Our motoring correspondent Brian McDaid shares his views on the Citreon Grand C4, and shares a few stories from his family’s 1950s road trip to Cork.You can get a whole view of St. Eunan’s Cathedral into the 2016 Citroen Grand Picasso. Photo Brian McDaidThe Citroen Grand C4 is certainly large, I managed to get a whole St. Eunan’s Cathedral into it! Well… I got a view of the cathedral inside it, thanks to the massive windscreen in this award winning people carrier for 2016.The windscreen reminds me of my receeding hair line… there is more forehead there now than hair. Sit behind the wheel and I don’t think you will find another more unobstructed view, even the pillars for the roof are very fine in size! The view out through the front of the Citroen makes the road ahead look impressive. The driver and front passengers seat are massive, complete with captain’s chair centre armrests. If there is such a thing as too comfortable they probably fall into the that category, as on couple of times sitting at junctions when I went to take off I stalled the car sitting in the wrong gear. Then in a panic I instantly reached for the key to restart the car only to remember it was a stop/start button! I think the ultimate Grand C4 Picasso would be the one with and automatic transmission for someone like me to really enjoy driving this. Are we nearly there.. ARE WE NEARLY THERE?The Grand C4 Picasso is a seven seater with the two rear seats folding down completely into the floor area with small solid mats that cover over everything to give the people carrier a dual purpose of being a great load carrier. With all seven seats up is a case of the first class travel for the passengers and the drive – the middle row of three seats have enough space for three enemies to live beside each other in some sort of harmony for the summer holiday road trip.A view into the rear of the car. Photo Brin McDaidTwo of them will have their own fold down tables from the back of the front seats and the man in the middle will have to settle for the great view through that huge front window. Things are a bit tighter in the rear row of seats, and when them lovely little children find out who got what, it could spell war. Only one has a cup holder but the other has a power outlet, so it could be a case of power sharing for the back benchers for their journey.Easy on the earth If this people carrier is massive inside it doesn’t look that big outside. It’s lower to the road than its predecessor which give this car a more settled feel. You would expected it to be heavy on fuel but that is not the case.The Exclusive model which we drove comes with the latest Eco Blue HDI 1.6 litre diesel engine. O-100km in just over 11 seconds, and a top speed of nearly 190 kilometres per hour and a 70 mpg claim just hits all the sweet spots for the perfect driver’s car.Do we like it?This people carrier is just lovely to drive, especially looking through that massive window, which also can be closed back if you don’t like it with two binds attached to the movable sun visors.The blind spots that roof pillars cause on most people carriers are not a problem in this well-designed car. Because of the vastness of the front window, the position of the cars speakers away out in front of the driver makes the radio sound like a live concert. For anyone that learned to drive in a rear-wheel drive car like myself, I found front-wheel drive cars were disappointing in the amount of a cut they had in their steering because of the transmission drives etc.No such problem in this front-wheel drive, what a great cut the car’s steering has which just makes judgement when turning or parking so reassuring. Citroen have always produced different cars, ever since I seen the 1st GS arriving arriving into Letterkenny in the 1970’s.They always looked as if the comfort of its passengers were paramount. The Citroen still look a little quirky and this car people carrier should keep the quirkiest of families happy.Road trip 1950s I came across an old photo of my granny while I was getting my column ready for the road this week. When my uncle arrived home one evening from work in the post office and announced he wanted to join the priesthood in the early 1950s his parents didn’t think he was cut out for it. A local priest, Fr. O’Callaghan, then reassured them that hewould make a good priest. And so his late vocation to the priesthood began in Cork with the Capuchin Order.My Granny all ready for the road. She is pictured at the door of her family home “in the row” Ballymacool Terrace, Letterkenny as she prepares for the long journey to Cork in the I950’s to visit her son, Neilus (Fr. Mark) who was going for the priesthood. The photo was taken by her daughter , and my mother, Mary Ellen Coyle.My granny is pictured at the front door of her home in Ballymacool Terrace in her Sunday best getting ready to go visit her son in Cork. On weekdays my grandfather who by now was retired from the Irish shell, started a clothes run with the costumers that he once sold oil to. His wine coloured Ford Van would