'ROG' ratings hit
THE documentary chronicling the final stages of rugby player Ronan O'Gara's career attracted almost 600,000 viewers.
'ROG: The Ronan O'Gara Documentary' pulled in a higher audience than the final 'Late Late Show' of 2013, which had an average of 517,000 viewers, as well as beating the last in the latest series of 'Room To Improve', which attracted an audience of 493,000.
MOTHER'S DRIVING BAN
A MOTHER-of-four who cheated death when two large fence beams shot through the windscreen of her car received a suspended sentence for failing to provide a breath sample to gardai.
Priscella Norris (31), from Coirceag, Fiddown in Piltown, Co Kilkenny, pleaded not guilty to failing to supply a sample of breath after her car crashed into a fence near her home on December 2, 2012. She was also banned from driving for four years and fined €600 in Waterford's District Court.
ABUSE CLAIMS PROBE
A FULL investigation into allegations of abuse at a Dublin care centre is to go ahead after an initial review found there is a need for further inquiry.
The initial probe carried out at Stewart's Hospital in Palmerstown led to the suspension of 12 staff last month but these have now been re-instated pending the investigation. Students from Trinity College, who were on placement at the centre, made formal allegations claiming they saw abusive practices.
POPLAR IN EU CONTEST
A 200-year-old giant Grey Poplar (populous canescens) tree is Ireland's entry in the 2014 European Tree of the Year competition.
Located at Birr Castle Demesne in Co Offaly, the tree was nominated by Just Forests -- a forest campaigning group who promote education for sustainable development. Ireland was first invited to enter the competition in 2013, when the 'King Oak' from Charleville Estate in Tullamore secured third place.
WHELANS RECORD SHOP
CHRISTY Moore, Damien Rice and Ryan Sheridan have all performed there -- and now one of Ireland's most famous live music venues is to help boost their album sales with its own record shop.
Whelans, which has gained an international reputation since its launch in 1989, is set to launch Whelans Records in March. The store will feature "a diverse selection of hard-to-find releases from a range of up-and-coming Irish and international artists, with a focus on ones performing at Whelans", said a spokesman.