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Ireland

St Patrick's Day is probably the biggest day of the year in our Emerald Isle for hitting the stores to buy alcohol.

Let's be real here, we're a nation of drink-connoisseurs; we'll be in the pub all day or at some mad gaff with a keg.

Stores like Aldi have been recently producing some of Ireland's best quality and cheapest gin, but they've only gone and topped themselves with their latest product.

Aldi Ireland has OFFICIALLY announced that it will be selling…wait for it…shamrock infused gin. Just in time for St. Patricks's Day; we know exactly what we'll be polluting ourselves with this year.

Made by Listoke Distillery in Co. Louth, Tower Gin’s 'Shamrock Infused Gin' will be on sale from Thursday, February 28 for a price of €19.99/50cl, so banishing all of those snakes won't break the bank.

Tower Gin’s 'Shamrock Infused Gin' has been distilled in the traditional London Dry style, with all ingredients, including the fresh shamrock, coming from the highways and byways of Co. Louth.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The refreshing gin has a mild earthy taste from the shamrock flavour, and has rosehips and sweet orange flavour to match. Oh, and the gin is genuinely green, in honour of St. Paddy himself.

The gin makers have written an adorable poem for it's customers to enjoy;

"We once made a gin by The Tower, distilled with an Irish green power, some citrus and spice, some tonic and ice, from Ireland’s delicate wild shamrock flower!"

Adorable. We're so excited to give this one a try, it would be our honour to drink gin for the sake of our country.

Only one week left until we can get our hands on the gincredibly patriotic alcohol beverage, and 24 days until the biggest day of the Irish calendar. Get down to Aldi before the snakes get their paws on it first.

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This morning, someone in Dublin woke up 175,000,000 million euro, and wow gosh, we're sooooo delighted for them.

While we couldn't be more pleased that someone other than ourselves is now mega rich, we couldn't help but ponder on what we would purchase as our first big Euromillions spend. 

A luxurious holiday? A flash car? A mad expensive ostrich skin hand bag? Nah – top of the list has to be growing that property portfolio (or just starting one). We've been creeping around the internet, searching for our perfect habitats in Dublin (seeing as that is where the winning lotto ticket was purchased) and we have compiled a list of our faves that we will probably never be able to afford bu hey, it's fun to fantasize: 

1. Bayview, 17 Sutton Castle, Sutton, Dublin 13, North Dublin City – €1,250,000

You could buy around 140 of these stunning houses for your Euromillions fee.

On the market by Gallagher Quigley, this iconic 19th century mansion with sprawling grounds and a sea view is the perfect family home. It even has a spiral staircase leading from the garden to the exterior terrace where you have a gorge view of Dublin Bay.

This period home was once owned by the Jameson family – so it comes with some glam history as well as walk in wardrobes.

2. Horse Island, Roaring Water Bay, Schull, Co. Cork – €6,750,000

Where else is there to go when you want peace and quiet to count all your money? Why, your own private island of course. 

Now, we know we said we would keep all of our homes to the Dublin region, but with all those millions, chartering a yacht from Dublin bay to Schull shouldn't be too much of an issue. 

The island comes with a STUNNING main home, as well as six guest houses, so it's perfect for family to visit once you've had your fill of solitary island living. The views are breathtaking, and you could probably bride a Deliveroo guy to get the boat over with your order if you tip him well enough. 

3. Monte Alverno, Sorrento Road, Dalkey, South Co. Dublin – €7,500,000

The stand out feature of the house has got to be the stunning figure-of-eight shaped outdoor swimming pool that languishes invitingly in the back garden.

Other external features include an all weather floodlit tennis court and a Chinese garden that has its own waterfall and lily pond.

South facing bedrooms give a glorious sea view, and plant lovers can rejoice in their element with a chilled martini in the jungle of a conservatory. 

4. Arkendale, 6 Arkendale Road, Dalkey, South Co. Dublin – €1,950,000

This Georgian gaff had us shook from the very first picture. Sprawling high ceilings with original stucco work and big bay windows make this home the ideal modem house with original character. 

Currently it has some very interesting wallpaper and pastel carpet choices, a nod to the original design of the home. 

The feature staircase leads to the upstairs where there are five generous bedrooms, while downstairs resides a snooker and cinema room.

5St Georges, St Georges Avenue, Killiney, South Co. Dublin – €9,250,000

This GORGE property honestly has a whiff of Hogwarts magic about it. From the stunning turret to the stain glass windows, it's a marvel to look at. 

The home comes complete with a little church (gas) and the architecture is a nob to the Gothic revival in Ireland. 

The main bedroom has a balcony with panoramic sea views, and everything about it is just magic. 

 

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Research from the Higher Education Authority (HEA) has presented results on the graduates who are most likely to find a job after college.

Naturally, we were curious and had to check out the scores. Unsurprisingly, creative work seems fairly sparse *sighs*.

As it turns out, teachers are the most likely to find a job after they graduate, with over 93 percent of recent education grads finding employment within nine months of finishing their course.

The HEA's research found that graduates in areas such as health and welfare (87 percent), ICT (82 percent) and engineering (82 percent) had especially high employment outcomes.

Nearly 80 percent of third-level students secured work within nine months of graduating, which is good news.

The HEA found that students who studied subjects like philosophy and literature were the LEAST likely to be employed…sorry to all those deep thinkers and bookworms out there.

Anyone who completed their arts and humanities studies were actually among the highest percentages who embarked on further study, at 24 percent.

The study involved 29,000 participants who graduated back in 2017, and found that teaching grads are one of the best paid. Their starting salaries mostly came in at €30-€35,000.

The average salary of full-time graduates in employment was €33,574. The HEA's Valerie Harvey said that those who complete further study are the most employable.

She commented on the research, saying that; "The overwhelming majority of all graduates are working and as you move through the levels of educational attainment higher numbers are in employment."

She continued, "So we found that 75 percent of honours degree, 86 percent of post-graduate taught and 91 percent of postgraduate research graduates are in employment."

78 percent of those participants surveyed are working or due to begin a job, and 14 percent of those surveyed are in training or further education.

A further five percent are searching for work, and the remainder are in "further activities", like travelling the world or saving the turtles. Apparently, 90 percent of those who graduate find a job in Ireland. That one surprised us, alright.

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According to research from Nielsen, 63 percent of people want to see Ireland's sportswomen honoured as national heroes in the same way as sportsmen.

Irish journalism focused on women in sport is in dire need of improvement, and today Investec has launched it's inaugural 20×20 Media Awards to recognise excellence in this field.

The 20×20 Nielsen Sports Study found that just a shocking three percent of print and four percent of online coverage was dedicated to women’s sport in Ireland: it's time for improvements.

The Federation of Irish Sport presented Investec as a sponsor for 20×20 in order to provide more support for women in sport.

Greater cultural recognition is one way to start; broadcast, print and online journalists are being invited to submit entries on women in sport to it's latest awards competition.

Investec has curated an expert panel of judges for their 2019 Media Awards;

Anna Kessel as chairwoman; Mary O’Connor, CEO of the Federation of Irish Sport; Michael Cullen, CEO of Investec; Sarah Colgan, CEO of  Along Came A Spider and 20×20 co-founder and Gordon D’Arcy, former Irish International rugby player.

Nielsen Sports were commisioned by 20×20 to monitor media coverage of sport, which resulted in quite discouraging statistics. 

20×20 has estimated television coverage of women's sport is less than 12 percent, and 59 percent of Irish people believe that the media should do more to promote female sport.

57 percent of people want to see equality in female and male sporting role models in the media, and 63 percent of the public would love to see Irish women being given the same 'national hero' status as men.

Anna Kessel, chairwoman of Investec 20×20 Awards said: “In celebrating women's sports journalism the Investec 20×20 Media Awards are sending out a very powerful message: women's sport is amazing, and of value."

"For every sports editor who's ever wondered if it's worth covering; to every coach who questioned whether girls needed encouraging, and to every sports’ governing body deliberating over how much to invest in their female athletes this year, this initiative makes it clear: women's sport matters."

The objective of 20×20 is to increase the level of coverage of women’s sport across media by 20 percent by the end of 2020, according to its founder, Sarah Colgan.

Gowan girlos, you deserve a medal. Like Katie Taylor-sized medal. Multiple medals, actually…

amy poehler soccer GIF

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When we think of our list of 'must-see before we die' destinations, marvels like The Great Barrier Reef, Machu Picchu and the azure waters of Indonesia's Bali spring to mind. 

However, in a recent survey, it was revealed that Ireland made the top three when it came to ultimate bucket list destinations. 

The study by Provision Living, based in the US, found that the country topping the chart is Australia- which is exactly the kind of stunning, beachy location we envisioned for a bucket list topper. 

Next up is vibrant Italy, whose culture, food and reputation for stunning scenery as well as a wealth of historic sites make it one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. 

Third, we have our own, home grown Ireland.

Renowned for it's beautiful rural scenery, history of creatives (we arent known as the isle of saints and scholars for nothing), Celtic history and vibrant traditional music. 

Rounding off the top 10 are:

4. Japan

5. United Kingdom

6. France

7. Greece

8. Bahamas

9. Egypt

10. Germany 

Despite Ireland making it into the top three of most coveted countries, no Irish cities made it into the Top 20 Bucket List cities. 

While 95% of people surveyed had a Bucket List, 57% said that financial issues are preventing them from being able to travel. 

A further 11% cited family commitments, while 2% very honestly put it down to laziness. 

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A weather warning will be in place from 6am on Tuesday, as Met Eireann forecasts ice and snow for the nation. 

The yellow weather warning extends for five days,  from Tuesday 6am to Saturday 6pm. 

'Very cold this week with scattered wintry showers, frequent across the southwest, west and north,' warns Met Eireann. 

'Some accumulations of snow are expected. There will be widespread frost at night with icy stretches on untreated surfaces.'

'There is the possibility of a more significant spell of sleet/snow on Thursday.'

Stock up on essentials (Dairy Milk, Tayto, Gin and tonic – you know yourself), and prepare for the snow on Thursday, lads. 

 It's always wise to heed warnings and take care when driving in freezing temperatures.

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Gardaí are now investigating an alleged sexual assault which took place last Thursday in South Dublin.

The incident involving the teenager apparently occurred on Lower Kilmacud Road in Stillorgan on January 10, around 7pm.

The young woman was walking down the road towards Dundrum and noticed a man following her, according to a Garda source.

Image: kfmradio.com

The man in question is accused of ejaculating on the woman before walking away, after following her for about two kilometres before the attack.

The teenager’s clothes have been taken by the Gardaí to be tested for DNA evidence. A significant amount of CCTV evidence has also been recovered.

A spokeswoman for the Gardaí confirmed officers were investigating “an alleged sexual assault on a female on Lower Kilmacud Road, Dublin on 10th January 2019 at 7pm”.

Gardai are following a definite line of inquiry. 

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Our little Emerald Island is full of stunning landscapes. 

So we are delighted to hear that Kerry's Reeks District has been ranked so highly.

In a list published by The Rough Guides travel website, we come in at a very respectable third place.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The website put together 'Six Regions on our Radar' and the MacGillycuddy's Reeks came after Argentina's Iberá Wetlands and China's Yúnnán province.

The Kerry landmark was described by The Rough Guides as "spectacular" and "postcard scenery."

"Drive, walk, hike, climb, bike, kayak or sail around the mountains and lakes of this rugged landscape encircled by the Ring of Kerry," it added.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Canada’s Yukon Territory came in at fourth place, and was described as "true wilderness, where the wildlife outnumbers humans."

Following behind it was Wadi Rum, Jordon. 

If you're a Star Wars fan, you may recognise this location from the third Star Wars sequel trilogy (Episode IX) – it was filmed here and we can totally understand why.

In sixth and final position was Alabama in the USA, in July of this year they will be celebrating 50 years since the moon landing.

And you better believe the celebrations will be so VERY extra, as the city has been nicknamed the “Rocket City”. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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We are thrilled to see Kerry being featured amongst such stunning locations.

Although we aren't completely surprised – it's breathtaking.

So now you have the perfect excuse to plan a gals trip to Kerry. 

 

Feature Image Credit: catalinagemanari/Instagram

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A man in his late 20s is due to appear in court this evening charged in connection with the death of a mum-of-two.

The body of 27-year-old Jasmine McMonagle was found at her home in Killygordon in the early hours of Friday morning.

It is believed the young mum lost her life due to knife wounds following an attack.

Reports claim the mum had contacted the Gardaí before the attack took place. She reported a domestic disturbance at 4.20 am.

Gardaí were refused entry to the home, which she shared with her partner, at 4:47 am.

A man in his late 20s was then arrested at 7.30 am. He was taken to Letterkenny Garda Station and will now appear before the Sligo District Court at 8pm today.

The man shared two children, believed to be aged one and seven, with the deceased. They are currently being cared for by close family.

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Just when we thought 2019 was going well, we were hit with this. 

We didn't really need anymore confirmation that property in Dublin is expensive AF – but it's about to get even pricer. 

Dublin estate agents have predicted that property value in our capital will rise by an average of 3.8 percent this year. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Their forecast for 2019 is less than half of the figure they predicted for last year.

The Sunday Times said it was an indication that estate agents are more cautious for the year ahead, following a subdued 2018 for the Dublin property market.

Prices were expected to rise last year, but they crept up slower than anticipated. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Predictions for the year ahead vary from no change to price increases of 7 percent, reports The Sunday Times.

But the vast majority of estate agents foresee increases of 3-5 percent in the low to mid-market.

Very small increases are expected for property valued at €750,000 or above, and despite inflation slowing, many estate agents still predict to see slight price rises.

The cheapest place to buy a home in Dublin are in Ballymun, Dublin 11, Neilstown in Dublin 22, and Darndale in Dublin 17.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The average price for a three-bedroom townhouse comes in at €210,000 in Ballymun, between €200,000 – €220,000 in Neilstown and €225,000 in Darndale.

However, if you have the cash to splash – Dublin’s most expensive suburbs will cost up to three times as much.

A three-bedroom townhouse in Ranelagh, Dublin 6 will set you back an average of  €650,000.

You'll need to cough up an average of €625,000 to buy in Ballsbridge and Donnybrook, Dublin 4.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Portobello in Dublin 8 has been growing in popularity and a similar property is valued at an average of €625,000.

Meanwhile, my bank balance is telling me I have about ten euro to my name – must be all the avocado on toast I'm indulging in…

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Christmas and New Years is the magical time of year to pop the question.

This time around, James Patrice's sister Vanessa was the lucky lady.

Taking to his Instagram, the influencer announced the cute news and his reaction was priceless.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Uploading a group shot of the fam and the couple, James is clearly delighted with the happy news.

"Congrats Vanessa and Sean, can’t even cope," he captioned the shot, alongside a ring emoji.

If you're trying to stalk the newly engaged couple, you're out of luck.

Vanessa isn't on social media but she is featured throughout James.

In his stories, James is still buzzing from the news as he put up a series of hilarious snaps.

He wrote: "Gals, I'm so excited" with a crying emoji.

James added in another GAS selfie and reiterated that he "can't cope" – ADORABLE.

What a way to start 2019, congrats to the couple and the entire family.

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Christmas is LESS than a week away, so naturally we've complied the things you'll probably encounter over the festive period.

Deep breathes lads, grab a drink and see how many you and your mates relate to on this list.

Sure, it wouldn't be an Irish Crimbo without them.

1. The relative that asks you what 'Santa got you' even though you're 25 – and don't forget the wink if there’s a child around.

2. Hiding Roses wrappers – you have no idea how many you've managed to eat without vomiting and you're hiding the wrappers of shame from the fam.

3. Being woken up to go to early mass or trying to stay awake for midnight mass – and the church is always freezing, WHY?

4. Having to fake liking a gift – they've no clue what you're into or what you like and haven't bothered to find out. This one will definitely be re-gifted, thanks Linda.

5. Getting to the age when gifts of socks and shower gel are exciting presents – sure, we can't afford the luxuries anymore when we are forking out an arm and half for rent in Dublin.

 

6. Your siblings that have well and truly moved out of the house are back for the Christmas period and this means war. Reverting back to childhood roles and fighting over the remote is just a rite of passage.

7. Board games are broken out and they start off well, until someone gets WAY too drunk, starts a fight or storms off.

8. It wouldn't be Christmas without your drunk uncle singing RA songs in the corner.

9. The unwanted comments on your fashion choices – "that skirt is a bit short, did you forget your trousers?"  "Are you not cold wearing that?" "Do you know you have holes in your jeans?" – EYE ROLL.

10. Trying to find your glass of wine; It's come to that time in the evening when everyone is tipsy and nobody knows who's glass is whose. 

11. You've been looking forward to your FAVE soap Christmas special all year. The writers are going ALL out and the plot is just divine…and then you have that one person who has never seen an episode since last Christmas asking who every character is – breathe, just breathe.

12.  It isn't a family gathering without this question and we suggest a shot of bourbon every time it's asked – DO YOU HAVE A BOYFRIEND YET? When the answer to that question is you have a better relationship with wine than the male species – just smile and walk away.

13. It wouldn't be the silly season without the grandparents being slightly racist – just look at the ground, deep breathes.

14. Spicy comments about any of this year's referendums – my body, my choice, Declan – don't start.

15. Or any political comments that you just don't have the strength to argue about after a year of working your ass off at work.

16. Same conversation again and again – yes I'm still single, yes I'm still working there, yes, nothing has changed.

17. Having to watch the Angelus bells on RTE, although you have no religious beliefs, but you know your mother is watching and she'll disown you otherwise.  

18. The one relative that always loses or misplaced their glasses – cue the entire room looking for them, when they realise they were sitting on them in whole time. 

19. The person who said they aren't drinking but ends up getting hammered.

20. The hungover person: the one who was way too ambitious with the drink on Christmas eve, and they're trying not to vomit as they force the Christmas dinner down. 

21. Waking up at crack of dawn for the Christmas sales, being abused by the crazy crowds for a bargain and then being shamed by the family for going out on the holy days and ruining tradition.  

22. Acting surprised as money from the Christmas card falls into your lap – ah, Jesus that's a lovely card Mary, OOHH and €50 too – ah you shouldn't have.

 

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