be unloaded at the weekend and converted into a people carrier with pillows – the nearest thing to airbags. Mineral boxes doubled up as seating and cold boxes for sandwiches and bottles of cold tea.My granny didn’t drive but they say she was the driving force, the driving was shared by my grandfather, Pop, his son-law Miah Deeney and his other sons Charlie and Johnny.God knows how long it took them to reach Cork, but they made that journey manys a day in the eight years of so that their son Neilus was preparing for his vocation and was to take the name of Fr Mark. When he became a priest in the summer of 1958.The Grand Picasso C4 pictured parked in Ballymacool Terrace in Letterkenny 60 years after granny’s picture near the same spot – although our people carrier is of a different era. Photo Brian McDaidMade for Extra-Strong Boys (ESB)A people carrier of a different kind was the hand made crew-carriers that the ESB had for their workers, these were made to measure trucks made in Donegal by Doherty’s Coachbuilders in Lyford. They made their trucks and pickups to suit the needs of the workers. The truck in the picture was made in 1968 on a Ford D Series chassis. Most weredesigned to carry a crew of six workers.A view of a ESB crew back in the 70’s. They are pictured in front of a Ford truck which was hand built By Doherty’s Coachworks, Lifford. included from left my father, the trick driver, Fred Mc Daid, Peter Marley, (Glen), Martin Scanlon, supervisor, Tom Mc Ginty, Manorcunningham, Jim McDaid, Ramleton and Shaunie Scanlon. Martin Scanlon’s son. Photo by Rodney RoulstonIncluded in this photo was the driver, my father, Fred McDaid, Peter Marley who was a labourer, Martin Scanlon who was the supervisor or charge hand, Tom Mc Ginty, Jim Mc Daid and Shaunie Scanlon all of who were linesmen. They are pictured in the waders , boiler suits and donkey jackets which was the standard clothing issue of the ESB in them days. Like my grandfather’s van this truck doubled up as our people carrier on the occasions when my father took the lorry home.This truck KIH 459 was the first thing that this motoring correspondent ever test drove. It happened on a very quiet section of road in Glendowan. When I say drive, it was more a case of steer. The truck could crawl along and my father would slide over to the passenger’s seat and I would jump in from the crew cab from the rear. I mighthave only steered this truck for a minute but it seemed like a life time. “Keep her over a bit”, my father would say as he checked the mirrors.Years on I often head up that same mountain road every so often and look at the power lines and poles that were erected by that crews to supply electricity into that area for the first time. And think of some of the great times we had in a different world all them years ago.Happy motoring folks.DD Motoring: New Citreon ‘should keep quirkiest of families happy’ was last modified: July 22nd, 2016 by Elaine McCalligShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:1950s carsbrian mc daidcar reviewcitreon grand c4Corkmotoring
The Irish State has sensationally agreed to pay the court costs of Frank McBrearty and his family after discovering that gardai with-held vital information on their case, Donegal Daily can reveal.The State has agreed to pay the McBrearty family’s legal costs if they drop their Supreme Court appeal.The McBreartys were wrongly accused of being involved in the death of cattle dealer Richie Barron whose body was found on a roadside outside the village of Raphoe in 1996. The well-known family battled to clear their names but were met with a litany of Garda corruption.This resulted in the setting up of the Morris Tribunal 2002.It was arguably the single biggest judicial inquiry into allegations of Garda malpractice ever to have taken place in the history of the Irish State which eventually saw the McBreartys receive large compensation payments.However the fallout from the Morris Tribunal, which concluded in 2008, took another unexpected twist this week after the State agreed to pay the legal costs of both a previous High Court and Supreme Court Appeal taken by the McBrearty family.The costs of both appeals could run into hundreds of thousands of euro which the taxpayer will now foot the bill for.It comes just days after the resignation of former Minister for Justice Alan Shatter and the appointment of his successor Frances Fitzgerald.The decision by the State to pay the McBrearty family’s legal costs happened after it emerged that Gardaí had failed to disclose information to the court which may have influenced the court’s decision to rule against the appeal.Following a 2003 Judicial Review case taken by Frank McBrearty Snr in which the decision of the Tribunal not to provide legal aid for the McBrearty’s attendance at the Tribunal was constitutionally challenged, Judge Michael Peart ruled against the appeal.This ruling was later appealed to the Supreme Court by the McBrearty family.During the High Court challenge, and also for the duration of the Tribunal hearing both before and after the appeal, Gardaí failed to disclose during the course of proceedings that the case involving the death of Richie Barron – six weeks before the Tribunal even began – had been re-designated by An Garda Síochána as a ‘death by road traffic accident’.As the re-designation of the case into the death of Richie Barron was not revealed during the initial stages of the Morris Tribunal, nor were they disclosed to the High Court when the McBrearty’s appeal was heard in 2003, the full facts of the case were – as a result – not known by Judge Michael Peart.This, according to the McBreartys’ legal team, ultimately influenced Judge Michael Peart’s decision in ruling against the Donegal family’s High Court challenge.The McBrearty family then decided to appeal Judge Michael Peart’s High Court decision ruling to the Supreme Court.This challenge had only been listed for call over this week in the Supreme Court.However, following correspondence between the family’s legal team, Attorney General Ms Máire Whelan, as well as former Justice Minister Alan Shatter, the State conceded to the family’s demands over costs, asking the McBrearty family in return, to strike out the Supreme Court Appeal.Speaking following the decision by the State, Frank McBrearty Jnr, now a Donegal county councillor, said that he welcomed the State’s offer, but criticised the length of time in which it has taken for the matter to be brought to a satisfactory resolve.“Yet again my family and I have had the justice we deserve delayed; this is not only reprehensible but fundamentally wrong.”“The decision by the State highlights their complete unwillingness to see that justice is done and done promptly. After more than ten years since our initial High Court Appeal, in which we were dealt an injustice due to Garda corruption and deception, we as a family can finally close yet another chapter of our lives – one which we’d much rather forget.”Commenting further about this latest revelation to rock the force, Cllr Frank McBrearty blasted the behaviour of members of the gardaí involved in the High Court challenge whom he claims, wittingly withheld crucial information from the court proceedings, describing their actions as being ‘an insidious and despicable abuse of power’.“Important details were kept secret from Judge Michael Peart when presiding over our High Court Challenge and, had the re-designation been made known to the court then I have no doubt that this would not have resulted in the court’s ruling against us.”“An Garda Síochána not only misled the court, but they also misled the office of the Attorney General; had it been revealed that the case had in fact been re-designated as a hit and run, then the court could have been advised that we were no longer suspects in the death of Richie Barron and our names could have been completely vindicated.”In a further condemnation of An Garda Síochána, Cllr McBrearty claims the court was not only misled by the force’s failure to divulge the re-designation of the case, but also by the fact that the family’s legal team had their telephone conversations bugged, and that secret recordings from garda interrogation rooms were carried out while the McBrearty’s were being questioned over the death of Richie Barron.Cllr Frank McBrearty, who was the Mayor of Donegal last year, slammed the many failures which continue to plague the Irish Justice system.He has also called on the new Justice Minister Francis Fitzgerald, to reopen the inquest into the death of Richie Barron, in a final effort to grant closure to all those who were affected by the Raphoe man’s death.Moreover, Cllr Frank McBrearty yesterday (FRI) also called on the Minister to ensure that the many outstanding issues which remain following on from the closing of the Morris Tribunal now be included in the new commission of inquiry into Garda misconduct.“It’s my opinion that in order to bring this whole debacle to a close and to bring closure to everyone who has been deeply affected by Richie Barron’s death, I am calling on the Justice Minister to act now and reopen the inquest into this matter.”“It’s been almost eighteen years since Richie Barron’s death and today, there remains as many unanswered questions as ever.”“A threat to justice anywhere in Ireland is a threat to justice everywhere in Ireland.”The McBrearty family were wrongfully accused and arrested in 1996 over the death of Raphoe cattle dealer Richie Barron.Following one of the biggest public inquiries ever to have happened in Ireland, the family were eventually vindicated.However, despite this, the episode has profoundly affected the McBrearty family who have endured untold suffering and heartache as a result of erroneous conduct by certain members of An Garda Síochána.The decision by the Irish State not to pursue costs has brought to a close one of the last remaining chapters of the McBreartys’ long and unenviable quest for justice.Set up in 2002, the Morris Tribunal uncovered some of the gravest issues of Garda corruption and dishonest policing within the Donegal Division of An Garda Síochána.The Tribunal concluded almost six years ago, and despite promises by the then Government to implement a number of reforms within the Irish policing service, further questions over Garda malpractice continue to blight the force.STATE AGREES TO PAY McBREARTY COURT COSTS AFTER GARDAI WITHHOLD VITAL INFORMATION was last modified: May 16th, 2014 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:court costsdonegalFrank McBreartyMorris Tribunal
