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Lifestyle

Irish piano star bumps into a singing goddess…cue songs from the Sound of Music

Irish piano maestro Brendan Kavanagh is becoming a YouTube star thanks to his dazzling performances with people he’s never met or played with before.

Brendan often surprises other musicians by joining in with as they play public pianos at railway stations in London. We recently featured him put on an amazing spontaneous performance with 81-year-old Irishman Patrick Hynes from Galway.

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Lifestyle

Take a look inside the former home of an Irish Hollywood legend

Irish director Jim Sheridan put his €3.5m Dublin mansion up for sale in 2019, after his children grew up and flew the nest.

The My Left Foot filmmaker and his wife Fran lived in the magnificent Victorian home for 27 years.

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Lifestyle

Sharon Osbourne learns tragic stories of her Irish ancestors in the UK and USA

TV star Sharon Osborne learned that her mother was thrown in jail when she was just 12 after a pair of stockings was stolen.

Osborne was appearing on 2019 BBC show Who Do You Think You Are? She learned about both her Jewish and Irish heritage.

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Lifestyle

Charming Irish cottage goes on the market for €65,000

Have you ever fancied living in a charming Irish cottage, away from the hustle and bustle of city life?

If you so, take a look inside this home in Mortyclogh, New Quay, Co Clare.

pink cottage

The cottage is situated in the middle of the famous Wild Atlantic Way and is a 50-minute drive from the beautiful city of Galway (or a two-hour cycle ride if you are a fitness fanatic).

It is also just a half hour drive to one of Ireland’s most fascinating national parks – The Burren.

Not only is the Burren full of ancient monuments, but it also boasts extraordinary wildlife.

The closest village is New Quay, which is around 1.5km away. New Quay is home to the scenic Flaggy Shore walk and also boasts several seafood restaurants and shops.

The lively village of Kinvara is 10km away and is a great place to visit for an enjoyable night out as it is full of restaurants and bars that put on regular live music.

There are a number of beaches in close proximity to the cottage.

While the cottage may be small, it sits on 0.27 acres of land, which means there is room for expansion.

It is listed by myhome.ie who say the property is: “Ideal for development subject to obtaining planning permission.”

For more information visit myhome.ie.

More fascinating Irish properties

Maureen O’Hara’s beautiful home on the Irish coastline

Take a look inside Hollywood star Saoirse Ronan’s stunning Irish home

Check out Niall Horan’s Irish mansion

Take a look inside the former home of an Irish Hollywood legend

Peek inside this idyllic Irish cottage with its own waterfall

Take a look inside this beautiful Georgian estate house in Co Wicklow

Take a look inside ‘time capsule’ former home of one of Ireland’s oldest men

Beautiful 19th century church could be turned into spacious family home

Take a look inside this beautiful 19th century home

Take a look inside this beautiful Co Wexford thatched cottage

Ireland Calling Videos

Check out the Ireland Calling YouTube Channel for more great videos like these.

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Lifestyle

Irish writer on meeting the mother who was forced to give him away

Nik Quaife’s Irish mother had to give him up for adoption as a baby. He was brought up by an English mother. Here he tells how the two women eventually met and got on well together.

I have two mums: Mary, my Irish birth mother who, in 1973, gave me up for what she hoped would be a better life, and Pat, my English mother who adopted and raised me. When they met for the first time, Pat told Mary, “I’m so happy to meet you. I’ll never compete with you for our son.” Mary, hugging Pat, repeated what she’d said to me the day we reunited, “A stone that’s been in my shoe for 24 years is finally after lifting.”

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Lifestyle

Top 10 Covid scams revealed – don’t get conned by criminals

There are at least 10 top Covid scams being used by criminals to get people’s personal details to steal large sums of money.

Top 10 covid scams

Using the coronavirus pandemic as an opportunity, fraudsters are using sophisticated methods to callously exploit people, with many concerned about their financial situation and the state of the economy.

UK Finance has revealed the most common Covid-19 and lockdown scams that criminals are using to target people to get them to part with their money.

Some scams manipulate innocent victims, urging people to invest and “take advantage of the financial downturn”. Others impersonate well-known subscription services to get people to part with their cash and personal information.

Criminals are even posing as representatives from Test and Trace services to trick people into giving away their personal details.

Consumers are reminded to always take a moment to stop and think before parting with their money or information in case it’s a scam.

These are the top ten Covid scams to be on the lookout for and how to spot them:

Covid-19 financial support scams

1. Criminals have sent fake government emails designed to look like they are from government departments offering grants of up to £7,500. The emails contain links which steal personal and financial information from victims

2. Fraudsters have also been sending scam emails which offer access to ‘Covid-19 relief funds’ encouraging victims to fill in a form with their personal information.

3. Criminals have been targeting people with official-looking emails offering a ‘council tax reduction’. These emails, which use government branding, contain links which lead to a fake government website which is used to access personal and financial information.

4. Fraudsters are also preying on benefit recipients, offering to help apply for Universal Credit, while taking some of the payment as an advance for their “services”.

Covid Health scams

1. One of the most shocking scams that has appeared during the pandemic has involved using the UK NHS Test and Trace service. Criminals are preying on an anxious public by sending phishing emails and links claiming that the recipient has been in contact with someone diagnosed with Covid-19. These lead to fake websites that are used to steal personal and financial information or infect devices with malware.

2. Victims are also being targeted by fake adverts for Covid-related products such as hand sanitizer and face masks which do not exist.

Lockdown scams

1. Criminals are sending fake emails and texts claiming to be from TV Licensing, telling people they are eligible for six months of free TV licence because of the coronavirus pandemic. Victims are told there has been a problem with their direct debit and are asked to click on a link that takes them to a fake website used to steal personal and financial information.

2. Amid a rise in the use of online TV subscription services during the lockdown, customers have been targeted by criminals sending convincing emails asking them to update their payment details by clicking on a link which is then used to steal credit card information.

3. Fraudsters are also exploiting those using online dating websites by creating fake profiles on social media sites used to manipulate victims into handing over their money. Often criminals will use the identities of real people to strike up relationships with their targets.

4. Criminals are using social media websites to advertise fake investment opportunities, encouraging victims to “take advantage of the financial downturn”. Bitcoin platforms are using emails and adverts on social media platforms to encourage unsuspecting victims to put money into fake investment companies using fake websites.

The banking and finance sector is working with the government and law enforcement to help identify scams and prevent people becoming victims of fraud. The industry is also encouraging everyone to remain vigilant and to follow the advice of the Take Five to Stop Fraud campaign, and to Stop, Challenge and Protect when they receive any messages out of the blue:

Stop: Taking a moment to stop and think before parting with your money or information could keep you safe.

Challenge: Could it be fake? It’s ok to reject, refuse or ignore any requests. Only criminals will try to rush or panic you.

Protect: Contact your bank immediately if you think you’ve fallen for a scam and report it to Action Fraud.

In order to spot a Covid-19 scam, people should be on high alert if:

• The website address is inconsistent with that of the legitimate organisation
• The phone call, text or emails asks for financial information such as PIN, passwords
• You receive a call or email out of the blue with an urgent request for your personal or financial information, or to make an immediate payment
• You’re offered a heavily discounted or considerably cheaper product compared to the original price
• There are spelling and grammar mistakes, or inconsistencies in the story you’re given

Managing Director of Economic Crime at UK Finance, Katy Worobec, said: “During this pandemic we have seen criminals using sophisticated methods to callously exploit people’s financial concerns, impersonating trusted organisations like the NHS or HMRC, to trick them into giving away their money or information.

“The banking and finance industry is tackling fraud on every front, investing millions in advance technology to protect customers and working closely with the government and law enforcement to stop the criminal gangs responsible and neutralise the threat.

“We would always urge people to follow the advice of the Take Five to Stop Fraud campaign to keep their money and personal information safe from fraudsters.”

Useful links

Protect yourself from scams

Action Fraud

Original Article

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Features

Irish diplomacy – how Ireland punches above its weight

A very polite but powerful revolution has been taking place in Irish diplomacy over the last 10 years, making it one of the most influential countries in the world.

Irish diplomacy makes it powerful across the world

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Features

Protect yourself from scams

July marks Scams Awareness Month – so how can you protect yourself? Citizens Advice in the UK has teamed up with the Chartered Trading Standards Institute to launch the awareness-raising drive to help people avoid falling prey to scams. The guide is also extremely useful for people in Ireland.

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Lifestyle

Roaring Stone of Destiny – ‘maker of kings’ on Hill of Tara

The roaring Stone of Destiny on the Hill of Tara was used to select the king of Ireland…you can still go there today to see if you’re the chosen one. Be careful though as the area was also thought to be the entrance to the other world…and you never know what might happen if you get lost down there.

Lia Fail Stone of Destiny that roared for the chosen king

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Features Lifestyle

Win this dream cottage in Ireland in Covid fundraiser raffle – only €10 a ticket

A dream cottage in Ireland is being raffled by two Covid-19 patients to raise money for health care in Ireland. The owners say they both had the virus and were lucky to survive. Irish cottage raffled by Covid patients