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Relentless Leinster smother Munster challenge to retain Pro14 title



Leinster 16 Munster 6

Leinster’s maintained their Indian sign over their auld rivals to claim a fourth Pro14 in a row and a sixth victory over Munster in succession, the longest in the fixture’s history.

When you know how to win, you know how to win, and in stark contrast to Munster, Leinster’s winning know-how in semi-finals and finals has become a habit.

In truth, although Leinster only put themselves two scores clear entering the last 10 minutes, this never felt in any great doubt. Certainly Leinster were the dominant from the off to the finish in what will be as sobering a setback for Munster as any they’ve suffered in the last trophyless 10 years.

It was no classic and defences were on top. But all that said and done, Leinster had better launch plays, with Luke McGrath and Ross Byrne utilising wraparounds or hitting Robbie Henshaw. They also carried harder into and over the gainline, and hence were much more effective at building through the phases.

Luke McGrath consoles Tadhg Beirne after Leinster’s Pro14 final win over Munster. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho
Luke McGrath consoles Tadhg Beirne after Leinster’s Pro14 final win over Munster. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Very uncharacteristically though, save for a couple of penalties, they failed to convert about half a dozen visits deep inside the Munster 22 into tries and so trooped off six-all at the break despite dominating the first half-hour.

However, they reverted to a dog-eared script to score the game’s only try through their forwards’ relentless close-in charges soon after the resumption, and such was their vastly superior accuracy in much of what they did that that was pretty much it.

Rónan Kelleher and Josh van der Flier began like express trains, Robbie Henshaw maintained his rich vein of form, while the influence of Rhys Ruddock and Jack Conan grew and grew.

The one blemish, particularly with Toulon due here in six days, was that Johnny Sexton departed for an HIA soon after his arrival and did not return,

Leinster targeted Joey Carbery in defence and negated the poaching threat of CJ Stander, Tadhg Beirne and Peter O’Mahony with the sharpness of their clear-outs and the only Munstermen to make any headway into the thick blue line were Gavin Coombes and Dave Kilcoyne.

Working off static ball, not for the first time, Munster’s attack was made to look utterly impotent.

Literally from the off Munster put themselves on the back foot when Jean Kleyn failed to gather Ross Byrne’s kick-off and Murray was tackled into touch. Leinster launched Henshaw off the lineout and for Munster to only concede a three-pointer by Byrne from the ensuing attack was something of a result.

They were even more relieved when Rory O’Loughlin’s high pass went through Jordan Larmour’s hands after Stander and Kleyn’s mix up gave Leinster a scrum inside halfway, Kelleher then piercing the defensive line from Andrew Porter’s tip-on pass.

Leinster opted for the corner when John Ryan didn’t roll away before taking another three when Niall Scannell went off his feet. They were full value for it too.

Jack Conan emerges after scoring the only try of the match against Munster. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho
Jack Conan emerges after scoring the only try of the match against Munster. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Munster needed a lift, and Kleyn provided it with a big hit on Healy, who was very swiftly pinged for not releasing by Mike Adamson, enabling Carbery to open Munster’s account.

That was Munster’s cue to put together some phases off lineouts and Keith Earls was seeing plenty of ball in midfield traffic. But Leinster’s defence, with Josh van der Flier given licence to apply pressure by shooting off the line, was comfy. Chris Farrell overfloated a pass to Andrew Conway and Dave Kearney engineered another turnover after Mike Haley’s carry.

Leinster carried more threat and worked an apparent overlap but Byrne didn’t release soon enough and O’Loughlin’s long pass again eluded Larmour.

But a needless quick throw by Earls was fumbled by Haley, affording Leinster an attacking scrum. Henshaw powered through Carbery’s tackle and only Coombes’s shin prevented Fardy from grounding the ball in the opinion of Adamson, if not the Leinster players.

Unusually, Leinster gave Munster another lifeline when Van der Flier overran the ball to concede a penalty for crossing.

Van der Flier soon atoned with a typical square carry and offload to meet Hugo Keenan’s superb line, and he found Henshaw in support. Munster were indebted to Farrell’s tackle and then, on the back foot from the recycle in their own 22 for about the sixth time in the half, to Earls intercepting Van der Flier’s pass.

Murray even had the distance with a penalty from inside halfway but was wide, while Coombes – the only uncapped player on the pitch at kick-off – galvanised his team with a huge, leg-pumping gallop.

Carbery’s 40-metre penalty smacked off the upright but after earning another shot at goal with a carry when high tackled by Conan, the Munster outhalf drew the sides level with the last kick of the half.

On the resumption, Leinster reverted to their tried and tested formula. First they repelled the Munster carriers before Kleyn took his eye off Murray’s pass and knocked on. Andrew Porter got the nudge on James Cronin at the ensuing scrum, when Munster were pinged for wheeling and Leinster went up the line.

After launching Henshaw up the middle, the Leinster pack kept the ball to themselves with a procession of pick-and-jams in time-honoured fashion. Conan was held up a second time, but after driving off the ensuing scrum himself, the number eight eventually burrowed over and Byrne converted.

Carbery’s restart going out on the full didn’t help Munster’s cause and, after the loss of an injured Peter O’Mahony and a raft of frontrow replacements, Byrne missed the chance to put Leinster 10 points ahead not long after receiving treatment for a leg or knee injury, and soon after was replaced by Sexton.

Even when Munster began to finally generate some ferocity at the breakdown and with it some momentum, Ryan Baird – barely on for Fardy – had the temerity to rip the ball from Stander for the increasingly influential Ruddock to lead the counter charge.

Keith Earls is shackled during Munster’s Pro14 final defeat to Leinster. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho
Keith Earls is shackled during Munster’s Pro14 final defeat to Leinster. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Kleyn did rip the ball from Ruddock and Munster knocked again, but Murray’s pass bounced off Kleyn’s face.

Byrne, still limping slightly, returned for a bloodied Sexton, and McGrath found a huge touch before Conan punished a miscued boxkick by Murray with a mighty charge. A penalty for offside followed and Byrne kicked Leinster two scores ahead.

The Leinster entourage, loud from the off, cheered heartily when Earls fumbled a long punt by McGrath. Munster looked a beaten docket, a thumping hit by Henshaw on Farrell and a kick out on the full by Craig Casey confirming as much.

Leinster forced Munster to play catch-up, before O’Loughlin claimed a chip from JJ Hanrahan and soon after Byrne kicked the ball dead with the clock in the red.

Michael Bent and Devin Toner lifted the trophy as Leinster became champions for an eighth time. They pass this honour around like confetti.

Scoring sequence: 4 mins Byrne pen 3-0; 12 mins Byrne pen 6-0; 14 mins Carbery pen 6-3; 40 (+ 1 min) Carbery pen 6-6; (half-time 6-6); 48 mins Conan try, Byrne con 13-6; 69 mins Byrne pen 16-6.

Leinster: Hugo Keenan; Jordan Larmour, Rory O’Loughlin, Robbie Henshaw, Dave Kearney; Ross Byrne, Luke McGrath (capt); Cian Healy, Rónan Kelleher, Andrew Porter; Devin Toner, Scott Fardy; Rhys Ruddock, Josh van der Flier, Jack Conan. Replacements: Ed Byrne for Healy, Tadhg Furlong for Porter (both 53 mins), Ryan Baird for Fardy, Johnny Sexton for Byrne (both 59 mins), Byrne for (62 mins), James Tracy for Kelleher (70 mins), Ross Molony for Ruddock (74 mins), Jamison Gibson-Park for McGrath (76 mins). Not used – James Lowe.

Munster: Mike Haley; Andrew Conway, Chris Farrell, Damian de Allende, Keith Earls; Joey Carbery, Conor Murray; James Cronin, Niall Scannell, John Ryan; Jean Kleyn, Tadhg Beirne; Gavin Coombes, Peter O’Mahony (capt), CJ Stander. Replacements: Jack O’Donoghue for O’Mahony (49 mins), Dave Kilcoyne for Cronin, Stephen Archer for Ryan (both 52 mins), Kevin O’Byrne for N Scannell (53 mins), Billy Holland for Kleyn, Craig Casey for Murray, JJ Hanrahan for Carbery (all 70 mins), Rory Scannell for de Allende (74 mins).

Referee: Mike Adamson (SRU).

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Higgins raises concerns over volume of legislation received in recent weeks



Two Oireachtas committees are being convened at short notice to consider concerns raised by President Michael D. Higgins at the volume of legislation sent to his office in recent weeks.

In a letter to the Ceann Comhairle, the Cathaoirleach of the Seanad and the Department of the Taoiseach, Mr Higgins said an “overwhelming number of Bills” were presented for his consideration in the final two weeks before the Christmas and summer recesses.

“For example, in the three weeks since the beginning of July I have been asked to consider 19 separate Bills. Nine were presented on the one day, sharing a requirement to be considered and signed in the same seven-day period,” he wrote, pointing out that in the entire preceding six months, he was presented with 13 Bills for consideration.

Last year, 21 of the total of 32 Bills presented to him were sent in the weeks approaching summer and Christmas recesses.

“It would strike me, as President and from my years as a parliamentarian, that there must be a more orderly approach to arranging the legislative timetable that allows all legislators the time to consider and contribute to proposals before the Oireachtas without unnecessary time constraints and an unseemly end-of-term haste to have Bills concluded,” the President wrote.

“Having this vital work concentrated into four weeks of the year strikes me as being less than ideal and, I believe, unnecessary.”

Mr Higgins noted that little time was being given over in the Oireachtas to debate often “very important and far-reaching legislative proposals”.

He said the process has “been curtailed through the imposition of restrictions on time in one or both Houses”.

He said amendments put down by Oireachtas members were often not discussed, and those proposed by the Government were at times “carried without an opportunity for scrutiny or debate”.

The President noted an “unseemly end-of-term haste”to pass legislation and said a “real prospect” of having to convene the Council of State in the days after Christmas day to consider Bills had arisen more than once.

Seán Ó Fearghaíl, the Ceann Comhairle, told The Irish Times that the Dáil’s Business Committee and the Seanad’s Committee on Procedures would meet on Friday to consider the letter, and actions open to the Oireachtas to consider.

There have been renewed concerns during the lifetime of this Dáil about the use of the guillotine to force Government legislation through without extensive oversight, with several heavyweight pieces of legislation passed in a matter of days before the Oireachtas rose for its summer break earlier this month.

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Who do I need to notify if I move home?



Moving house is frequently said to be one of the most stressful things anyone can do.

The massive investment both financially and emotionally can take its toll, especially if the process takes months to complete.

It is why anything that helps to elevate some of the stress along the way can be hugely beneficial. This includes addressing some of the practicalities in advance, and having a list of who to notify when you move can help. 

We look at some of the organisations and companies who you may need to contact when you move home

We look at some of the organisations and companies who you may need to contact when you move home

Dozens of companies will need to know your new address, whether this is an insurer who may use them to help calculate your insurance premiums or a retailer who need to know where to send the clothing you ordered online.

Without updating them, you may endure a bigger headache from moving home than you had anticipated.

North London estate agent Jeremy Leaf, said: ‘When moving home, it is vital to plan ahead. Moving day can come upon you very quickly, particularly if there is a short time between exchange and completion.

‘Buildings insurance is the most important thing that needs arranging on your new property as soon as you have exchanged contracts.

‘Confirm your moving date with your removals firm and make a list of who needs notifying about your impending change of address – the electoral roll, the DVLA, Amazon and other delivery firms, particularly supermarket deliveries. The last thing you want is for your orders to turn up at your ‘old’ address once you have moved.

‘Don’t forget to change your council tax, while utility providers will also need informing, and given final meter readings. The more you plan ahead, the smoother the process will be.’ 

A checklist for who to notify when you change address can help to elevate some of the stress of moving home

A checklist for who to notify when you change address can help to elevate some of the stress of moving home

Tom Parker, of property website Zoopla, agreed: ‘Moving home can be overwhelming with so much to do. When it comes to notifying organisations, it’s best to divide it into digestible categories like work, household and vehicle.

‘Notifying your employer is a top priority, especially if your payslips are sent to your home. If you own a vehicle, ensure you update your driving licence, insurance providers and vehicle logbook.  

‘Make sure you also notify organisations like your broadband, utilities, insurance providers and council tax. Finally, don’t forget the small things like magazine subscriptions and store cards.’

Here we look at some of the organisations and companies who you may need to contact when you move home.


Perhaps one of the most important and probably most overlooked places that need to be notified of your change of address is HMRC, which needs to know for tax purposes.  

Similarly, your employer needs to know when you change address for your payroll, so that it can update your contact details.

In addition, your National Insurance number helps the Government to identify you and is used by the organisations such as the DVLA and HMRC, so this will need your new address attached. 


There are various companies providing services to your household that will need to know about your move so that they can update your contact information.

In some cases, you may end up continuing to pay for a service in your former home that you are no longer using if you fail to update these companies.

They include your cable or satellite provider, your phone and broadband company. It is also important to update your TV licence contact details, which can be done up to three months before a move.


You can update DVLA via its website and within two to four weeks, you should receive an updated licence and V5C log book documents for your car. Failing to update the log book could lead to a fine of up to £1,000.

You will also need to notify the supplier of your vehicle breakdown cover and your car insurer.


Most insurers take postcodes into account when calculating premiums and the cost of insurance cover, so they will need to be notified of your change of address. 

You may need to contact those insurers who provide cover for household contents, health, life, travel and your pets.


As well as your health insurer, you will also need to provide your address to other healthcare organisations.

For example, if you change doctors when you move home, you will need to let your old doctor know so that your medical information can be forwarded to your new doctor. This may similarly apply to your dentists and opticians.


Your gas, electricity and water suppliers will need your updated contact information, even if you are leaving them behind at the old property and taking on new suppliers.

It can take a couple of days for energy providers to update your information, so it is worth contacting your suppliers ahead of your move. However, you may be able to move your deal to your new property.

Make sure you take readings of your utilities on the day of your move so you can update your suppliers with these and only pay for the amounts you have used. 

Royal Mail’s redirection service may be worth considering as it forwards any post sent to your former address to your new address. You can apply for the redirection up to three months before your moving date.


There are several companies and organisations that fall into this category and will need to know your new contact address.

They include bank and building societies, your pension providers, loan companies, credit card providers and store cards. If you are on a state pension, the Government will need to know your new details.

Similarly, you will need to update your address for council tax purposes.

Others include your accountant as you don’t want important tax documents going to your old address (if you are not using the a postal redirection service). And don’t forget updating NS&I with your new address if you put money into premium bonds.

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Ireland ‘one of world’s best five places’ to survive global societal collapse



Ireland is one of the world’s five places best suited to survive a global collapse of society, according to a new study. The others are Iceland, Tasmania, the UK and, topping the list, New Zealand.

The researchers say human civilisation is “in a perilous state” because of the highly interconnected and energy-intensive society that has developed and the environmental damage this has caused.

A collapse could arise from shocks such as a severe financial crisis, the effects of the climate crisis, destruction of nature, an even worse pandemic than Covid-19 or a combination of these, the scientists says.

To assess which nations would be most resilient to such a collapse, countries were ranked according to their ability to grow food for their population, protect their borders from unwanted mass migration, and maintain an electrical grid and some manufacturing ability. Islands in temperate regions and mostly with low population densities have come out on top.

The researchers say their study highlights the factors that nations must improve to increase resilience. They say that a globalised society that prizes economic efficiency has damaged resilience, and that spare capacity needs to exist in food and other vital sectors.

Billionaires have been reported to be buying land for bunkers in New Zealand in preparation for an apocalypse. “We weren’t surprised New Zealand was on our list,” says Prof Aled Jones, at the Global Sustainability Institute, at Anglia Ruskin University, in the UK.

“We chose that you had to be able to protect borders and places had to be temperate. So with hindsight it’s quite obvious that large islands with complex societies on them already” make up the list.

The study, published in the journal Sustainability, says: “The globe-spanning, energy-intensive industrial civilisation that characterises the modern era represents an anomalous situation when it is considered against the majority of human history.”

The study also says that environmental destruction, limited resources and population growth mean civilisation “is in a perilous state, with large and growing risks developing in multiple spheres of the human endeavour”.

New Zealand was found to have the greatest potential to survive relatively unscathed due to its geothermal and hydroelectric energy, abundant agricultural land and low human population density.

Jones says major global food losses, a financial crisis and a pandemic have all happened in recent years, and “we’ve been lucky that things haven’t all happened at the same time – there’s no real reason why they can’t all happen in the same year”.

He adds: “As you start to see these events happening I get more worried, but I also hope we can learn more quickly than we have in the past that resilience is important. With everyone talking about ‘building back better’ from the pandemic, if we don’t lose that momentum I might be more optimistic than I have been in the past.”

He says the coronavirus pandemic has shown that governments can act quickly when needed. “It’s interesting how quickly we can close borders, and how quickly governments can make decisions to change things.”

But, he adds, “This drive for just-in-time, ever-more-efficient economies isn’t the thing you want to do for resilience. We need to build in some slack in the system, so that if there is a shock then you have the ability to respond because you’ve got spare capacity. We need to start thinking about resilience much more in global planning. But, obviously, the ideal thing is that a quick collapse doesn’t happen.” – Guardian

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