Kolkata: South Bengal districts continue to burn in the scorching summer heat with humidity level on the higher side. However, North Bengal districts have received heavy rainfall in the past few days which has lead to a flood-like situation in some areas.There is no prediction of heavy rainfall in South Bengal in the next few days. There will be no respite from unbearable heat and humid conditions in the South Bengal districts. Some scattered rainfall, in some parts, have failed to bring the mercury down. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataMonsoon made its official entry to South Bengal on June 21 bringing rainfall in various parts of the state. There was a deficit of rainfall in June and the current month may also witness the same situation, the weather experts apprehend. Deficit rainfall has hit paddy cultivation in the districts. Various crops have also been hit due to high-level of humidity. Scattered rainfall in South Bengal failed to provide any considerable relief to the people as the prolonged heat coupled with high humidity have been causing discomfort. The weather is sultry mainly because of two reasons — the scattered rainfall did not last and due to the increasing level of humidity. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateHeat spell conditions have been prevailing in all the Western districts such as Purulia, Bankura, West Midnapore, Jhargram, Birbhum and West Burdwan. The temperature in the Western districts is likely to hover around 37-39 degrees Celsius in the next few days, while the Real Feel temperature may be slightly higher due to humidity level in the air. “Heavy rainfall will continue in North Bengal in the next couple of days. However, there is no prediction of heavy rainfall in the city and other South Bengal districts yet. There may be scattered rainfall in some parts of South Bengal. The sultry and discomfort will stay in South Bengal in the next few days,” a weather official said. Incessant rain over the past few days jeopardized normal life in North Bengal with a flood-like situation looming large in the low-lying areas and triggering landslides in the Hills. Five districts of sub-Himalayan West Bengal — Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Jalpaiguri, Coochbehar and Alipurduar — received heavy rainfall in the past few days. People were shifted to safer locations. Hundreds of people from different villages in Moynaguri block were taken to safer places on Saturday. Due to continuous rainfall, landslides were triggered in the Dooars region of North Bengal. Many areas in Malbazar, Moynaguri and Dhupguri towns were inundated. A man died in Jalpaiguri district after he fell into an overflowing drain, a police officer said on Sunday, as incessant rain continued to wreak havoc in the low-lying areas of North Bengal. Bimal Sil, a man in his early 40s, reportedly slipped into the gutter while wading through a flooded street on Saturday night at Shanupara locality of the district, he said. Sources in the administration said downpour over the past five days had inundated several parts of the sub- Himalayan districts of Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Jalpaiguri, Coochbehar and Alipurduar. The Met department warned of “heavy to very heavy” rainfall in these districts till Monday. Among other areas, Malda, North Dinajpur and South Dinajpur are likely to experience heavy rain, the weatherman said. Overflowing rivers have breached banks at many places, flooding localities and displacing thousands of people, an official said. Water level at Teesta, Sankosh, Raidak, Kaljani, Korola, Shil, Torsa and Ghish rivers have risen to alarming levels owing to rainfall, he official. Traffic movement on National Highway-10, which was disrupted over the past two days due to landslides, have, however, resumed, following clearing of debris from the throroughfare, the official said. In the worst-affected Jalpaiguri and Alipurduar districts, several people have taken shelter in school buildings and some were seen moving to higher ground. At Moynaguri town of Jalpaiguri district, around 200 families had to move to safer locations after rainwater entered their homes. Angry residents on Sunday blocked National Highway-27 for more than five hours, protesting lack of relief materials and shelter provisions in the area. Jalpaiguri recorded the highest rainfall at 204 mm in 24 hours till Sunday 8 am, the Met department said. Among the other north Bengal districts, Alipurduar recorded 150 mm rainfall, followed by Coochbehar at 110 mm, Siliguri at 105 mm, Kalimpong 60 mm and Darjeeling at 30 mm.