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GAA Discussion / The next 10 all Irelands
« on: September 19, 2021, 01:02:54 PM »
Who do you think will win them?

Last 10 were

Donegal 1
Kerry 1
Tyrone 1
Dublin 7

General discussion / AA Rewdwotch is being put out to grass
« on: July 09, 2021, 04:11:38 PM »
The AA is stopping its Roadwatch Traffic and Travel reports after almost 32 years.

AA Ireland started broadcasting traffic reports on RTÉ Radio 1 in September 1989.

Several well-known broadcasters and presenters, including Lorraine Keane, Louise Duffy, Doireann Garrihy, Nuala Carey and Louise Heraghty started out on the weekday broadcasts.

General discussion / Lions tour in covidia
« on: July 08, 2021, 08:44:06 AM »

The British & Irish Lions have insisted the tour will not be derailed by Covid-19 despite nine players being placed in isolation before their victory over the Cell C Sharks on Wednesday night.

Head coach Warren Gatland again expressed confidence that the Test series will go ahead following their 54-7 victory against the Sharks. “Absolutely. I believe we will do it,” Gatland said. “We were always going to get a case or two and it is how we deal with it. We are not sure where we picked the cases from - hotel staff or people at matches - I am not sure. We are preparing and really looking forward to a Test series.”

After a staff member tested positive in the morning, the entire Lions squad had been forced to isolate in their rooms until 6pm before the Medical Advisory Group provided the green light for the match to go ahead.

General discussion / The new maternity hospital in Dublin
« on: July 01, 2021, 11:18:46 AM »
"State ownership of maternity hospital land would be ‘inappropriate’
Concerns mount about potential religious influence in the new hospital"

Concerns in particular over Governance. The State pays for everything but has no say over the composition of the board.

GAA Discussion / Fuball odds 2021
« on: June 09, 2021, 12:21:16 PM »
Via oddschecker

Dublin                8/11
Kerry               3/1
Mayo                12/1
Tyrone/Donegal         20/1
Gaillimh             22/1
Cork               50/1
Monaghan            66/1
Meath/Armagh            100/1
Kildare/Roscommon         150/1
Tipperary/Cavan          300/1
Westmeath/Down/Derry/Clare   500/1
Laois/Fermanagh         1000/1

GAA Discussion / GAA voluntary redundancies
« on: May 22, 2021, 07:56:10 AM »

The GAA have offered voluntary redundancies to all full-time staff. At a remote meeting on Friday, the association’s DG Tom Ryan addressed staff and in light of the financial difficulties of the past year proposed the cuts.

It applies to all centrally funded positions, which now includes nearly all county secretaries or CEOs. Staff were informed that the matter would be coming before the meeting of Management Committee later that evening.

The programme is at an early stage and there will be no compulsory redundancies plus all applications must be approved by the GAA’s HR department. There are believed to be the best part of 200 employees of the GAA at central level, including 140 directly in Croke Park and around 30 more, as full-time CEOs are also funded centrally.

It is also believed that the impact of Covid, which shut down the association for lengthy periods and prevented any gate receipts from being earned has created the necessity for this action.

A voluntary process will begin in the weeks ahead. There is no declared target number of redundancies but the programme is open to everyone, subject to approval.

There is concern within the GAA that the severance proposals, although inevitable, will hamper the association in the years to come.

In his annual report to last February’s congress, Ryan set out the financial challenges caused by the pandemic.

“Our success is not defined by financial performance, and nor should it be,” he said in his report about a year in which revenues fell by nearly 60 per cent from last year’s record €74 million and in which counties lost a cumulative €4 million.

“Nevertheless the past year has proved very damaging to the Association from a financial point of view, with the likelihood that the after effects will be felt for some years to come. The extent and nature of that damage is evident elsewhere in this report, but the topic bears reflecting upon here too.”

Government support was vital to the functioning of the association and totalled €28 million, including the €14 million granted to run the All-Ireland football and hurling championships.

“But the Association will flourish again long after this pandemic is over,” added Ryan, “and we need to maintain certain momentum in the meantime - albeit on a greatly reduced scale. With time, with the restoration of public health and the resumption of normality I have no doubt that we will recover.”

General discussion / Landlordism 2.0
« on: May 05, 2021, 08:47:32 AM »

Investment firms buy estate of 112 new houses in Dublin to rent out
Bay Meadows in Dublin 15 was purchased by Round Hill Capital and SFO Capital Partners

Harry McGee Political Correspondent

A global investment company has been involved in the acquisition of a new development of 112 houses in north Dublin in order to rent them out.

