Sport Jonny Wilkinson's Toulon travel to take on Exeter

If Morecambe and Wise had been blessed with Premier Rugby’s sledgehammer sense of timing, the celebrated Andre Previn sketch would have been about as side-splittingly funny as a David Cameron one-liner.

National Irish Bank reports €400mn loss

National Irish Bank has reported a pre-tax loss of 400 million euro (£348.3 million) for the first six months of the year.

McClean switches to Republic

James McClean has left the Northern Ireland squad to face the Faroe Islands after becoming the latest player to opt for the Republic of Ireland. "My dream has always been to play for the Republic of Ireland," insisted the 22-year-old.

Ireland cling to a silver lining as Kearney makes his return

Scotland 10 Ireland 6

90th anniversary of Shackleton’s final expedition

This year marks the 90th anniversary of Ernest Shackleton’s final voyage to Antarctica. The Irish explorer was a key figure in the Heroic Age of Polar exploration, and his death in 1921 marked the end of this period of discovery.

Treacle JR (15)

Starring: Aidan Gillen, Tom Fisher, Riann Steele

Irish rider killed in Isle of Man TT race

Irish rider Derek Brien has been killed in an accident at the Isle of Man TT.

Leading article: Truth and reconciliation

The entwined history of Britain and Ireland has been complex, bloody, fruitful and intimate, and a state visit is not an occasion for detailed analysis or political initiative. However it does present an opportunity for symbolic gestures which may have as much transformative power.

Video: Queen watches Riverdance

During her historic visit to Ireland the Queen watches a 45-minute celebration of Irish music, fashion and performance.

Former taoiseach dies at 85

Tributes were paid to the former Irish taoiseach Garret FitzGerald, yesterday, who died aged 85.

Video: Violence during Queen's visit

Irish nationalists have clashed with police officers in Dublin during the Queen's visit to Ireland.

Video: Queen meets Irish president

The Queen has visited the presidential palace in Ireland as part of her historic trip.

Video: Ireland set to welcome the Queen

Final preparations are under way for the Queen's historic four-day visit to the Republic of Ireland.

Armitage released by under-fire Irish

Steffon Armitage has been released from his London Irish contract and can therefore move to the French Top 14 club Toulon.

O'Brien pays out £400,000 for libel

Denis O'Brien, the Irish media mogul, has been forced to pay out more than £400,000 to settle a libel claim in Dublin from the country's former deputy prime minister.

Spat erupts as 'junior' Eircom lenders seek seat at talks

A spat has erupted between lenders to Eircom, the Irish telecoms company buried under ¤3.75bn (£3.3bn) of debt.

Arts and Entertainment
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
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No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
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Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
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In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

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Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
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Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
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Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
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Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

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