Travel

I start by making some calculations to soothe myself. Using the Rail & Sail combo route from London via Holyhead to Dublin takes nine or so hours; to fly between the two cities takes 50 minutes – but a few hours have to be added on for the to-ing, fro-ing and faffing at airports. A one-way rail/sail ticket costs about 30 quid all in – a flight is double that, unless you're very organised or lucky. Even if you're very disorganised, the rail/sail option can be bought just before you travel at no extra cost.

Warren Gatland has admitted that his decision to drop Brian O'Driscoll from the third British and Irish Lions Test will give Ireland v Wales an 'extra twist'

Six Nations 2014: Brian O'Driscoll Lions snub will give Wales' trip to Ireland an 'extra twist', admits Warren Gatland

Gatland chose to drop O'Driscoll for the decisive third British and Irish Lions Test which caused uproar in the Emerald isle

Six Nations 2014: Kelly Brown's future as Scotland captain put under threat

The Six Nations mind games have started - with the Scotland coach, Scott Johnson, never slow to play the psychology card, singling out his own captain, the Saracens flanker Kelly Brown, for special attention.

Irish chess killing: Italian lodger charged with murdering Tom O’Gorman ‘tried to eat his heart after argument over chess move’

Police found body of 39-year-old Irishman had suffered 'dozens' of stab wounds and had a section of lung missing

Man ‘stabbed to death over game of chess’ in Ireland

Police found a 39-year-old man dead with multiple stab wounds, with detectives saying they believe a row over a chess move may have spiralled out of control

Molly Logan in the Tricycle Theatre's 'Once a Catholic'
New Zealand captain Richie McCaw put Sunday's last-gasp win over Ireland down to their belief that they can always win a match despite being behind

All Blacks belief kept New Zealand in with a chance against Ireland despite 19-point deficit claims captain Richie McCaw

The Kiwis staged a miraculous comeback to steal the win with the final play of the game thanks to a Ryan Crotty try which was converted by Aaron Cruden

PRL chief Mark McCafferty is planning for the start of the Rugby Champions Cup next season

Rugby clubs set for collision course over European competitions

The last lingering hopes of a speedy solution to the argument over the future of European rugby evaporated when five of the six major governing bodies threw their weight behind the existing Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup competitions. The French, Irish, Italian, Scottish and Welsh unions effectively pledged to stand against the new Rugby Champions Club being organised by the leading clubs in England and France.

Francis Bacon's 'Three Studies of Lucian Freud' is now the most expensive artwork ever sold at auction, fetching a record-breaking price of $142 million.

After Francis Bacon's paintings of Freud: What are the most expensive artworks ever sold?

After Bacon's triptych sold for a record-breaking $142 million, we look at the world's most expensive artworks to have sold at auction

Roy Keane has been appoint O'Neill number two

Martin O'Neill: Roy Keane's volatility is OK, says Giovanni Trapattoni successor as Republic of Ireland manager

Martin O'Neill believes Roy Keane's unpredictable character will be a huge asset in his new role with Republic of Ireland.

Mystery woman found in Dublin is from Australia

A woman at the centre of a worldwide police appeal after being found in Ireland – confused and virtually unable to communicate – has been identified.

Roy Keane and Martin O’Neill were on television pundit duty for Manchester United's Champions League match against Real Sociedad

Comment: Roy Keane's reunion with the Republic of Ireland will be bumpy, but unmissable

Get the popcorn out, this is going to be worth watching. The Republic of Ireland have, somehow, thought it wise to employ Roy Keane as the assistant to Martin O'Neill as the head coach of the national team.

Hard times: McIlroy admits this year has been a bit of a struggle

Rory McIlroy signed contract with management firm on day of 'Christmas party'

The golfer wants to end his contract with Dublin-based Horizon Sports Management

Leicester fire deaths: Father tells funeral service he is a 'bird without wings'

Grieving neurosurgeon led prayers for the 1,000 people who attended the janaza ceremony in memory of his wife Shehnila Taufiq and their three teenage children

Bradley Wiggins suffered injury in his attempt to win the 2012 Giro d'Italia

Giro d'Italia takes spin round Ireland in next year's race

Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland will host the first three days of next year’s Giro d’Italia.

Book review: Mount Merrion, By Justin Quinn

Booms and busts – the state of the Irish nation, and the Irish family
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Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 20 February 2015
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn