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Concerned about course condition

  • 11-01-2021 10:05am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 23 tracker_1


    Hello.
    I would like to ask your thoughts on this dilemma. I'm a member of a south Dublin club, home of a 3 time major winner! I paid my sub last week and found out this morning that the club have put all course staff on a one day week effective today and with no time frame for them to be reinstated. I know one of the staff and he's deeply upset over it as they were only informed last Thursday night of this development and they were told to get sorted on welfare asap . I was told that the club wont be availing of any government help or subsidy to help them. Would anyone have any idea why this would happen, I'm concerned the course will be in terrible condition when golf is allowed back. I don't mind paying my sub once I know ill have a good track to play on once we return but this sticks out as something sinister..
    The chap I was talking who is affected told me that they were also told that if the weather turns bad , they will continue to be on one day a week. He also told me that they are half way through winter projects etc which wont be done now.
    Can anyone shed light if this is common practice, are your greenkeepers still working away?


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Comments

  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 542 ✭✭✭ Bill Ponderosa


    I'd imagine it's the same in a lot of places around the country. Alot will have been put on the PUP payment.

    Courses likely to be closed until March or April so they'll probably be back a week or two before opening. Good chance for clubs to save money. There's nobody playing, no wear and tear, no grass growing. Any decent size projects will be put on hold. Not ideal for the workers but not surprising given the current situation.


  • Registered Users Posts: 23 tracker_1


    Fair enough.. I do still think grass is growing though, my garden is anyway... Just to reiterate, the course staff in Stackstown have NOT been put on the PUP . Its up to the employer I believe and the committee have refused to do it for some reason


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,629 ✭✭✭ gypsy79


    tracker_1 wrote: »
    Fair enough.. I do still think grass is growing though, my garden is anyway... Just to reiterate, the course staff in Stackstown have NOT been put on the PUP . Its up to the employer I believe and the committee have refused to do it for some reason

    They can apply for PUP. I did it myself and was simple process. Back working from today thankfully

    It is the other scheme. 75% of wages. TWSS I think it is called

    I don’t know why they haven’t availed. I know Carr did and didn’t top up other 25%. Still had staff available full time


  • Registered Users Posts: 23 tracker_1


    Yes, but you can only apply for PUP if you are not working at all. The committee are still making them go into work for one day which excludes the staff from getting the PUP.. the TwSS is the payment they were on in March but Stackstown has refused to avail of it this time .
    Are greenkeepers working ? Am I right in thinking that the subs pay the wages/overheads of a club. Stacksown isn't struggling ,it has money and its a lottery getting on the timesheet as they are oversubscribed and have a waiting list .


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,633 ✭✭✭ youcancallmeal


    I'm a member there and have started paying my subs last week as well(I pay monthly). Strange there hasn't been an email to the membership telling us that the greens keeping staff have been reduced to one day a week, hopefully it'll be sent this week some time as it's definitely something we should be kept informed of. What are my subs being spent on if the we're only paying the greenskeepers for one day a week!? It's possible a large number of members haven't renewed for the year but I'd doubt it as the membership turnover is usually fairly low each year. I'd also be interested to hear how other clubs are handling it?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 25,541 ✭✭✭✭ GreeBo


    Grass is growing very slowly at the moment, so i wouldn't panic just yet.

    It will be annoying that winter projects wont get completed, but you have to assume that the club is doing this for a good reason.
    Would you prefer that they keep them all on now and have the course in good, albeit winter conditions but you guys run out of money before the year is out, or that they course is a bit scruffy during winter but back to top condition when summer is back and hopefully covid has taken a back seat?


  • Registered Users Posts: 23 tracker_1


    Im aware now that the reason my club didn't put the staff on the TWSS payment is that they don't qualify for it as they have too much money!!!

    So where is my sub and other members subs going when they are prepared to cut staff wages by 80% and I've no doubt the course will suffer. I know the staff are more than annoyed over the way they are being treated … you know the old xmas card pic with "who upset the greenkeeper again" caption and a picture of the green cut into the side of a hill!!!
    I believe in fairness and if we are all paying our full subs, then they shouldn't be cutting costs with the course, which includes the staff


  • Registered Users Posts: 23 tracker_1


    question I have is ,are there any other Dublin courses that have put their staff on a one day per week ??


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,629 ✭✭✭ gypsy79


    My understanding is that TWSS is based on how much income you have lost. With no green fees likely in Jan/Feb it may be the case that they are not able to avail

    Your club has made the call not to pay wages now and save the money to use later. Staff members will receive €350 a week. They may be at a loss but it may be necessary to stop actual redundancies at a later stage which are costly and would hurt the club


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,060 ✭✭✭ Ollieboy


    You are jumping the gun here.

    A lot of course did this last time to all over the country.

    At this time of year maintenance is low on the course, so it’s bad look for staff. If it was spring or summer it’s less a option. But at the moment one cut a week for most surfaces is plenty.

    Your club is down all green fees, societies and bar income and they don’t know when that income will come back.

    They are making these tough decisions to protect the club and its members and its great to see the committee doing that instead of increasing subs.

    It’s poor form you posting this on a public forum as a member of that club and more or less naming the club.

    Finally, very few if any clubs qualify for any govt schemes including PUP. I know some clubs are claiming it but they will have to repay it and this was confirmed by revenue.

    Golf clubs can’t access any of the other grants available and Golf Ireland Grant will only be available to about 200 clubs so on average 14k each. Another disgrace by golf Ireland.

    Also, Are you club staff and not a member?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 23 tracker_1


    Ollieboy wrote: »
    You are jumping the gun here.

    A lot of course did this last time to all over the country.

    At this time of year maintenance is low on the course, so it’s bad look for staff. If it was spring or summer it’s less a option. But at the moment one cut a week for most surfaces is plenty.

    Your club is down all green fees, societies and bar income and they don’t know when that income will come back.

    They are making these tough decisions to protect the club and its members and its great to see the committee doing that instead of increasing subs.

    It’s poor form you posting this on a public forum as a member of that club and more or less naming the club.

    Finally, very few if any clubs qualify for any govt schemes including PUP. I know some clubs are claiming it but they will have to repay it and this was confirmed by revenue.

    Golf clubs can’t access any of the other grants available and Golf Ireland Grant will only be available to about 200 clubs so on average 14k each. Another disgrace by golf Ireland.

    Also, Are you club staff and not a member?



    Hello, I'm a member .My working days are over ,thank god!!

    Looking forward to hearing a list all the clubs in Dublin that have their course staff on one day per week?

    Shameful you say? Am I mistaken in thinking that the annual subs of a members owned and run club should cover staff costs at least?

    Get back to me with a list of other clubs that have reduced the course staff and office staff ,as far as I'm aware , to one day per week and pay them for the one day?


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,060 ✭✭✭ Ollieboy


    tracker_1 wrote: »
    Hello, I'm a member .My working days are over ,thank god!!

    Looking forward to hearing a list all the clubs in Dublin that have their course staff on one day per week?

    Shameful you say? Am I mistaken in thinking that the annual subs of a members owned and run club should cover staff costs at least?

    Get back to me with a list of other clubs that have reduced the course staff and office staff ,as far as I'm aware , to one day per week and pay them for the one day?

    Read back my post, what about all the other income gone that pays staff or does that grow on trees at your club.

    I know loads of clubs that put staff on full leave last time but I’m not given you or anyone else that list because that’s a clubs private financial affairs.

    And no, your subs are to run the club they are to be used by your committee to do that on your behalf. If you think you can do a better job and you seem to know everything and have loads of time, why don’t you run the committee and club. Instead of bitching about people doing there best for a club.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,832 ✭✭✭ DuckSlice


    Id imagine the elimination of golf traffic on the courses is of far more benefit to them than having a full greenkeeper crew working full time on the course. Grass probably only needs to be cut once a week, max twice a week.


  • Registered Users Posts: 25,541 ✭✭✭✭ GreeBo


    tracker_1 wrote: »
    Shameful you say? Am I mistaken in thinking that the annual subs of a members owned and run club should cover staff costs at least?
    You are talking yourself into an increased sub....
    tracker_1 wrote: »
    … you know the old xmas card pic with "who upset the greenkeeper again" caption and a picture of the green cut into the side of a hill!!!
    Aren't all your greens always on the side of a hill? :pac:


  • Registered Users Posts: 23 tracker_1


    Ollie, When I become a member of a club, I become part of the club. I believe this , so when staff employed by my club are extremely unhappy with the way they have been treated by a select few recently , most decent members will feel as if they are part of the failings too. Do the right thing and at the very least communicate properly and help the staff. Staff have a duty to their employers but that goes both ways and the employer has a duty to do right by the staff too. I'm not too much off the mark ,no?

    As we have it ,Staff were told to work one day and get paid for their 8 hours, some staff are on minimum wage. no top up from the club, no help from the various Covid supports etc. Staff were told to only do essential maintenance during the one day. The only grass cutting to be done is on greens.

    Now, as I've said numerous times, the members subs has stayed the same, pricey enough . None of my fellow members I know have stopped paying and they are all , without question ,as equally horrified by the decision taken as I am in relation to the drastic measures taken . One of my playing partners heard ,just in the last hour, that one reason given was the club wanted to protect the staff and to keep them healthy by keeping them at home so the won't catch Covid19! Well if that's the case ,you'd think they pay them ! laughable stuff.

    The golf course has been in fantastic condition, tees through to greens have always been maintained to a high standard. During summer the greens are lightning, which I love.. I just feel this is a very wrong move.

    I play a lot of golf, well I did before the pandemic came along and I'd have many contacts around other clubs so I knew I'd be waiting a while to hear if any other clubs were doing similar ,one day week malarkey , the answer is none, definitely not in Dublin. Other clubs are either getting on with working away and paying ,as normal or availing of some kind of government help and topping up.

    Ollie, you are presuming a lot when you say I should go on committee , how do you know I wasn't or not currently.. Going by your view ,you'd get along great with some of them currenting sitting around the zoom table!
    If you learn anything today, treat people right and you wont be left wanting in return.


  • Registered Users Posts: 617 ✭✭✭ Dtoffee


    As an ex member of Stackstown, I recall that the course always needed quite a bit of work over the winter as heavy rain, frost and storms all took their toll. The course can be pristine during the summer, but that is often thanks to the work done every winter and I agree that reducing green keepers to one days work a week is a strange decision.

    Winter work often includes dealing with fallen trees, floods, snow/frost as well as the usual grass cutting etc.... but on hilly courses it is possible to find all your bunkers have been washed out overnight or that some building work above your course has changed the water table and the way it flows down. Maybe things have changed, but I recall that Stackstown closed quite a lot over the winter..... but work was always ongoing in so far as possible.

    I like the course and hope this decision does not backfire.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,513 ✭✭✭ Luckycharm


    How long have you been a member? Did not have an AGM where your financials would have been shared with the members so you could see yourself what state they were in and what they were spending your subs on?
    Did I not hear that the club or more so the owners had got itself into financial trouble with other parts of the business and that a well known celebrity neighbour had to step in to help (not sure how accurate that is).


  • Registered Users Posts: 23 tracker_1


    Luckycharm wrote: »
    How long have you been a member? Did not have an AGM where your financials would have been shared with the members so you could see yourself what state they were in and what they were spending your subs on?
    Did I not hear that the club or more so the owners had got itself into financial trouble with other parts of the business and that a well known celebrity neighbour had to step in to help (not sure how accurate that is).

    I'm member a fair few years for my sins! Ah no, I love the track and ,not sure you ever played it, the views are impressive!

    The AGM was held over zoom and to say it was a shambles would be an understatement . Only if you were in the "click" would you be allowed speak, others muted or skipped over as the committee knew there would be some backlash regarding the greens officer and some of his decisions during the year! Believe me, there were numerous ones to choose from!! One example was he created a small teeing area within the tee box . With the constant traffic and the fact he's made them so small, they cut up like a rugby pitch very quickly but he refused to budge, going as far as blaming others on his decision! Reputable guy!!!

    The club have no money issues at all .In fact a surplus as there is currently a waiting list , Must be down to the fact that golf was allowed during the outbreak of the pandemic and the fact Stackstown is located in a wealthy suburb helped, I presume.

