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Funky C3 drives as well as it looks

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Date Published: 02-Jun-2010

Some small MPV’s are like boxes on wheels. Citroen new C3 Picasso is a small MPV and yet it looks really cool. It is over twelve months ago since I first clapped eyes on this funky motor at the Geneva Motor Show 2009. I fell for its looks then and I still haven’t changed my mind now that I have had the chance to test drive it last week. It was an all-embracing test drive that took me to Donegal and the Inishowen peninsula over roads and terrain that would stretch any car. There was a lot of driving – over 1,500 kilometers in all – on some of the best and worst roads in the country.

 

At lot of clever thinking has gone into the fabrication of this car. The interior is spacious, family friendly and there is a multitude of cubby hole, storage areas and cup holder to take everything you could ever need on a journey. You get a firm flexible seating system, buckets of head room and a general layout that makes everything easy to reach and easy to read. The cabin is peppered with elliptically shaped air vents, dials and panels which are both unusual and pleasing to the eye. The switchgear is sturdy and the driver’s seat has plenty of adjustment for anyone to find a favourable position. The second row is split-folding and they slide independently for legroom or load space.

 

On the road, you get the standard amount of body roll we now come to expect from these small MPV’s. I suppose it is unfair to be overly critical but it is the one area that would turn me off ever wanting one. Not just this car let me add, most of them. Yet you never get yourself into any trouble in the bends. It will go where it is pointed under most conditions. Although Citroen would be known for a softer suspension setup in their vehicles this car is stiff enough to give a solid ride. That though and the size of the cabin does contribute to a fair bit of travel noise inside. It is not too much to spoil your journey but it is there and you may have to turn up the volume of the radio or your iPod.

 

Under the bonnet Citroen use their preferred 1.6HDi 90hp engine. It is the same PSA unit that we regularly applaud. It is an accomplished performer and offers decent economy. In a car of this size it is more than enough for the job at hand. I managed fuel consumption of 5.6L/100kms. It has a 5-speed gearbox that is light and accurate and the shift is placed at a nice height in the center console.

 

Citroen, when designing the C3 Picasso VTR+ obviously gave a lot of attention to the manoeuvrability of this car. European city drivers want a car that is easily parked and can be squeezed through the narrow streets of many large cities. The contradiction here is the ability to do that with this car and yet enjoy the amount of room it provides. Citroen have split the A pillar and added addition glass that gives you superb visibility – one of the best I’ve seen – making it a joy to drive around town. It also adds to the brightness of the interior and to the pleasure of travelling in it for passengers.

 

The Citroen C3 Picasso is fairly priced at €19,900. This one version is well serviced with good equipment levels including Cruise Control steering mounted audio controls and front fog lamps. It is in the same market place as the Nissan Note, the Opel Meriva and the likes. It has one distinctive advantage over most others; it has the looks. It isn’t easy to bring much style to this shape of vehicle. Citroen, as only they can has managed it here.

 

Galway in Days Gone By

The way we were – Protecting archives of our past

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A photo of Galway city centre from the county council's archives

People’s living conditions less than 100 years ago were frightening. We have come a long way. We talk about water charges today, but back then the local District Councils were erecting pumps for local communities and the lovely town of Mountbellew, according to Council minutes, had open sewers,” says Galway County Council archivist Patria McWalter.

Patria believes we “need to take pride in our history, and we should take the same pride in our historical records as we do in our built heritage”. When you see the wealth of material in her care, this belief makes sense.

She is in charge of caring for the rich collection of administrative records owned by Galway County Council and says “these records are as much part of our history as the Rock of Cashel is. They document our lives and our ancestors’ lives. And nobody can plan for the future unless you learn from the past, what worked and what didn’t”.

Archivists and librarians are often unfairly regarded as being dry, academic types, but that’s certainly not true of Patria. Her enthusiasm is infectious as she turns the pages of several minute books from Galway’s Rural District Councils, all of them at least 100 years old.

Part of her role involved cataloguing all the records of the Councils – Ballinasloe, Clifden, Galway, Gort, Loughrea, Mountbellew, Portumna and Tuam. These records mostly consisted of minutes of various meetings.

When she was cataloguing them she realised their worth to local historians and researchers, so she decided to compile a guide to their content. The result is For the Record: The Archives of Galway’s Rural District Councils, which will be a valuable asset to anybody with an interest in history.

Many representatives on these Councils were local personalities and several were arrested during the political upheaval of the era, she explains.

And, ushering in a new era in history, women were allowed to sit on these Rural District Councils – at the time they were not allowed to sit on County Councils.

All of this information is included in Patria’s introductory essay to the attractively produced A4 size guide, which gives a glimpse into how these Rural Councils operated and the way political thinking changed in Ireland during a short 26-year period. In the early 1900s, these Councils supported Home Rule, but by 1920, they were calling for full independence and refusing to recognise the British administration.

“I love the tone,” says Patria of the minutes from meetings. “The language was very emotive.”

That was certainly true of the Gort Rural District Council. At a meeting in 1907, following riots in Dublin at the premiere of JM Synge’s play, The Playboy of the Western World the councillors’ response was vehement. They recorded their decision to “protest most emphatically against the libellous comedy, The Playboy of the Western World, that was belched forth during the past week in the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, under the fostering care of Lady Gregory and Mr Yeats. We congratulate the good people of Dublin in howling down the gross buffoonery and immoral suggestions that are scattered throughout this scandalous performance.

 

For more from the archives see this week’s Tribunes here

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Archive News

Real Galway flavour to intermediate club hurling battle in Birr

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Date Published: 23-Jan-2013

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Athenry fail to take chances as they bow out of Junior Cup

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Date Published: 29-Jan-2013

Athenry FC 1

Kilbarrack United 2

(After extra time)

For the second year in succession Athenry were done in extra time in the FAI Junior Cup as last season’s beaten finalist’s came from behind to snatch an excellent game in Moanbawn on Sunday afternoon.

On a heavy pitch that was only playable following extensive groundwork by club officials all morning, the home side were by far the better side in the opening half, but failed to take advantage of a number of opportunities that came their way.

An Alan O’Donovan penalty gave them a merited advantage just after the restart, but thereafter were on the back foot as Kilbarrack took over, but for all their pressing, the home rearguard were dealing comfortably with their forays.

However they were struck a body blow just six minutes from time, as big striker Keith Kirwan was left all alone at the far post to head the equaliser and from that point on the Dubliners were the better side.

They started off the extra time in the ascendancy and enjoying all the momentum before striking for a good winning goal on 104 minutes. A strong bench allowed them to make some necessary changes and it was not a facility that was available to Athenry manager Gabriel Glavin.

With Gary Forde and Gary Delaney out through suspension following their sending off against OLBC in the previous round, and Seamie Crowe injured, it left their bench rather threadbare with just a number of young squad players available.

Playing with the aid of the slight incline and any wind advantage going, the home side had a Connor Cannon effort on target in the opening minute, while John Meleady was just over with a flick at the other end.

Meleady then tested Andrew Walsh who saved comfortably, before the goalkeeper pulled off a brilliant double save on 14 minutes.

Firstly he went full length to push away a Meleady shot and was then back on his feet to parry David Jackson’s close-range rebound.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentinel.

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