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.

England v Republic of Ireland: Past meetings

England take on the Republic of Ireland for the 15th time tomorrow.

Delon Armitage, left, and Jonny Wilkinson, right, lift the Heineken Cup

Jonny Wilkinson keeps a door open to late call-up to the British and Irish Lions

Flawless display of kicking from England legend leads Toulon to maiden Heineken Cup

In Dublin, Jonny Wilkinson's presence was punctuated by his ability to split the posts as his four kicks delivered a perfect 100 per cent return

Heineken Cup final: Jonny Wilkinson alive and still kicking for Toulon

It came close to topping the drama of Sydney 10 years ago, and the margins were just as thin as Jonny Wilkinson held up his end of the bargain by winning a first Heineken Cup for both himself and Toulon.

Brian O’Driscoll will miss tonight’s Amlin Cup final having failed to recover from a back injury

Brian O'Driscoll out of Amlin Cup final but signs up for one more year with Leinster

Brian O'Driscoll will miss tomorrow night's Amlin Cup final having failed to recover from a back injury but Ireland's talismanic centre is far from finished. O'Driscoll signed a new one-year deal to play on for Leinster and his country after this summer's fourth tour with the British and Irish Lions.

The martyrdom of St Bono

A new biography denounces the U2 singer's anti-poverty campaigning, and his personal tax arrangements. But his starry chums – such as Bill Clinton – are fighting back

Route des Princes yacht race unveiled in artichoke country

It is not often that the sports public is asked to celebrate artichokes, but that was one of the sub-plots of the unveiling of the Route des Princes yacht race in the former host city of the America’s Cup.

Matt o’Connor, the Leicester backs coach, is taking over at European champions Leinster

Leinster choose Matt O'Connor to replace coach Joe Schmidt

O'Connor has big shoes to fill in Dublin

Ardal O'Hanlon in The Weir by Conor McPherson, directed by Josie Rourke for the Donmar Warehouse

Theatre review: The Weir, Donmar Warehouse, London

Conor McPherson's The Weir established itself as an instant classic when it opened at the Royal Court in 1997.

Con Martin: Highly versatile Irish footballer

Con Martin was a leviathan of Irish football in the middle years of the 20th century, enjoying the type of colourful career usually confined to the pages of old-fashioned schoolboy comics.

J T McNamara at Cheltenham before his serious fall from Galaxy Rock

Jockey JT McNamara 'positive' despite paralysis injury after Cheltenham fall

JT McNamara is reported to be in a “very positive” frame of mind despite suffering a serious neck injury at the Cheltenham Festival which his family has revealed resulted in paralysis.

Ireland player Jonathan Walters looks dejected at the end of Ireland's 2-2 draw with Austria

Giovanni Trapattoni insists Republic of Ireland are still in hunt for 2014 World Cup qualification

Austria scored a late equaliser last night to dent their chances

J T McNamara at Cheltenham before his serious fall from Galaxy Rock

McNamara out of coma and ready for move nearer home

With the domestic sport’s downtime between the Cheltenham and Aintree festivals exacerbated by cancellations, postponements and congealingly cold weather, there was at least one piece of warming news today. It concerned the improved condition of J T McNamara, the Irish amateur who fractured two neck vertebrae in a fall at Cheltenham 12 days ago.

Foreign Minister William Hague speaks to the media as he departs the GYMNICH, an Informal Meeting of European Union Foreign Ministers at Dublin Castle

EU flounders as Syrian death toll mounts

European foreign ministers meeting in Dublin fail to agree over lifting the arms ban for rebels fighting the Assad regime

John Walsh: For Roth, Newark is the home of the archetypal American life

William Faulkner wrote several works about the fictional Yoknapatawpha County. Steinbeck mined the possibilities of his native California in the “Dustbowl” years of the Depression. But we have to look back to James Joyce and his love-hate relationship with Dublin to find an equivalent of Philip’s Roth attitude to his birthplace, Newark.

The Leinster centre will miss three crucial games for his club

Brian O'Driscoll escapes with three-week ban for stamp

If Brian O'Driscoll did not exactly have the book thrown at him by an independent Six Nations disciplinary panel – his bid for a fourth consecutive British and Irish Lions trip to the southern hemisphere remains wholly intact – the three-week ban he received for stamping on the Italian flanker Simone Favaro in Rome last week may have serious ramifications for those around him.

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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 17 April 2015
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

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Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

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How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

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Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

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A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
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The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

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Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

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The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
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Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

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Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

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The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
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Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions