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
Voices
The Sumatran tiger, endemic to the Indonesian island of Sumatra, is an endangered species
voicesJonathon Porritt: The wild tiger population is thought to have dropped by 97 per cent since 1900
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Story line: Susanoo slays the Yamata no Orochi serpent in the Japanese version of a myth dating back 40,000 years
arts + entsApplying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
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Popular plonk: Lambrusco is selling strong
Food + drinkNaff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
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Gardai wait for the naked man, who had gone for a skinny dip in Belfast Lough
newsTwo skinny dippers threatened with inclusion on sex offenders’ register as naturists criminalised
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Shake down: Michelle and Barack Obama bump knuckles before an election night rally in Minnesota in 2008, the 'Washington Post' called it 'the fist bump heard round the world'
newsThe pound, a.k.a. the dap, greatly improves hygiene
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Graham Fellows as John Shuttleworth
comedySean O'Grady joins Graham Fellows down his local Spar
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Ross Burden pictured in 2002
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried