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Ireland throw it all at Portugal but fail to break the door down

Voice Of EU



Republic of Ireland 0 Portugal 0

Ronaldo stole the show again. Thankfully for Ireland it was after the full-time whistle that Addison Whelan, a Shelbourne under-13 player, evaded the stewards to land a tearful hug. Cristiano removed his jersey and draped it around her. The crowd feted his departure.

A magical ending for Will Keane, the son of a Sligo orphan named Aidan, who built a life in England and saw his twin boys signed by Manchester United, was not to be. The striker almost created a late winner on debut for Matt Doherty but referee Jesús Gil Manzano spotted Keane’s foul on Portugal goalkeeper Rui Patrício before Conor Hourihane’s neat cross.

No matter, the 50,737 audience got their money’s worth.

‘Olé, Olé, cheerio, cheerio’ was not the nicest way to sent Pepe for an 82nd-minute shower as the old warhorse swallowed a second yellow card for forearming Callum Robinson in the mouth, but the people have been starved of such giggles for nigh on two years.

Or longer still. When have Ireland last rattled or ruined a giant of world football? Germany were felled by Shane Long in 2015. The national team have been denied a chance to thrill the masses for what seems like forever.

And while this borders on propaganda, considering a draw will never be a win, these days of Stephen Kenny at the helm with Anthony Barry whispering in his ear, as Callum Robinson and Chiedozie Ogebene reduce towering defenders to nervous wrecks are only just beginning.

Ireland will dare Luxembourg to stem their flow on Sunday.

In Kenny’s always interesting programme notes the Dubliner wrote about this young team representing all strands of modern society rather than the traditional idea of being Irish. Here stands a “multi-cultural” group plucked from the island’s evolving “social classes and communities”.

“Our style of play is essential to the identity of the team” and that is why the players kept showing for each other as, Kenny believes, they cannot “maximise their potential” without “taking risks”.

Ireland’s Séamus Coleman challenges Andre Silva of Portugal during the World Cup qualifier. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho
Ireland’s Séamus Coleman challenges Andre Silva of Portugal during the World Cup qualifier. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Yet it felt riskier to sit back and let these galacticos run wildly into them, and Ireland sensed Portugal’s hesitancy by what Fernando Santos sent on to the park. Zero Manchester City stars as Bernardo Silva cried off injured while João Cancelo, Rúben Dias and Liverpool’s Diogo Jota were benched due to the threat of yellow cards meaning suspension for the crucial visit of Serbia to Lisbon this weekend.

Like Pepe, Doherty is suspended for the last match in Group A.

The reality happened gradually, but by half-time this game felt like a meeting of equals. Except one of the equals had a freakish goal machine.

We do not mean Callum Robinson. The son of Northampton pressed like the opposing CR7 never will again, denying João Palhinha any space to control the tempo from the base of Portugal’s midfield.

Robinson was a step off an early chance after an out swinging corner by Jamie McGrath was nodded down by Shane Duffy.

That set the rules of engagement; Portugal so frightening on the break, Ireland so muscular from McGrath curlers into the box.

The second chance of the evening fell to Ronaldo. It wasn’t really a chance. The 36-year-old drifted off the left wing and despite being surrounded by three Irishmen his inhuman acceleration sucked Séamus Coleman into a duel. Captain against Captain, Ronaldo nutmegged Coleman but the Evertonian recovered to courageously concede a corner. The hamstrings held firm.

We knew pre-match that Manzano is no Messi disciple, having red-carded the other modern genius earlier this year, but Ronaldo blatantly leaping into Duffy, who won the header anyway but conceded a free-kick, was an ominous sign.

On 16 minutes Coleman, yet again, denied Ronaldo a certain goal by blocking his low drive. He does not move like an ageing athlete and he constantly targeted the out of position Coleman. At least Manzano kept his composure.

Portugal kept flooding down Ireland’s right flank with André Silva and Diogo Dalot offering a dangerous overlapping option. The high press also forced several errors with Gavin Bazunu, like in Faro last September, being offered few options. One sloppy pass came straight back into the area where an offside Ronaldo was skilfully disposed by the teenage goalkeeper. Neither man had seen a flag.

The Portugal goal seemed inevitable. Until it wasn’t. After Doherty got a piece of the ball with his arm, and all of Ronaldo’s back with his knee, Ireland cleared and Robinson let fly up the other end as the special one wiped the grass stains from his face.

The temperature kept rising. Ogbene took a harsh yellow for minor contact on Danilo. The Paris St Germain defender rolled in faux agony before demanding justice. Later, he escaped punishment for exacting revenge on the Rotherham winger’s ankle.

John Egan’s forehead was next to sky a McGrath special as the corners kept coming.

The outstanding Robinson confirmed the turning tide when dancing into enough space to whip a ball on to Ogbene’s head. It had too much spin but the array of Champions League talent no longer seemed so superior. Certainly not in comparison to Josh Cullen or McGrath.

Ogbene’s pace began to tell, as much as Ronaldo became worryingly anonymous, with Kenny sending him through the middle after half-time. This gave Ireland the ability to go long. Only Manzano knows how Danilo avoided a booking for constantly bowling him over. The PSG maestro – being tortured like all the League One fullbacks have been this season – eventually saw yellow for kicking out after being skinned a third time.

When Santos launched Milan’s Rafael Leão at Duffy, Kenny reacted by reintroducing Adam Idah to the Portugal back four. But it was Ogbene who forced them to play for a point that puts them ahead of Serbia on goal difference.

The battle of equals theory almost crumbled when André Silva whipped an cross into an Irish box without John Egan and Duffy as you-know-who glided between Jeff Hendrick and Coleman only for his downward header to skim past Bazunu’s right post. Nobody could believe he missed. Especially him.

A more difficult late opportunity fell to Enda Stevens – mainly due to Ogbene pulling Portugal ragged on the right – but the left back ballooned his shot.

And so it ended as it began.

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND: Bazunu (Portsmouth); Coleman (Everton, capt), Duffy (Brighton and Hove Albion), Egan (Sheffield United); Doherty (Tottenham Hotspur), Hendrick (Newcastle United), Cullen (Anderlecht), Stevens (Sheffield United); McGrath (St Mirren), Robinson (WBA), Ogbene (Rotherham United).

Subs: Idah (Norwich City) for McGrath (61), McClean (Wigan Athletic) for Stevens, Hourihane (Sheffield United) for Hendrick (both 78), Keane (Wigan Athletic) for Ogbene (91) .

PORTUGAL: Patrício (Roma); Semedo (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Pepe (Porto), Danilo (Paris St Germain), Dalot (Manchester United); Palhinha (Sporting CP), Nunes (Sporting CP), Fernandes (Manchester United); Guedes (Valencia); Ronaldo (Manchester Untied, capt), André Silva (RB Leipzig).

Subs: Leão (AC Milan) for Guedes (56), Moutinho (Wolverhampton Wanderers) for Nunes (56), Félix for Silva, Sanches for Fernandes (both 75).

Referee: Jesús Gil Manzano (Spain).

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‘After divorce, I’ve fallen in love. But something is holding me back’

Voice Of EU



Question: I’m a divorced man, and I think I’ve fallen in love. This woman I care about so much brought me back to life after my divorce woes and I feel happy when we’re together. My life would certainly change if the relationship progressed and I feel the need to hit the brakes. Is it fear holding me back? Some advice would be great.

Answer: I think it is great that you are able to identify fear as the block to your relationship and it is worth looking at this. You have had a divorce, so your experience of relationship breakup is real and is clearly causing you to pause before heading into a committed relationship again. Some areas worth checking are your capacity for self-awareness, your relationship patterns and habits and your history of decision making.

Looking at self-awareness first – are you conscious of what motivates your actions and speech? In terms of self-awareness, there are many aspects of our ourselves which we are aware of, but we do need help with uncovering the full picture. For example, we can often see that someone we live or work with is stressed but they themselves would not know or acknowledge this and think that they are operating from a calm and collected place. It might be worth you checking with friends what they see in your new relationship and how they see you behaving. Do you seem happier to them, or is there wariness or caution in your approach to your partner? Your friends or family will be able to evaluate your wellness (or not) without the emotion or fear that you may have operating.

Ask for some honest opinions and remember if you ask for advice, take it on board as they may have more objectivity than you do. We all have relationship patterns and habits, so it is worth looking at yours to see if this is influencing your current impasse. These patterns typically start with our family of origin. For example, if there were difficulties (silences, anger, distances, or lack trust and love) in your parents’ relationship it is likely that you have a capacity to put up with or repeat such patterns in your own relationships.

Send your query anonymously to Trish Murphy

It helps to talk it over with someone you trust, so that you can hear the emotion that is going on in your voice and then act to disperse it

It sounds as though you are mistrusting of someone who has “brought you back to life” and it is worth looking at whether this caution is coming from your own past experience or from fear of getting into a relationship pattern similar to your parents’ one. It takes courage to challenge our patterns and the nature of habit is that it operates outside of conscious thinking, so we can respond without even knowing where we are coming from, eg we push someone away just as intimacy is growing. Behaviour such as this could derive from a generational fear of rejection, or a fear of closeness, or of being discovered as not what we seem to be. It is good to explore such habits as we can struggle to see them operating and they can operate as a huge block in our lives.

It is true that the “in-love” feeling can sometimes mask some of the adored person’s characteristics and this is why we always need the “head” as well as the “heart” when making decisions. What is your decision-making like normally? Do you have enough knowledge of this person to make a decision about joining your lives together? Have you spent enough time with them and their circle of friends to make an informed choice? Sometimes the feeling of intense connection at the beginning of a relationship can make us lose sight of the fact that we don’t know the other person very well and in these situations we would do well to slow it down and let our judgement work when the time is right. If you are happy that you have enough knowledge and information to make this decision, then you are probably right that it is fear that is stopping you moving forward.

A little fear is natural and can even help us, for example we drive under the speed limit oftentimes out of fear of getting a speeding ticket. However too much fear can be debilitating, and it can completely bock our intelligence. All relationships involve risk, in that we have to trust that someone else will value us and not reject us. Fear is such a powerful emotion it can cover other more rational and sane judgements and so we need to ensure that we are not just operating from that place.

It helps to talk it over with someone you trust, so that you can hear the emotion that is going on in your voice and then act to disperse it. However, it is worth knowing that fear and panic are closely aligned so we need to tackle them slowly and incrementally or else we go into a kind of frozenness. Overcome small fears first – this might involve speaking with some honesty with your partner – and gradually build up to the bigger fears. Your confidence and self-awareness will grow along the way and this can only benefit you. 

Click here to send your question to Trish or email

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Lighthouse workers end up with front-row seats for Storm Barra

Voice Of EU



Four lighthouse workers who went to Fastnet Lighthouse in west Cork to carry out maintenance on Friday ended up having front-row seats for Storm Barra as they had to stay onsite due to the conditions.

The lighthouse recorded a wind gust of 159km/h on Tuesday morning but Irish Lights electronic engineer Paul Barron said that it was a safe place to be as the country battened down the hatches to face the storm.

Mr Barron and his colleagues Ronnie O’Driscoll, Dave Purdy and Malcolm Gillies made the journey to Fastnet on Friday to do maintenance work and were due back on Tuesday but their helicopter flight was cancelled because of the storm. They hope to arrive back on the mainland on Thursday.

Mr Barron said they are passing their time onsite by watching Netflix and having a few steaks and rashers. He admitted it was a day to remember on the lighthouse which is 54 metres above the sea.

“There is a team of four of us out here. It has been quite a rough day. We started off this morning at around 2am and by 10am or 11am we were in the eye of the storm. I was in the merchant Navy before as a radio officer so I have seen a lot of bad weather. I am with Irish Lights 32 years but I haven’t normally seen it like this. We wouldn’t normally be out in this. You are talking 9m swells with winds gusting up to 90 knots.”

He captured some footage of the storm on his phone. During the worst of the weather the men found it hard to hear each other as it was so noisy during the squalls.

The tower was “shuddering a bit” but Mr Barron managed to shoot video footage which attracted attention online and even a call from Sky News.

He says the lighthouse has kitchen facilities and they always bring additional food in case of emergency.

“It could be a fine summer’s day and there could be thick fog and the chopper wouldn’t take off so we always bring extra food. We are passing the time by watching Netflix! This is a good place to be in the eye of a storm. This lighthouse has been built a hundred years so it has seen a lot of storms.”

As for families being concerned about the men Mr Barron jokes that their loved ones are probably relieved they aren’t at home hogging the remote control.

Meanwhile, in Cork city centre the river Lee spilled on to quays and roads on Tuesday morning but no major damage to property was caused. Debris and falling trees kept local authority crews busy and power outages were reported in a number of areas across the county.

At least 23 properties were flooded in Bantry in west Cork. The council had placed sandbags along the quay wall and the fire brigade had six manned pumps around the town.

