drugs gang link to pounds 6m conman

A CONMAN with links to London's top drugs gang was convicted yesterday of a pounds 6m "sting". Anthony Passmore, 52, was arrested by police as he enticed foreign businessmen and investors to London, intending to steal a further pounds 12m. He told his victims he was a wealthy Dublin businessman and Bank of Ireland executive.
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project