Round Hill Capital is the same company which also bought most of the houses in a Maynooth, Co Kildare, housing estate.

The company, together with SFO Capital Partners, has acquired Bay Meadows in Dublin 15, which it describes as “high-quality suburban family homes”.

On the website for the new estate, the companies who have acquired the estate say they are “proud to present Bay Meadows, a brand new first let development of 112 (single family) homes located in Hollystown, Dublin 15”.

The news of the acquisition of another housing estate for the rental market by Round Hill Capital comes after it emerged it acquired the majority of the 174 houses in a new estate in Maynooth.

Bay Meadows will comprise a mix of two-, three-, and four-bedroom homes. The first phase will be completed later this month, with the final phase completed in early 2022, according to the company.

Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien said on Tuesday that he did not approve of investment funds purchasing almost entire new estates.

“Do investors have a role here, in housing in Ireland? Yes, they do as they do in most western European countries. But what I would say is that where funds are coming in and taking homes away from families, is a concern of mine.”

However, he warned about any move to ban investment ventures outright. Options included exploring a ban on block-buying new homes for the private rental market outside of city centre cores.

The company has become a significant player in the Irish buy-to-rent property market in recent years. Before moving into house acquisition it had acquired (either by itself or in joint ventures) hundreds of apartments, and four developments tailored for student accommodation with a total of 1,200 bedrooms.

That included a €123 million deal to acquire 297 high-quality apartments at Blackwood Square in Northwood, Santry as well as acquisitions of student accommodation developments in the Liberties, Dublin 8; in Bandon Road in Cork; in Bridgefield, Santry; and in Curaheen Point, Co Cork.

In September 2019, The Irish Times reported that 12 two- and three-bed yellow-brick units at the housing development Bay Meadows had been sold off plans to private buyers at the Dublin 15 site, with prices from €289,500 for the two beds and from €330,000 for the three beds.

Opposition parties strongly criticised the sale on the basis it would reduce the stock for first-time buyers. Sinn Féin housing spokesman Eoin Ó Broin said “the problem is short-term, high-yield vulture funds incentivised by Government policy” .

However, a spokesman for Round Hill Capital said on Tuesday: “We are committed to investing in Ireland to increase the supply of quality homes available to rent, working alongside local developers and agents.”

The company said the acquisition was reflective of the wider growth of the private rental sector investment market in Ireland over the past three years.

Michael Bickford, founder and CEO at Round Hill Capital, said in a statement last week: “The counter-cyclical nature of the rental housing market means it is resilient to market cycles, as has been proven amid the economic uncertainties caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“As such this transaction is yet further evidence of the strong appeal of the Irish build-to-rent sector for institutional capital, attracted by its resilient, long-term yields as well as the wider growth of the private rental sector investment market in Ireland over the past three years.

“We look forward to building on the first success of this venture to further expand our portfolio across Ireland.”

Hurling Discussion / Hurling championship 2021
« on: April 27, 2021, 09:24:05 AM »
Odds 6/5/21

Limerick   5/4
Galway    5/1
Tipp        11/2
KK          9/1
Cork       12/1
Deise      14/1
Clare       20/1
Wex        22/1
Dublin     50/1 
Laois   1000/1

Liam Griffin hopeful Wexford are getting closer to the heady heights of 1996
Former Model County manager believes cynical fouling needs to be cracked down on

Seán Moran

Liam Griffin is in characteristically good form. He’s had a knee replacement operation and that is settling nicely.

“It’s like Ned Wheeler said to me when he got his hip done. He said it’s that good that although there’s nothing wrong with the other one, he’d get it done anyway!”

His Laochra Gael programme is the last one in the current series and he is aware of the timing for Wexford hurling: 26 years since the glorious summer of 1996 when the future was one of endless possibility - just two years shorter than the gap that team closed all the way back to 1968, which seemed like an eternity.

Did he think that it would be this long again?

“No, not in my wildest dreams did I think that. For me, I thought that after ‘96 we would kick on. Maybe it wasn’t realistic when you look back on it because we had some of the really good players who were already in their early 30s.

“So, we probably didn’t dwell on that an awful lot, or enough really, but it is disappointing. A son of mine, Rory, he actually wrote a study on Wexford hurling, and earlier this year he sent me it, ‘it won’t be long now till 28 years,’ - that’s all he put on it.”

He believes that prospects are better for Wexford now than in 1996 because the county is better geared towards player development. New county chair Micheál Martin has done a lot of work at Croke Park level to untangle the knots at underage levels nationally.

“So hopefully we are going to get up there. Hurling needs Wexford and I really believe that. And we need Offaly. We need everybody but hurling certainly needs Wexford.”

Is it possible that someone could emulate Griffin’s achievement by bringing a team from effectively nowhere to winning an All-Ireland?

“Unlikely I would say,” he replies. “We worked a lot on sports science. We went through the whole year without having a pulled muscle. We worked very carefully on what we tried to do because we were not Brian Cody and Kilkenny, we did not have the riches they have.

“We put in a good system. Everyone was fit and we did a whole list of things to see if we could bridge the gap. We wrote down things that we could do. Why couldn’t we be the fittest team in Ireland? Why couldn’t we be the best hookers and blockers in Ireland? Why couldn’t we do all the heavy lifting and workman-like team? Why couldn’t we be the most disciplined team in Ireland?

“We put a lot of effort into getting that right and we brought in a sports psychologist as well because I was trying to do that and obviously I am not a professional. We tried to give ourselves every chance but if you did that today you would be matched by other people who are doing exactly the same.”

The game has also changed, he says, “. . . possession has become paramount. A lot of the hurling is very good, I’m not saying it’s not - I wouldn’t have minded playing in this era myself - but the cynical fouling is an issue.

“It is not good enough because in 2019 the All-Ireland was 26 matches and the teams that won the most, fouled the most and that is just an underlying symptom of cynical fouling.

“The scrums, the rucks, ground hurling going out of the game - it’s evolved. Some of it is very good and some of it is not so good as a spectacle but overall the players are good, the skills are good. The absence of goals is an issue and takes a bit of excitement out of the game.

“Some of the shooting is spectacularly good, but having an extra man means a lot of loose play as well. You have loose men popping up in places, as happened in the All-Ireland final last year.”

He has plenty to say on other topical issues. An early backer of the Club Players’ Association, he is content that their work as a lobby group ‘to fix the fixtures’ is now done - with a little help from the pandemic.

“We were completely volunteers. We weren’t looking for anything except to get the fixtures fixed. That was it. But for Covid it wouldn’t have happened in my opinion. We would have written to every county board at one stage, every single county board to say this is what we’re trying to do. We never got a single reply. Not one. That was disappointing.

“There’s no triumphalism from anyone on our side. That’s it and we walked away when we said we would - when the fixtures were fixed.”

A successful hotelier and businessman, he is adamant that the GAA need to deploy their huge asset base to raise funds by borrowing.

“What I don’t want to see is that we’re trying very hard in Wexford to keep a very good structure at underage and letting coaches go when you could borrow money and do some sort of a deal on it. I think that would be to undermine the game when it’s already being undermined. You don’t do a double undermining - that’s not a great management policy!”

*Liam Griffin will feature in the sixth and final episode of the latest Laochra Gael series, on TG4 this Thursday at 9.30 pm.

General discussion / European Super League
« on: April 18, 2021, 08:03:00 PM »
Gary Neville

Many of Europe’s wealthiest football clubs have agreed to join a breakaway “Super League” competition that would mark the biggest transformation of the game in decades. Up to 12 clubs have signed up to a plan, backed by $6bn in debt financing from JPMorgan, to launch a new tournament that would supersede the Champions League, currently the continent’s top annual club competition. According to people with knowledge of the discussions, those ready to join the breakaway contest include Spain’s Real Madrid and FC Barcelona; England’s Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea; and Italy’s Juventus, AC Milan and Inter Milan. These clubs either declined or did not respond to a request for comment.

The new league, according to documents seen by the Financial Times, would involve 20 clubs with 15 being “permanent members”, meaning they could not be relegated and would not need to qualify through strong performances in national league competitions.  The founder members would be granted between €100m-€350m each and would continue to play in their national competitions, such as England’s Premier League and Spain’s La Liga. With expected revenues of €4bn for the competition through media and sponsorship sales, clubs would receive a fixed payment of €264m a year. JPMorgan declined to comment. The clubs not yet signed up include France’s Paris Saint-Germain and Germany’s Bayern Munich, among the richest in Europe, according to people close to the discussions. A declaration about the Super League is designed to head off an alternative plan for a radical transformation of the Champions League, which is run by Uefa, European football'sgoverning body. 

General discussion / Ulster Bank closing in the RoI
« on: February 18, 2021, 09:40:46 AM »

The board of NatWest is set to decide on Thursday evening on a proposal to wind down Ulster Bank in the Republic after more than 160 years in the market, setting the stage for a likely break-up of the lender’s €20.5 billion loan book, according to sources.

