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Ulster show their grit to hold off Leinster and end unbeaten run

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Leinster 10 Ulster 20

The United Rugby Championship may be close to disarray given the desperately unfortunate news coming from South Africa, but an Irish derby is an Irish derby.

These oldest of old rivals had a right old arm wrestle in front of a sizeable crowd in a Baltic Ballsbridge, at the end of which most left disappointed as Ulster recorded their first win at the RDS since March 2013 and only their second in total.

They could thank their defence as much as their attack for, after a dominant first 16 minutes, Ulster had slightly less of the territory and possession overall but made 199 tackles, Rob Herring and Alan O’Connor leading the way with 22 apiece in 80 minute shifts, with Nick Timoney augmenting 19 tackles with 17 carries as well as winning a few turnovers in a huge performance.

Even Marty Moore chipped in with 15 tackles in a 70 minute shift, while Stuart McCloskey and James Hume regularly brought fast line speed and sharp tackle execution as Ulster prevented Leinster from reaching the edges as they normally do, leaving the sharp-looking Adam Byrne under served.

It was tough too on Ross Molony and Scott Penny, who had mighty games, and Robbie Henshaw, but Leinster lacked some of their customary rhythm after the November hiatus – albeit this was the same for Ulster – with their lineout and breakdown work not of their normal standards.

Frank Murphy’s whistle dominated proceedings, as tends to be the case, and the majority in the 15-11 penalty count against Leinster were rewarding players in the jackal.

Ultimately though, it felt like Ulster brought a little more emotion and intensity.

Ulster players celebrate at the end of the game. Photo: Bryan Keane/Inpho
Ulster players celebrate at the end of the game. Photo: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Ulster’s intent and control of the ball from the off was impressive, twice going to the corner and three times putting Leinster through big defensive sets. The highlights were a brilliant tackle close to the line by McGrath, as he does, to deny Billy Burns and Molony’s strength over the ball to lift the siege before Cooney was surprisingly wide with a straight 40 metre penalty.

However, Ulster’s dominance of territory and possession was rewarded after Timoney won a turnover penalty to earn a lineout outside the Leinster 22.

A strong maul, good carries from Herring, Sam Carter (off a lovely pass from Moore) and Andrew Warwick, led to James Hume fending Jordan Larmour on the outside and although Larmour recovered to haul him down, from the recycle Greg Jones held his depth with an unstoppable out-in line. Cooney converted.

Leinster held firm again before Henshaw won a penalty in the jackal as the opposing blindsides, Leavy and Jones, departed in the 21st minute for HIAs with neither returning. 

The home side and crowd were sparked into life by Ciarán Frawley cutting back against the grain and breaking out from inside his own 22. He opted to chip Craig Gilroy and was blocked but, despite the howls of protest, Frawley pretty much ran straight into him.

Moving up the gears and showing better variety in their attack as Henshaw’s superb pass found Larmour on the edge, Leinster opted for the corner but couldn’t launch their maul as Devin Toner was forced to tap loosely under pressure from David McCann.

There were other attacks, Adam Byrne beating the blitz to make a big carry and offloading to Jimmy O’Brien, who did likewise for Larmour, but it was Ulster who came closest again when Burns stepped between Rhys Ruddock and Frawley but couldn’t complete the link with the supporting Cooney.

Robbie Henshaw and Mick Lowry compete for the ball. Photo: Bryan Keane/Inpho
Robbie Henshaw and Mick Lowry compete for the ball. Photo: Bryan Keane/Inpho

The final act of the half was a harsh penalty against Furlong in the jackal, which had him with his hands on his head in disbelief, on the premise that the ruck had just about formed. But Cooney was wide with a difficult 45 metre penalty near the right touchline.

On the resumption Molony made a huge gallop from McGrath’s disguised pass only for McCloskey to shoot up from the recycle to nail Ross Byrne. It looked a tad high but Leo Colgan seemed not to even review it.

Adapting to the wind, now against them, the normally utterly reliable Herring had a rare crooked throw. In any event, Ulster’s line speed and tackling continued to stifle Leinster, and although James Tracy pounced on loose ball, Murphy then penalised Penny for not having rolled away.

Cooney made it 10-0, whereupon the game turned out of the blue. It emanated in Michael Lowry opting for the questionable and certainly riskier option of countering from inside his 22 when there was plenty of grass down field.

Penny pounced on a loose ball and scampered up the touchline, Ulster killing the ball to concede a penalty and Leinster opted for the corner. They hammered away at the Ulster line off the maul in trademark style and Henshaw, despite having to check and pick the ball when McGrath’s pass scooted along the ground, showed good footwork and strength to dive over.

