Ford admirers will rejoice in the real-world capabilities and the driving response of the Ford S-MAX, a car that has an admirable maturity, drives like a Ford should and is unlike any other model on Irish roads.
For those who don’t want to be part of the SUV rat-race yet need lots of space, the versatility of seven seats and the positive driveability which Ford are famous for, then the S-MAX meets the mark in many ways.
In this week’s test car, the latest incarnation of the family-friendly S-MAX Titanium, you get the complete package and a hell of a lot of car for your money. It feels much less bulky than an SUV and much more versatile because of its adjustable seating layout, while still offering the high seating position craved by many drivers these days. It is also easy to get in to and out off with big doors and lots of head room.
I’ve been driving the 2.0-litre diesel Titanium model with 150ps and CO2 emissions of 160g/km. That equates to an annual road-tax bill of €570. This puts it well up the tax table but when you add a very reasonable retail price tag of €37,538 with some added extras bumping that up to €41,188.
That’s not to hefty a price to pay and from where I’m sitting and considering what Ford pack into this model, I would be happy that you are getting value for money here. Day to day running costs seem pretty fair too.
Ford’s catalogue says that the combined fuel consumption is 6.1L/100km. That’s not far away from the 6.7L/10km that I managed over a total of 900 kilometres on all sorts of roads. It also has a huge 70-litre fuel tank that, when full has a total range of over 1,000km.
For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.
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Good luck England ! – as the poster and I screamed ….
Mark Gardiner, our man in Japan for the Rugby World Cup
Excitement has been building all week and even though Hiroshima isn’t a host city we are still getting a fair share of rugby fans passing through. Since last Saturday I’ve noticed some Irish fans coming into the pub, people who have arrived to take in some of the sights of Japan and then head off to take in the some of the pool matches.
There’s been some from Wexford, Mayo, Roscommon, Kerry, Laois, Dublin and Donegal but none from Cork yet! All of those fans will now be making their way to Yokohama which is situated right next to Tokyo and around 4 hours on the bullet train from Hiroshima. I’m giving the first two games a miss and will wait for Ireland to move closer to my adopted home city.
The Russia game will be held in Kobe, just one hour away, so I’ll be going to that with my son Tom on the eve of his 10th birthday. More accustomed to going to baseball games together hopefully he’ll see a try fest and enjoy a very different sporting atmosphere.
Earlier in the week, my Guinness rep walked in looking proud as punch to present me with five big Guinness posters for the rugby. As I unrolled one I couldn’t believe my eyes! [See poster below.] He couldn’t understand so I told him it was like having a Kirin beer poster with “good luck Korea” on it. He got the message pretty lively!
For some reason, the big story here is how much beer rugby fans drink. They’re very wary about bars, restaurants and stadiums running out so there have been numerous articles in papers telling landlords to order twice the norm. I had the local newspaper calling me yesterday almost begging me to tell them that I’d ordered way more beer than I normally would.
Tonight we have the opening game at 19:45 local time so hoping to get a good crowd into the pub for that. I will try and post some photos in the next few days. A big win for Japan is probably vital in order to catapult the tournament into the mainstream consciousness so hopefully, they won’t disappoint.
If anyone reading this plans to come out, there is a great forum on Facebook “Irish Rugby World Cup Japan Forum” or you can contact me on the Molly Malone’s Hiroshima Facebook page. Fingers crossed for Sunday.
Follow Mark Gardiners World Cup Diary here and on the Galway App.
Mark Gardiner is a former Galway resident now resident in Hiroshima, Japan where he owns and operates Molly Malones Bar.
Read his weekly unique insight into the 2019 Rugby World Cup here and on the Galway App.
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More than 70 kids under 12 in Direct Provision in Salthill
Galway City Tribune – More than 70 children under the age of 12 are living in a Direct Provision Centre in Salthill, figures from the Department of Justice show.
The Eglinton can house up to 210 people who are either seeking asylum or have been granted refugee status but have been unable to secure alternative accommodation.
The statistics show that the Salthill centre – which is for families and single females – has 77 residents under the age of 18.
Of these, 35 are aged four or under; 37 are aged between 5 and 12; and five are between 13 and 17 years of age.
Direct Provision is big business for service providers – figures show the companies behind Galway City’s two centres earned more than €77m since 2000. Last year alone, the Eglinton made a profit of €520,000.
The Great Western House centre off Eyre Square is for single males only, and there are currently no people under the age of 17 resident there. That centre has a maximum occupancy of 162 people.
Between both centres in Galway, there were a total of 359 occupants at the end of July.
This is a preview only. For extensive coverage on Direct Provision in Galway, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. Buy a digital edition of this week’s paper here, or download the app for Android or iPhone.
Drop in water quality ‘not related to cruise ships’
Galway City Council – Local authorities have rejected a suggestion that visiting cruise ships are dumping sewage into Galway Bay causing a deterioration in water quality.
At a City Council meeting, concerns were raised about the frequency with which warnings were issued this Summer, advising people not to swim in Salthill and Ballyloughane beaches.
Councillor John Connolly highlighted the issue, and was particularly concerned about the number of no swim notices and advisory notices warning about water quality, which were issued this year in the city.
Cllr Donal Lyons suggested that there was a view out there that one particular advisory notice regarding water quality in Salthill was issued soon after a cruise ship had left the bay.
He alluded to the link between cruise ships in the bay, and a subsequent deterioration in water quality, which has been the subject of social media commentary.
The Council’s Senior Executive Engineer in the Climate Action, Environment, Recreation and Amenity Department, Carmel Kilcoyne, acknowledged that that was the “rumour” out there but “it’s not true”, she said.
This is a preview only. To read the rest of this article, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. Buy a digital edition of this week’s paper here, or download the app for Android or iPhone.