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Item believed to have been cut from stuffed head in Cork mansion safari room

More concessions from kinder, cuddlier Ryanair as airline halves controversial excess baggage fee

Michael O'Leary has admitted that Ryanair has an 'image problem'

Pat Lam led Connacht to one of the best wins in the province’s history

Heineken Cup round-up: Pat Lam hails Connacht’s shock win at Toulouse

Connacht coach Pat Lam was delighted at the way his side held their nerve on Sunday to pull off one of the biggest wins in the history of the Irish provincial side and put them back in the hunt for a Heineken Cup quarter-final place.

Simon Calder: The gift of travel – with strings attached

The man who pays his way
Christmas lights: Wow vouchers fly you to Iceland

Simon Calder: The gift of travel – with strings attached

The man who pays his way

Irish unemployment falls to lowest level since 2009

The number of people signing on last month fell to just over 390,000.

Wayne Rooney and Rory McIlroy in the latest Nike advert

Video: Wayne Rooney and Rory McIlroy go head-to-head in latest Nike advert - and Ronaldo swings by to help out the Manchester United striker

The two famous sportsmen take meet each other on the golf course as part of a promotion for Nike's latest Ordem Football

Alberto Contador to lead new team Tinkoff-Saxo

Former Tour de France champion Alberto Contador will front a newly bought-out team next season after Riis Cycling was snapped up by Russian businessman Oleg Tinkov.

Molly Logan in the Tricycle Theatre's 'Once a Catholic'

JD Sports shares jump on better-than-expected sales

An upturn in the fortunes of outdoor clothing brands Millets and Blacks helped owner JD Sports deliver a well-received trading update today.

Dan Mulhall, the new Irish Ambassador for Britain, in his office in the Irish Embassy

Irish ambassador Dan Mulhall urges Britain along path at heart of Europe

The new Irish ambassador to Britain has sounded the alarm over this country’s rising tide of Euroscepticism, urging the UK to remain “fully engaged” in the European Union.

Wales coach Warren Gatland has called for his side to display the same 'never-say-die attitude' that New Zealand displayed last weekend

Wales v Australia: Warren Gatland calls for 'never-give-in attitude' to spark his side into life against southern-hemisphere sides

Gatland praises New Zealand's last gasp victories in both rugby union and rugby league last week and challenges his Wales team to do the same

Wales’ Alex Cuthbert is back from injury and hoping to repeat his Lions try against Australia

Wales v Australia: British and Irish Lions coach Warren Gatland warns: These Aussies are different

Decision making in rugby is not always of the highest order: as the pathetic failure of leadership at Heineken Cup level demonstrates all too painfully, it is only on an unusually good day that some of those running the sport aspire to mediocrity. Yet Warren Gatland, who masterminded the British and Irish Lions victory in Australia last summer, believes the new Wallaby coach Ewen McKenzie made an inspired and brave call in throwing the disciplinary book at 15 members of his tour squad last week.

Ireland claim place in World T20 finals with win over Hong Kong

Ireland have secured their place in next year's Twenty20 World Cup thanks to a fantastic performance from Paul Stirling.

Leicester 20 London Irish 11 match report: Tigers poor run comes to an end

Champions Leicester ended a dismal run in the Aviva Premiership with a 20-11 victory at home to London Irish thanks to two controversial penalty tries.

Duncan Weir is set to become the third player to wear Scotland's No 10 shirt in four games

Scott Johnson eyes up Duncan Weir in the hunt for Scotland’s top 10

The ever-entertaining Scott Johnson, holding Scotland’s coaching reins until Vern Cotter arrives next summer, was talking about Nessie yesterday.

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NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own