'Christmas has not been cancelled': Education Minister open to writing to schools over 'inaccurate' claim

Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh has said he is open to the idea of writing to the schools who claimed this week that Christmas would be cancelled if their school was divested.

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'I just wanted to meet people': Shane Ross apologises for turning up at people's doors on Christmas and New Year's Eve

It was the night before Christmas, and outside your house, not a creature was stirring - except a Minister seeking votes.

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Lindsay Woods: The lure of closing out the festive season in company of other women has grown on me

The comedown is real. I have not entered into such a state of mourning since the makers of Toblerone announced the ridiculous addition of ‘extra spacing’ between the pointed triangles of delicious nougat loaded chocolate.

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Sales of real Christmas trees surpass €22m over festive season

The cash tills rang for Christmas tree growers this festive season as sales surpassed €22m.

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Donate unwanted Christmas presents, charity urges

The charity is launching its Unwanted Gift Appeal today and says donations of unwanted gifts, big or small, are always welcome.

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Mrs Brown's Boys star hits back at critic of Christmas special

"While they were watching Mrs Browns Boys Christmas Special they heard their autistic child laugh for the first time."

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The 11 emotional stages of shopping in the St Stephen's Day sales

Hitting the high street the day after Christmas can be an emotional roller coaster ride.

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Strong sales needed for retailers to hit annual targets

Strong post-Christmas trade will be needed for retail to meet projected growth figures for the year, according to the Ibec group that represents the sector.

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I’ll never forget that Christmas: Well known Irish faces talk about their favourite festive presents

What did you get from Santa? Some well-known Irish people tell Donal O’Keeffe about their most memorable Christmas present

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Watch runners take part in Cork race

The GOAL mile took place in CIT Cork today and videographer Eddie O'Hare was on hand to meet those taking part.

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Swimmers take a Christmas Day dip to support lifeboat crews

The fundraiser sees revellers defy cold weather to take to the sea.

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Check out these brave Cork people swimming on Christmas Day

We all have our Christmas traditions, but for some, it involves running into the freezing Atlantic.

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Ho ho ho: Santa has left presents across the country

He has come and gone, and children across the country are waking up to see what Santa left them for Christmas.

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'No need' to wash turkeys before roasting them, Safefood warns

Christmas cooks are being reminded not to wash the turkey before roasting it.

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Pranksters pull off Angel of the North Santa stunt on seventh attempt

It took 10 people to place the festive hat on top of the 65ft sculpture outside Gateshead in England.

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Concerned woman phones police fearing carol singers ‘from Leeds’

North Yorkshire Police said the woman, from Harrogate, was concerned as the singers were ‘not local’.

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Santa has been cleared for Irish air space

Santa, his reindeer and "a very, very large sleigh" have been given permission to enter Irish airspace at any point after 5pm this evening, the Government has announced.

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Feeling stressed about hosting Christmas? Here's 8 tips from a psychologist to ensure a relaxed day

A psychologist gives advice on how to reduce tension during the festive season.

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5 tips to get excited children to sleep this Christmas Eve

Forget perfecting the turkey and avoiding family arguments, one of the most stressful things about Christmas is the prospect of getting excited kids to sleep the night before.

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Irish Water Safety chief gives advice to those planning 'Christmas swim'

John Leech told RTE’s Morning Ireland that with the good weather forecast for Christmas Day it is expected that many people will participate in charity swims around the country in rivers, lakes and the sea.

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Retailers hoping last day of shopping will make up for quiet Christmas season

Businesses say December, in general, was a slow month due to a number of factors, including poor weather and online shopping.

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9 surprising health benefits of festive mulled wine

Lisa Salmon reveals why it’s definitely OK to grab yourself a warming mug of the mulled stuff this Christmas.

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'I still believe in the faith on which the Church is built and that's why I’m going to Christmas Mass'

Despite his reservations about the Catholic Church as an institution, RP O’Donnell still has strong faith this Christmas.

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The science behind Rudolph’s red nose

It is Christmas Eve and Santa and his team are getting ready to deliver gifts to children all around the world. If you are wondering just how he does it, you are not alone; here are some of the questions sent in by children with equally curious minds. The first question comes from four-year-old Harper.

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Darina Allen's festive tips for using up your Christmas leftovers...

Hope you have managed to tick off most of the items on your ‘must do for Christmas’ list and that all the family are cheerfully helping with last minute jobs and present wrapping. Chill the fizz, hang up the mistletoe, tuck holly sprigs here and there and play some jolly Christmas carols to get you into the festive spirit. Hope you’ve managed to resist the urge to fill your fridge and pantry to bursting point but having said that I love the fun of using up leftover bits of this and that.

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The holly tree needs protection

IN recent years, it has become ever more difficult to find holly if you go looking for it in the countryside. Yet, in national parks and woodlands, you can see where trees have been savaged and almost cut down in a cavalier way, obviously for sale later.

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'Go easy when your jug is full' - advice worth heeding

There is an old saying that sometimes struggles to have the impact it might, especially at this time of celebration and, hopefully, happiness.

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Room available at my inn this Christmas

If you live your life resisting the pull of a steady job — because you value time more than money— you’ll be adept at fiscal ad libbing, writes Suzanne Harrington.

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Why Christmas Eve is the real high point of Christmas

THIS is the real ‘big day’. For me, Christmas Eve is the high point of Christmas, writes Colm O'Regan.

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Christmas rules are embedded in us like an ingrown toenail

Why do we go along with the portrayal of Christmas as the equivalent of General Patton’s march to relieve the siege at Bastogne?, asks Terry Prone.

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Moment of Zen: Take a look at the Lough at Christmas

Christmas can be a hectic and busy time so it's always a good idea to take a moment to yourself.

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Direct Provision gift appeal ‘brings out best in people’

There are more than 1,600 children currently in the Direct Provision system.

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White Christmas? Not this year, says Met Éireann

Santa will need his headlights in full working order when he arrives in Ireland as the country prepares for more of a grey than a white Christmas.

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Watch these heartwarming Christmas reunions from around the country

With just two more sleeps until Christmas, Ireland's airports have been busy welcoming people home from all around the world.

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These were the scenes at Cork Airport as people return home for Christmas

These were the scenes at Cork Airport today as people arrived home to celebrate Christmas with their family.

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Travelling this Christmas? Here is how public transport will be running

Christmas is just days away and this weekend many people will be making the journey home, picking up last-minute gifts and visiting friends and family.

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This is why we regress to childhood when we go home for Christmas – and 7 ways to deal with it

Turn back into a moody teenager at this time of year? Here’s what psychologists make of it…

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NORAD will still track Santa despite government shut down

Parts of the American government have shut down after politicians failed to agree a budget because of a row about Donald Trump's border wall.

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Unravelling the secrets of Santa Claus with Carrigaline Junior Infants

Why does Santa live at the North Pole? How does he fit all those presents onto his sleigh? And how on earth does he get the reindeer to fly? These and many other Christmas mysteries are solved today by the Junior Infants of Gaelscoil Charraig Uí Leighin in Carrigaline, Co Cork. Áilín Quinlan reports

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Lindsay Woods: It started with the turkey...

Food is important to us. No more so than at this time of year. A cramped table does not feel so cramped at Christmas, writes Lindsay Woods.

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Bake with Michelle Darmody: Handy recipes for last-minute Christmas preparations

Christmas falls nicely this year. We have these few days of the weekend to ease ourselves gradually into holiday mode, or hit it with a bang. Whichever the case may be there are a few recipes here that will be handy to have in the cupboard over the festive period.

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Wine with Leslie Williams: The perfect Christmas gifts

Just a few days left before Christmas and if you are stuck for present ideas don’t forget that a decent bottle of wine or gin is always a welcome gift.