    You are off with your second point, Its a members club so no owner/owners ,per say. Our wealthy neighbour took advantage that the lease of the grounds came up and he snapped it up so as to protect his property from ever being overlooked . He is the landlord and the club pay him buttons for rent .It has to remain a golf course for the next 50+ years. Its a bonus for him, apart from him seeing a few of my stray golf balls landing in his garden!!!
    One other point, I live nearby, I walk Kilmasogue most days and I see members up there pottering about ,no idea what they are at to be honest , I saw there was contractors today, cutting trees down ! No money ,eh!


    Anyway, Dtoffee sounds like a decent guy/gal.. You should come back up for a game when all this pandemic is over! I'll let you know when its back in good condition. Don't hold your breath!


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,639 ✭✭✭✭ Seve OB


    Luckycharm wrote: »
    Did I not hear that the club or more so the owners had got itself into financial trouble with other parts of the business and that a well known celebrity neighbour had to step in to help (not sure how accurate that is).

    Would he have been the type of neighbour who could have asked his work colleagues to put perform a fund raising gig?

    Cause I heard that type of a celebrity neighbour certainly did step in with some assistance at some stage.

    And there is an awful lot of misinformation above relating to PUP, TWSS and any other COVID scheme. For a start, even with billions in the bank, you can still qualify for wage subsidy schemes and Employers cannot put anyone on PUP.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,513 ✭✭✭ Luckycharm


    tracker_1 wrote: »
    I'm member a fair few years for my sins! Ah no, I love the track and ,not sure you ever played it, the views are impressive!

    The AGM was held over zoom and to say it was a shambles would be an understatement . Only if you were in the "click" would you be allowed speak, others muted or skipped over as the committee knew there would be some backlash regarding the greens officer and some of his decisions during the year! Believe me, there were numerous ones to choose from!! One example was he created a small teeing area within the tee box . With the constant traffic and the fact he's made them so small, they cut up like a rugby pitch very quickly but he refused to budge, going as far as blaming others on his decision! Reputable guy!!!

    The club have no money issues at all .In fact a surplus as there is currently a waiting list , Must be down to the fact that golf was allowed during the outbreak of the pandemic and the fact Stackstown is located in a wealthy suburb helped, I presume.

    You are off with your second point, Its a members club so no owner/owners ,per say. Our wealthy neighbour took advantage that the lease of the grounds came up and he snapped it up so as to protect his property from ever being overlooked . He is the landlord and the club pay him buttons for rent .It has to remain a golf course for the next 50+ years. Its a bonus for him, apart from him seeing a few of my stray golf balls landing in his garden!!!
    One other point, I live nearby, I walk Kilmasogue most days and I see members up there pottering about ,no idea what they are at to be honest , I saw there was contractors today, cutting trees down ! No money ,eh!


    Anyway, Dtoffee sounds like a decent guy/gal.. You should come back up for a game when all this pandemic is over! I'll let you know when its back in good condition. Don't hold your breath!

    I have played the course plenty of times and can actually see your course from mine. Unlike some I quite like it and the views are spectacular. Though not a big fan when they play the 15th/16th down to the road and back. It makes the last 3 holes a bit of a slog and wouldn't fancy playing them in the winter. Alot of very good golfers have come out of Stackstown. Also you really need to make sure your handbrake is working in the carpark ;)

    Re AGM I imagine every AGM was on zoom this year, did they not have system where you raised your hand via zoom or put in questions before hand. Nearly every course did well re membership due to golf being the only show in town. Surely all your committee are other members?

    Re Stackstowns lease being bought, good info here, there was worry that the Garda would try and sell it as Garda Recreational club had raked up debts of €15m. Think our celebrity friend wanted to make sure not sold and possibly redeveloped as houses in the future.
    https://www.pressreader.com/ireland/the-irish-mail-on-sunday/20160117/281917362081686


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  • Registered Users Posts: 23 tracker_1


    Seve OB wrote: »
    Would he have been the type of neighbour who could have asked his work colleagues to put perform a fund raising gig?

    Cause I heard that type of a celebrity neighbour certainly did step in with some assistance at some stage.

    And there is an awful lot of misinformation above relating to PUP, TWSS and any other COVID scheme. For a start, even with billions in the bank, you can still qualify for wage subsidy schemes and Employers cannot put anyone on PUP.

    Afternoon SeveOB, I hope you strike the ball as well as your famous namesake ! I hope you don't venture in too many times to the last bit of your name!!
    I wouldn't be of a vintage to appreciate my celebrity neighbour's talent , nor his work colleagues!! I'd use earplugs if I was perfectly honest!! However, having said that , I am connected to members who have dealt with him and his representatives and our neighbour is an extremely intelligent man with a aura of calm about him. Its safe to say if he was aware of what's currently happening next door to him, he would be horrified. I guarantee that if he was around the board table, the disgraceful decision taken by committee would not be happening.


    The assistance you speak of is what I said earlier and what's in that link above and nothing more. Mr Clayton is an extremely above board chap and all his t's are crossed and his i's are dotted. When he purchased the lease it was all above board and was documented at the AGM at the time. Only thing I'd say is that article was a bit off in relation to the amount of rent he collects, not far off but its a little under 20k/annum and he collects it promptly ,and rightly so!


    Regards your comments about the Covid payments and subsidy's , I trust you to be accurate as I don't know the ins and outs of them . If you can have billions in the bank and still avail of wage subsidy schemes , it begs the question, why weren't the staff put on it? After I witnessed the shambles of our AGM and the fact that it came to light that the grounds staff have a pending WRC date against the club, in relation to them sending a letter to the committee before the summer outlining bullying from the greens officer and the fact that he installed cctv cameras in the sheds and changing areas without informing the staff and the committee have done nothing to date to resolve the issue. This one day a week looks a lot more sinister. In fact, during the AGM he was asked to step aside which he refused to do. Says it all really. I learned yesterday that the other employees of the club , the clerical and administrative parts were NOT put on a one day week, they were reduced to a three day week for the month of January. First time ever that they were given reduced hours, but it had to be seen to be across the board ,I suppose .Why the office is on three days a week and grounds staff on one day per week? I'm still struggling to see the fairness in it and why is this information being withheld from all the members who are still paying their full subs.

    I'm so looking forward to hitting golf balls again, I can tell you that .


  • Registered Users Posts: 23 tracker_1


    Luckycharm wrote: »
    I have played the course plenty of times and can actually see your course from mine. Unlike some I quite like it and the views are spectacular. Though not a big fan when they play the 15th/16th down to the road and back. It makes the last 3 holes a bit of a slog and wouldn't fancy playing them in the winter. Alot of very good golfers have come out of Stackstown. Also you really need to make sure your handbrake is working in the carpark ;)

    Re AGM I imagine every AGM was on zoom this year, did they not have system where you raised your hand via zoom or put in questions before hand. Nearly every course did well re membership due to golf being the only show in town. Surely all your committee are other members?

    Re Stackstowns lease being bought, good info here, there was worry that the Garda would try and sell it as Garda Recreational club had raked up debts of €15m. Think our celebrity friend wanted to make sure not sold and possibly redeveloped as houses in the future.
    https://www.pressreader.com/ireland/the-irish-mail-on-sunday/20160117/281917362081686


    Ah yes , the final three holes if you are playing the 15A & 16A will give you some workout! Not much chat coming up the 18th as everyone is gasping for breath!!! I jest. I know a few guys who can reach the 18th in two shots.. Im always impressed when I see it


  • Registered Users Posts: 934 ✭✭✭ pinkdoubleeagle


    No Offence but I wouldn't be happy If I was a member of your club and you were divulging all this information over a public forum. Just my opinion


  • Registered Users Posts: 23 tracker_1


    No Offence but I wouldn't be happy If I was a member of your club and you were divulging all this information over a public forum. Just my opinion

    No offence taken. I can see where you are coming from...however.., I started this by asking if there were other courses putting staff on a one day a week as I don't want for the course to suffer . I didn't get an answer and after I checked around myself with my contacts in other courses. The answer is no. Listen, I see myself as an honest person and I'm not divulging anything that those who attended the AGM aren't aware of.
    As I said, I wanted to know the answer to a question. I could stay quiet and ignore what's going on but that's not me, and if we have learnt anything from the Catholic Church debacle or the mother and babies homes , ignoring it and staying quiet isn't the right thing to do . Oh, please don't think I'm only on this thread expressing what's going on, I'm actively trying to rectify things via the proper channels. It is quite difficult nowadays though , but I will continue and other like minded members, of which there are many ,I'm sure !

