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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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific