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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Stephanie first after her public appearance as a woman at Rad Fest 2014
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Arts and Entertainment
Banksy's 'The Girl with the Pierced Eardrum' in Bristol
art'Girl with the Pierced Eardrum' followed hoax reports artist had been arrested and unveiled
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Oscar Pistorius is led out of court in Pretoria. Pistorius received a five-year prison sentence for culpable homicide by judge Thokozile Masipais for the killing of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp
voicesThokozile Masipa simply had no choice but to jail the athlete
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Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

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Russell Brand at an anti-austerity march in June
peopleActor and comedian says 'there's no point doing it if you're not'
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Arts and Entertainment
James Blunt's debut album Back to Bedlam shot him to fame in 2004
music

Singer says the track was 'force-fed down people's throats'

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Endangered species spotted in a creek in the Qinling mountains

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tech

Company says data is only collected under 'temporary' identities that are discarded every 15 minutes

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Bryan Cranston as Walter White, in the acclaimed series 'Breaking Bad'
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Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Vietnam & Cambodia
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Bruges
India & Nepal
Japan
Berlin, Dresden, Meissen & Colditz
Prices correct as of 17 October 2014
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album