    I don't claim to know all the members, far from it . The young lads now can drive it as far as Timbuktu. I'd need a canon to match them but I do know that fairness is a trait that is in the majority of people and members alike. That trait is what I'm trying to get across. Nothing else. We got side tracked by our celebrity neighbour I suppose .


  • Registered Users Posts: 30 1 of 7


    In fairness to Tracker_1, I have a friend who is a member there and they are equally outraged with the behaviour of some of the committee. It is a very mean spirited decision to force the staff onto Short Time Work support,It is a social welfare payment of €40.60 per day, for four days in this instance.The committee has recently announced a loyalty offer and a reduction in subscriptions for this year and last year, So I wouldn’t believe the golf club is short of funds. Any time I visited the club, I found it very welcoming and friendly and I would be surprised to hear that the full committee don’t reverse this decision.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,376 ✭✭✭ downthemiddle


    tracker_1 wrote: »
    I could stay quiet and ignore what's going on but that's not me, and if we have learnt anything from the Catholic Church debacle or the mother and babies homes , ignoring it and staying quiet isn't the right thing to do .

    An astonishing, and wholly inappropriate, comparison.


  • Registered Users Posts: 23 tracker_1


    An astonishing, and wholly inappropriate, comparison.

    Apologies Downthemiddle, My intention was never to upset you. Maybe I worded my sentence wrong. I'm not comparing the instances , I'm comparing the silence or "look the other way " mentality . If something is wrong, its wrong . That's where my comparisons lie.

    We can't have a line where something miniscule but wrong gets overlooked but a line where something major happened that was also wrong gets all the attention .If that line has been crossed , then we should not look the other way or ignore it so the instigators feel vindicated . As 1 in 7 says, the members will look at the committee alone as the committee are the instigators here and they will be wise to reverse their stupid decision . It's appalling what they've done!


  • Registered Users Posts: 702 ✭✭✭ ClutchIt


    This is a storm in a teacup

    Why not wait until the course reopens after lockdown to get worked up? I'm sure the condition of the course is the number 1 priority for the course management. I'm sure they would not make any moves that would negatively affect the course.

    The course will probably be as good as ever after lockdown, and this is all wasted worrying.

    The comparison with Catholic church was ludicrous as well. Just chill out a bit.


  • Registered Users Posts: 23 tracker_1


    ClutchIt wrote: »
    This is a storm in a teacup

    Why not wait until the course reopens after lockdown to get worked up? I'm sure the condition of the course is the number 1 priority for the course management. I'm sure they would not make any moves that would negatively affect the course.

    The course will probably be as good as ever after lockdown, and this is all wasted worrying.

    The comparison with Catholic church was ludicrous as well. Just chill out a bit.

    I explained my rational regarding the church above.

    Are the staff at your course reduced by 80% ? There is no way that the course will be " as good as ever after lockdown". If we go by your theory all golfers could half their subs by just employing staff for 9 months ! Doesn't work like that.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 24,631 ✭✭✭✭ TitianGerm


    TWSS finished on the 31st of August and was replaced by the EWSS. In order to claim the EWSS a business must see a reduction of 30% in it's income for the period January - June 2021 compared to the period January - June 2019.

    If the club feel they will hit that target (quite possible if the course is to remain closed for February and likely March so a big drop off in Society and Green fee income) they can claim the subsidy. This would allow them to continue to keep the green keepers on the payroll and claim up to €350 per employee depending on that employees wage. They would also have the added benefit of only paying 0.5% Employers PRSI.

    The club may also be able to claim the CRSS but I'm not 100% sure if golf clubs can avail of this scheme.


This discussion has been closed.
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