Ross Byrne drew the sides level before being replaced by Harry Byrne, who brought excitement but less reliability. A kick out on the full led to Max Deegan coming around the side of the maul and Nathan Doak, on for Cooney, kicked Ulster back in front with a fine penalty.

The younger Byrne compounded that error by chipping out on the full and then knocking on, albeit when hit by James Hume simultaneously as Ulster’s line speed extracted them from trouble again.

Yet another penalty in the jackal, this one awarded to Rob Lyttle even though Ross Kane not rolling away was the first offence, put Ulster inside the Leinster 22 entering the final five minutes, only for Penny to win yet another one.

Almost fittingly though, Ulster’s policy of using shooters in defence ensured they had the final, decisive say. Burns shot up to force Frawley to push the pass and then Hume shot up to pick off Tommy O’Brien’s pass for a free run to the line and Doak’s conversion sealed the deal.

Scoring sequence: 16 mins Jones try, Cooney con 0-7; (half-time 0-7); 47 mins Cooney pen 0-10; 51 mins Henshaw try, R Byrne con 7-10; 65 mins R Byrne pen 10-10; 68 Cooney pen 10-13; 79 mins Hume try, Doak con 10-20.

Leinster: Jimmy O’Brien; Adam Byrne, Robbie Henshaw, Ciaran Frawley, Jordan Larmour; Ross Byrne, Luke McGrath (capt); Ed Byrne, James Tracy, Tadhg Furlong; Ross Molony, Devin Toner; Dan Leavy, Scott Penny, Rhys Ruddock.

Replacements: Max Deegan for Leavy (21 mins), Sean Cronin for Tracy, Peter Dooley for E Byrne (both 52 mins), Will Connors for Ruddock (60 mins), Nick McCarthy for McGrath, Harry Byrne for R Byrne (both 66 mins), Vakh Abdaladze for Furlong (69 mins), Tommy O’Brien for Larmour (71 mins).

Ulster: Michael Lowry; Craig Gilroy, James Hume, Stuart McCloskey, Ethan McIlroy; Billy Burns, John Cooney; Andrew Warwick, Rob Herring, Marty Moore; Alan O’Connor (capt), Sam Carter; Greg Jones, Nick Timoney, David McCann.

Replacements: Marcus Rea for Jones (21 mins), Eric O’Sullivan for Warwick (46 mins), Mick Kearney for Carter (47 mins), Rob Lyttle for Lowry (52 mins), Nathan Doak for Cooney (60 mins), Ross Kane for Moore (71 mins). Not used: Tom Stewart, Angus Curtis.

Referee: Frank Murphy (IRFU).

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People in Weoley Castle, Birmingham are at ‘the end of their tether’ over massive pile of rubbish

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Neighbours are at ‘the end of their tether’ over massive pile of rubbish in council flat garden including fridges, trollies and furniture that has been growing for 10 YEARS

  • The garden in Weoley Castle, Birmingham, has been used as a dumping ground 
  • The pile of rubbish has been growing for over a decade and is now attracting rats
  • Next door neighbour Darren Holden, 52, said ‘something has to be done’ 
  • A video shows the garden overflowing with old mattresses, fridges and trollies 

Furious neighbours are fed-up after a council flat garden that has been used as a dumping ground for rubbish for more than a decade is now starting to attract rats.

Hospital worker Darren Holden, 52, from Weoley Castle in Birmingham, said he and his fellow neighbours are ‘reaching the end of their tether’ after the pile of waste, which includes fridges, trollies and furniture, has been building for 10 years.

Video footage of his neighbour’s garden shows a sea of discarded household appliances, including what looks like a bathtub and mattress, as well broken bits of wood scattered across the garden.

Mr Holden said the garden belongs to an elderly tenant who lives in the council flat above his own and is understood to have a medical condition.

The frustrated resident said: ‘The other neighbours and myself are just getting sick of it. We’re getting rats in our gardens and it’s getting worse and worse every year.

‘I’ve lived in the property for 14 years and I’d say this has been going on for up to ten years now. Some of the neighbours have to look at all the rubbish from their windows.

‘I’ve seen rats in my garden – my dog chased one off the other day.’

Darren Holden, 52, from Weoley Castle, Birmingham, is 'reaching the end of his tether' after the garden next door to his home has been used a dumping ground for more than 10 years. The ever-growing rubbish pile, which includes a fridges, trollies and a mattress, is now attracting rats.

Darren Holden, 52, from Weoley Castle, Birmingham, is ‘reaching the end of his tether’ after the garden next door to his home has been used a dumping ground for more than 10 years. The ever-growing rubbish pile, which includes a fridges, trollies and a mattress, is now attracting rats. 