GAA Discussion / Your favourite players
« on: January 22, 2021, 08:14:15 AM »
As many as you want

1. Your own county now
2. Your own county in the past
3. Other counties now
4. Other counties in the past

GAA Discussion / Football All stars 2020
« on: January 15, 2021, 10:04:03 AM »

Dublin dominate football All Star nominations with 13
Brian Fenton, Ciaran Kilkenny and Cillian O’Connor on Footballer of the Year shortlist
about 3 hours ago
Ian O'Riordan

There is one less county represented than last year and another worthy 13 again for Dublin, with Cavan and Tipperary also taking a special share of nominations for the 2020 All Star football team.

Players from 10 counties are represented (one less than 2019), Dublin’s 13 nominations (the same as last year) among the 45-strong shortlist reflecting their record sixth successive All-Ireland win, with players nominated throughout every area of the pitch.

Sponsored by PwC and presented by the GAA in association with the Gaelic Players Association (GPA), beaten finalists Mayo are next with 12 contenders for the outright All Star team: it is intended that a televised presentation of the 2020 All Star awards will take place late next month, in line with Covid-19 restrictions.

After winning a first Ulster title since 1997, Cavan have been rewarded with seven nominations, including their inspirational goalkeeper Raymond Galligan, who helped seal the first round Ulster win over Monaghan, and also veteran midfielder Gearóid McKiernan. Cavan’s only previous All Star football winners were Ollie Brady (1978) and Dermot McCabe (1997).

Tipperary’s memorable march to a first Munster senior football title since 1935 is also reflected in four nominations for defenders Kevin Fahy and Bill Maher, with Colin O’Riordan among the midfield contenders and captain Conor Sweeney named among the forward contenders. Their last All Star in football was Michael Quinlivan in 2016.

Iain Corbett’s standout exploits for Limerick in their league and championship displays in 2020 is honoured with an inclusion among the 18 top defenders - a nomination for the county footballers for the first time since John Galvin in 2010. There are three nominations for Ulster finalists Donegal, two for Galway and with Armagh’s Aidan Forker, Cork midfielder Ian Maguire and Kerry attacker David Clifford also included.

Dublin’s Brian Fenton and Ciaran Kilkenny are joined by Mayo forward Cillian O’Connor in the shortlist for the Footballer of the Year Award, which will be chosen by their peers. For Fenton, the 2018 winner, it’s the chance to match Trevor Giles from Meath, the only other player to win the award twice (in 1996 and 1999), Fenton also in line to collect his fifth All Star. Last year’s footballer of the year Stephen Cluxton is in line to win his seventh award.

The vote for the Young Footballer of the Year Award will be an all-Mayo affair, with emerging stars Oisín Mullin (Kilmaine), Eoghan McLaughlin (Westport) and Tommy Conroy (the Neale) shortlisted.

Munster SHC 1/4 final (Doubles up as Allianz Hurling League Div 1 final)

Limerick v Clare 

Munster SHC semi-finals

Cork v Waterford

Tipperary v Limerick/Clare

Leinster SHC 1/4 final

Laois v Dublin

Leinster SHC semi-finals

Galway v Wexford

Laois/Dublin v Kilkenny


Chinese companies are increasingly questioning whether or not they are welcome here,” says Warwick Smith, a former executive director of Macquarie Bank and politician. He warns that Canberra is coming under “more and more pressure” from Washington to choose the US over China and business is concerned that government’s actions are causing unnecessary damage to relations with Beijing.

But Beijing has suspended imports of beef from some Australian meat processors and last week slapped tariffs of up to 80 per cent on its barley imports. Far from rescuing Canberra from its difficulties, there is growing concern that Beijing may look to exploit the country’s vulnerability by targeting other important trade sectors. “If we’re going to go into the biggest debt we’ve had in our life and then simultaneously poke our biggest provider of income in the eye, it’s not necessarily the smartest thing you can do,” says Mr Stokes. “If Beijing's anger is not quelled it could have catastrophic consequences for the economy.”


Although driven chiefly by a sense of great power rivalry with the US, much of the fallout during the coronavirus crisis has been in Europe. “They have started talking to us in a tone that they would have only used towards countries they considered small or weak,” said a German diplomat. Mareike Ohlberg, a scholar at the German Marshall Fund who specialises in Chinese influence campaigns in Europe, said: “In the past, towards us, they had stressed the long-term, the positive, the constructive. It is the first time that we are seeing destructive messaging on a large scale towards Europe


Any ideas?

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