In north Cork, a lorry driver had a lucky escape in Fermoy when his vehicle overturned on the motorway during the high winds. Traffic diversions were put in place following the incident.

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Top tips on how to avoid a large energy bill this winter

Voice Of EU



Five easy tips and five things to avoid to get the most from your heating this winter – and dodge a big energy bill

  • We reveal some simple steps to lowering your heating bills this winter 
  • Tips include tucking curtains in behind your radiators to stop heat escaping

Rising energy bills mean the cost of keeping warm is an issue for many households this winter.

But there are some simple steps that can be taken to reduce your energy bill without compromising on keeping cosy.

We take a look at 10 top tips for saving money on your heating, which include things to do and things to avoid doing. 

These include tucking curtains in behind your radiators to stop heat escaping, while not putting clothes on the radiators to dry, as this will block the heat from dispersing through the room.

We provide a list of little fixes that will help to keep your energy bills low this winter

We provide a list of little fixes that will help to keep your energy bills low this winter

John Lawless, of designer radiator company BestHeating, said: ‘Winter weather always sparks the debate around leaving your heating on low all-day versus a couple of hours a day. 

‘Sure, your boiler will have to work a little harder to heat up a cold home when you first switch it on but having it on constantly will use more energy than just switching it on when you need it.

‘The best thing to do to lower bills and keep warm is to insulate your home, prevent draughts, and set up better heating controls. Don’t have the heating on full whack in a room you don’t use, just heat the room you spend the most time in.

‘Our advice is to heat smarter. You can’t control the weather but you can control your heating and how your home loses that heat.’ agrees, saying: ‘Saving energy can help you be more energy-efficient and considerate of the environment, but it’s also a great way to save money.’

Here are the top ten tips…

The things you can do

1. Use thick curtains

Having thicker curtains helps reduce the amount of colder air coming in, while also helping to reduce the amount of hot air escaping.

The thicker the material, the more heat will be contained. Also tuck your curtains behind your radiator to stop even more heat escaping.


Pipes can be insulated by covering them with a foam tube. 

This includes the pipes between a hot water cyclinder and a boiler. 

That will reduce the amount of heat lost and keep your water hot for longer. 

It is as simple as choosing the correct size from a DIY store and then slipping it around the pipes.

2. Cover up exposed pipes

Exposed pipes allow for heat to escape easily. Try covering them in an insulating material to maximise their efficiency.

3. Only heat the rooms you spend most time in

Heating rooms in your home that you don’t spend much time in will not only be a waste of energy, but also a waste of your money.

4. Cover up draughts

You can lose a lot of heat from gaps in your doors and window frames. Make sure you fill in these gaps with a draught proof material, such as draught-proof strips or even just a thick cloth for a quick solution.

5. Turn your thermostat down by one degree celsius

Experts have proven that reducing the temperature of your home by one degree celsius saves you up to £80 a year.

Drying clothes on your radiator will block the heat from dispersing through the room

Drying clothes on your radiator will block the heat from dispersing through the room

Things to avoid

1. Dry your clothes on the radiator

Drying clothes on your radiator will block the heat from dispersing through the room and will have to be left on much longer to have the same effect without a blockage.

2. Keep the heating on all day

Your home will take longer to heat up if you keep turning it on and off, but it will save you more money by putting your heating on a timer for a few hours a day. Try setting a timer on your boiler, so it only turns on for a few hours a day.

3. Allow your radiators to get dirty

If you notice any cold spots at the bottom of your radiators when the heating is on full this could mean you have a build-up of sludge in the system.

This stops the hot water circulating properly, stopping your radiators from getting hot enough when you need the heating the most. Give your radiators a good clean to make sure you aren’t wasting money on heating.

4. Turn your thermostat above 18 degrees Celsius

Research shows that the average thermostat setting in Britain is 20.8 degrees celsius. However, experts have stated that 18 degrees celsius is warm enough for a healthy and well dressed person to remain comfortable during winter. This will be controversial suggestiong for many, for whom 18 degrees might feel a bit chilly – and how you feel at 18 degree central heating will depend on how well your home is insulated.

5. Don’t place large furniture in front of your radiator

Blocking your radiator with furniture, such as sofa or a table, will stop the flow of warm air. This blockage will cause your boiler to work harder to heat your home, resulting in expensive heating bills.


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