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Demolition engineers were left red faced after a 1960s multistorey structure in Dublin proved more resilient than expected.

After two months of preparations by Leeds firm Controlled Demolition Group the day of the big blast arrived on Sunday. Dignitaries and onlookers assembled amid a fanfare of publicity but the building was still standing after two blasts. A stunned silence followed as the building defiantly remained standing, adopting a nonchalant Tower of Pisa-esque lean.

Divine intervention was of little help either, with Sister Una O'Neill as one of the guest detonators.

'We wanted to knock the two gable walls at the side and then let gravity do the rest, ' said a CDG spokeswoman. 'However the gables proved stronger than the calculations had predicted.'

The building's lift shaft also contributed to the structure's unwanted stability. A hospital next door prevented the use of more explosives.

Large crowds gathered after the debacle, but CDG pride was restored at 10pm when the building finally succumbed to a ball and chain.

Showing the same resilience as its victim, the firm hopes to continue its Irish demolition workload undeterred with an assault on the Ballymun towerblock complex in Dublin later this year.

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