Everyday Mr Holden has to walk through the rubbish-strewn garden to get from his home into his own garden.

Despite making a complaint to Birmingham City Council years ago, when the mound of waste first started to build, he heard nothing back.

He added: ‘It’s full of old fridge freezers with the doors taken off, air fryers, televisions, baby baths, old chairs, lots of wood, bed bases, chairs, glass – you name it, it’s in there.

‘I saw a shopping trolley from Asda in the road the other day then noticed the next day it was in the garden.

‘I have complained to the council before but nothing happened, I didn’t hear back. Then it just carried on getting worse.’

Broken bits of wood, household appliances and chairs are some of the items that have been chucked into the garden over the last decade. Mr Holden first made a complaint to Birmingham City Council years ago but he never got a response. The council has now said it has issued a warning to the tenant to clean the garden within the next 14 days.

Broken bits of wood, household appliances and chairs are some of the items that have been chucked into the garden over the last decade. Mr Holden first made a complaint to Birmingham City Council years ago but he never got a response. The council has now said it has issued a warning to the tenant to clean the garden within the next 14 days. 

Mr Holden said he does not want to cause any issues for the elderly man who owns the garden but wants the council to provide him with help to clean it up.

He added: ‘I’m at the end of my tether now and don’t know what to do. Enough is enough, people are getting fed up and I’m not putting up with it anymore.

‘I don’t want to cause any issues for the guy who lives there – he’s elderly and lives alone so he probably just needs some help. But something has to be done.’

The Weoley Castle garden is strewn with discarded fridges, trollies, furniture, household appliances, mattresses and broken bits of wood.

The garden is believed to be owned by an elderly man with a medical condition. Mr Holden said he wants the council to help the resident.

The council flat garden is believed to be owned by the elderly man who lives above Mr Holden. Mr Holden said he does not ‘want to cause any issues to the guy who lives there’ but added that something had to be done. 

Birmingham City Council said it has now contacted the tenant and issued a warning letter to clear the garden within the next 14 days.

A spokesperson for the council said: ‘We have been in contact with the tenant about the items left in their front garden and the impact this is having on the local community.

‘They have been issued with a warning letter to clear the garden in the next 14 days. We are working with the tenant to resolve this.’

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Hundreds queue for one rental property in Dublin as Irish capital’s housing shortage in crisis

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Over 150 potential tenants queued to view a single rental property in Dublin last night as Ireland grapples with a housing crisis.

A long queue formed along St Brendans Road in Dublin on Tuesday night, with over 100 people queuing for a viewing at the three-bedroom house at 8.30pm. 

Within 30 minutes, even as the sun set, a further 50 people joined the queue to view the property, which costs €1,850 a month, in the city.

Conor Finn, who posted footage of the long queues, tweeted that he had waited for an hour in the queue before leaving without viewing the property.

‘An hour later and I’ve left the queue after no real movement or chance of viewing the house tonight,’ Finn said on Tuesday night at 9.30pm. ‘People were still joining the end of the queue as I left.’

Ireland’s economy is booming as the republic offers low corporation tax rates to tech and pharmaceutical companies such as Google – and pandemic-enhanced revenues from those companies has meant the republic is enjoying a €8bn corporate tax windfall.

But employees from these companies have flooded into the country, meaning the demand for properties in Ireland have soared. They are also able to afford to pay higher prices for houses and renting a property, meaning costs have soared.

This, coupled with a shortage of properties, has meant Ireland is facing a housing crisis and one estate agents in Dublin have even had to introduce a lottery system for viewings after they received 1,200 applications for one home.

Over 150 potential tenants queued to view a single rental property in Dublin last night as Ireland grapples with a housing crisis

Over 150 potential tenants queued to view a single rental property in Dublin last night as Ireland grapples with a housing crisis

A long queue formed along a street in Dublin on Tuesday night, with over 100 people queuing for a house viewing at around 8.30pm

A long queue formed along a street in Dublin on Tuesday night, with over 100 people queuing for a house viewing at around 8.30pm

A long queue formed along a street in Dublin on Tuesday night, with over 100 people queuing for a house viewing at around 8.30pm

Demand for rental accommodation in Dublin has grown from already sky high levels in recent months – to such a degree that Ireland’s largest private landlord could have recently filled a new apartment block 30 times over, its chief executive said on Thursday. 

Chronic supply shortages pushed Irish rental properties to a new record low this month, with just 716 homes available to a population of 5.1 million people as of August 1, property website Daft.ie said in a report on Wednesday last week.