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Eat & Move: Top tips for making the most of Christmas... and those turkey leftovers

Christmas is a magical time but it can also bring on stress and throw you into situations you don’t normally find yourself; this week I’m sharing my top Christmas wellbeing tips. Recipe wise, it’s my best ways to use your turkey leftovers for a few days time.

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Coming home - Day 3: We talk to the emigrants who have returned home to Ireland

Amanda Keane didn’t want to be pouring pints forever. She soon landed an exciting UN job in Hanoi — but now she’s happy to be back in Ireland and surrounded by family this Christmas, writes Kelly O’Brien.

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Spending Christmas in the sun

When Barbara Scully’s granddaughter was born in Perth, she realised she’d have to get used to long-haul flights, especially at Christmas, a time for families to be together.

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Stuff the turkey: Three wise chefs share their top vegan dishes

There’s no need to settle for less at the Christmas table, says Arlene Harris who asks three wise chefs for their top vegan recipes

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Tric Kearney: Oh dear, this one has no tag on it. Who’s it for Mum?” says the present master, holding up a gift a child might have wrapped

TICK, tick. Surely I’m not the only one who can hear that blasted clock ticking louder by the day as we get closer to Christmas? Only four more sleeps. Yes, FOUR! Even writing that is sending my blood pressure soaring. No, I’m not “all set for Christmas” as so many have asked me since the first of December, in fact, I’m not even nearly ready.

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Ask an Expert: Why is my toddler more interested in the Christmas packaging?

A psychologist tells Lisa Salmon why children often like the box more than the toy.

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Ho ho homeward bound: Teenager leaves hospital just in time for Christmas

Teenager Aaron Gallagher has cystic fibrosis, and after six weeks in hospital, he is happy just to be back with his family for Christmas, says Áilín Quinlan

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Winter Solstice: Here are 6 stone circles around Europe to celebrate at

‘Tis the season – but not just for Christmas trees and gift-giving. These pagan monuments will help you party like it’s 1999 BC.

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Seriously Santa: What Mario Rosenstock wants to find under the tree

ONE of Ireland’s favourite funnymen is looking forward to some festive downtime after a very busy few months.

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All the single ladies: What not to say to a singleton during the festive season

Spare a thought for single belles this Christmas as they navigate intrusive questions about their love life. Suzanne Harrington offers some helpful suggestions for family and friends

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Gut reaction: Keeping your tummy happy over the 12 days of Christmas

IT can be a little bewildering — not to mention frustrating — when a seemingly healthy food, such as broccoli, upsets your stomach, but that was how it was for co-director and owner of Lockdown PR agency Vivienne McCarthy, who first started to suffer from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) in her teens.

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Rena’s crib part of Christmas in Killarney for past 45 years

It would not be Christmas in Killarney without the St Mary’s Cathedral Christmas Crib.

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Animal rescue shelters want their pleas heard

Thousands of animals were admitted to shelters and sanctuaries this year, thanks to mindless acts of cruelty and neglect, but animal welfare staff are saying enough is enough and it’s time to prosecute offenders, writes Kelly O’Brien.

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Coming home - Day 2: Three emigrants talk about returning home to Ireland

Kelly O'Brien meets some of the ex-pats people returning home to Ireland.

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Have yourself a more sustainable Christmas this year

Running the risk of ruining Christmas for people, Eoin Flynn pleads with consumers to buy less stuff and to make sure what they do buy is sustainable.

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Irish gins still mixing it up

Despite expectations that the bubble would burst, gins are more popular than ever, with new ones popping up across the country. Why is the classic G&T so rejuvenated? asks Leslie Williams.

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What the season means to me: Five Irish authors talk about they memories of Christmas past

Louise O’Neill, Conal Creedon, Caroline O’Donoghue, Patricia Scanlan and Billy O’Callaghan: Five authors share their festive memories

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Dog daze: Why festive treats can leave your pet feeling woof

With so many festive treats in shops, plus the under-the-table turkey and mince pies, it can be a dangerous time for canines, says Helen O’Callaghan

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