Irish Residential Properties REIT (IRES) Chief Executive Margaret Sweeney told Reuters that it received 600 requests to view 20 new apartments it listed last month near Dublin’s city centre.

The 61-unit development was fully occupied within a week of the builders completing the project, she added.

‘We’re definitely seeing much greater demand, there is a real shortage of good available accommodation. We’ve seen it increasing month-on-month,’ Sweeney said in a telephone interview.

‘It’s coming through in the fundamentals, unemployment is even lower than it was pre-COVID, there’s been quite strong FDI (foreign direct investment). We’ve a very young population as well as less emigration than previous decades.’

Estate agents Brock Delappe in Dublin said they have been forced to operate a ‘lottery system’ when choosing who can view properties because they have been inundated with applications.  

Within 30 minutes, even as the sun set, a further 50 people joined the queue to view the property in the city.

Within 30 minutes, even as the sun set, a further 50 people joined the queue to view the property in the city

Within 30 minutes, even as the sun set, a further 50 people joined the queue to view the property in the city

Ireland is facing a housing crisis due to a shortage in houses coupled with soaring demand

Ireland is facing a housing crisis due to a shortage in houses coupled with soaring demand

David Brock, an estate agent at the firm, said that there have been 1,200 applications for a single property.

‘The knock-on of that is, while the rent is low, you can only rent it out to one person and then you have got 1,999 disappointed people,’ Brock told Newstalk

‘When we’re doing the lettings and it comes to that, we need to operate a lottery system, which is unfair as well. You meet a lot of people who are desperate.’ 

While Ireland built too many homes in the wrong places in the 2000s, supply has since constantly fallen short of demand and rents have long passed their previous peak, limiting prospective buyers’ ability to save a deposit.

A years-long mismatch between low supply and high demand in Ireland has been compounded by two shutdowns of the construction sector in the past 18 months to slow the spread of Covid-19.

The resultant stalling in the building of new homes and a high number of well-paid employees at tech companies moving to Ireland has contributed to house prices rising again and rents increasing. 

In 2009, there were over 23,400 homes available to rent in Ireland – nearly 8,000 in Dublin and 15,500 elsewhere. In contrast there were less than 300 homes to rent in Dublin and 424 elsewhere on August 1 this year. 

Ronan Lyons, who wrote the Daft.ie report, said: ‘A resurgent economy over the last year has accentuated the chronic shortage of rental housing in Ireland.

‘The shortage of rental accommodation translates directly into higher market rents and this can only be addressed by significantly increased supply.’

Last month, Irish officials claimed Britain’s Rwanda policy has triggered a surge in refugees arriving in Ireland, reports The Telegraph.

But that is just one factor – the Irish government said that the country has seen an increase of refugees due to the pandemic and the war in Ukraine.

The unprecedented number of refugees arriving in Ireland has put pressure on the country’s housing crisis, despite generous offers to host Ukrainian families.

The shortage of accommodation has become so critical that around 4,300 Ukrainian refugees are set to be displaced this month, reports the Irish Independent. They are being housed in hotels and hospital accommodation. 



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Bluewater grows its entertainment offer (GB)

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Landsec has announced the opening of a third ‘UK first’ attraction at Bluewater, Kent as the destination expands its partnership with Hangloose Adventures. Skydive, a free-fall experience not found anywhere else in Europe, and the UK’s only outdoor skydive machine has opened at the centre. It follows on from Europe’s biggest purpose-built giant swing, standing at 46-metre tall, which opened at Bluewater earlier this month.  

 

The announcement builds on a successful first year for Hangloose’s initial attraction Skywire, the longest zip wire in England, which has welcomed 30,000 guests since launching at Bluewater last June. Landsec will continue to work with Hangloose to expand its offering, with up to five more experiences set to open at the centre by 2024: a bungee tower, giant slide, clip and climb, waterdrop boulding wall, and Via Ferrata, a route-marked climb using metal rails and rungs embedded in Bluewater’s cliff walls.

 

Mark Warne, Brand Account Director F&B and Leisure at Landsec commented: “Delivering new experiences which are unique to Bluewater is central to our overall offer for guests. Hangloose’s innovative concept raises the bar when it comes to leisure attractions and draws guests from across the UK to Kent. By partnering with Hangloose to grow their business and create shared value, we’ll be able to give guests even more exciting experiences every time they visit.”

 

Brian Phelps, MD of Hangloose Adventure, said: “Since the beginning, we’ve worked closely with Landsec to grow our leisure concept and drive performance, putting us in a unique position where we’re able to expand our offer after only a year. We’ve enjoyed great success at Bluewater so far and are already thinking about how we can provide even bigger and better experiences in the future.”

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