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Peugeot’s 3008 big brother tested



Date Published: 28-Apr-2010

I had a bit of a lucky escape last week not getting stranded in Spain like many of my Motoring Writers’ Association colleagues. A gang of them went to the south of that country to try out the new Peugeot RCZ, which has been getting rave reviews when the volcanic cloud over Europe grounded them for four extra days. They tried a variety of ways and modes of transport to get out of there but because I was obliged to attend the wedding of my friend’s daughter on Thursday and a function to celebrate 50 years of the Galway Motor Club on Friday, I stayed at home and happily missed the mayhem that ensued there. It is a Peugeot experience that they won’t forget for some time.


However I did have my own personal Peugeot experience last week in a Peugeot 5008 which I had out on test for the week. The 5008 is a bigger brother of the Continental Irish Car of the Year 2010, the Peugeot 3008. It has seven seat compared to five, is bigger all-round and because it’s bigger it isn’t quite as neat as the excellent 3008. That additional bulk does have an effect in the handling, the driving experience and the overall performance of this car compared to the other.


Let me say from the outset that the 5008 is a fine car. It will give you more options if you have a bigger family but it fails to match the 3008 for sheer drivability. In fact few cars do and certainly few other MPV’s come even close. It may be a bit naive to expect the 5008 to match the 3008 but there is no comparison between the two on a basic driving level.


That said we must review the 5008 on its merits. Peugeot has a good pedigree for producing big MPV’s. Indeed the whole MPV idea started in France. The 5008 follows on from that rich history. However this latest car in that lineage is a far cry from their last effort, the 807. It is a modern MPV with high levels of comfort, safety and a huge amount of space. It is also packed with smart technology especially in the top specifications trims.


Flexibility is a key strength of the 5008. It comes with an innovative flat-folding rear seat arrangement. Passengers can easily access the third row seats from the second row. With one easy movement, the seat cushion lifts and the seat back moves forward, freeing up maximum space to allow entry to the third row, where two full size seats also fold individually into the floor. There is nothing too complicated about the set-up and that increases its functionality.


Peugeot use the same1.6 HDi FAP 110bhp 6-speed manual combination that is available in the 3008 emitting 140g/km CO2, qualifying for €156 annual road tax. This is another area where the comparisons show a bit of a gap. This is truly one of the best diesel units in production. It is a revelation in the 3008. It is easy on fuel, has buckets of pulling power and although it has more bulk to carry here it does the job with competence without being quite as spectacular as the smaller car. But, on a power to weight measurement you’ll not be disappointed with the performance in the 5008.


On the road the 5008 is also a competent runner. Sure, there is a certain amount of body roll in the bends but it never shirks the job and is generally composed and well behaved. Again the 5008 is not quite as refined as the 3008. I did notice some squeaky panels, which shouldn’t be difficult to eliminate and some road rumble; again a symptom if its size more than anything else.


Recently Peugeot in Ireland announced the continuation of the Peugeot Scrappage Scheme offering up to €5,000 off its range of low CO2-emitting models. Catalogue prices start at €26,870 for the entry 5008 SE 1.6 HDi 110 bhp 6-speed.

For more Motoring see this week’s Connacht & City Tribunes

Galway in Days Gone By

The way we were – Protecting archives of our past



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

The true story of the saint that the church wanted to airbrush



Date Published: 30-Jan-2013

Italian saint, Francis of Assisi will get a new lease of life in Francis, the Holy Jester, a free one-man show being performed at Muscailt Arts Festival on February 5.

The play about the renowned saint, who died in 1226 was written by Italian Nobel prize-winner Dario Fo, and this performance is by Mario Pirovano, a long-time collaborator with Fo, who translated the piece into English.

It embraces papal history, biblical stories, and controversial Italian politics while exploring the life of one of the Catholic Church’s most famous saints. It also shows how the medieval Church was so afraid of Francis and his relationship with ordinary people that it set about sanitising his legacy and elevating him above the reach of his followers.

Mario, who lives near to St Francis’s home of Assisi, speaks eloquently and passionately about the saint and the way that Dario Fo has brought the Francis’s message to modern audiences in a timeless, dramatic way, while casting new light on the famous Italian Franciscan monk.

But first, he explains why this was necessary.

Francis was born at the end of the 12th century and died at the age of 46. By then, he had created great embarrassment for the Church, simply because of the way he lived his life, explains Mario. He treated people in a genuinely Christian way and wanted to tell the Gospels in people’s own language rather than in Latin.

The Church hierarchy – what an awful word, he says – decided to rewrite the story of his life and, 50 years after his death, only one official account of his life was permitted by the authorities. That was written by a fellow Franciscan, St Bonaventure, who had been ordered to destroy many of Francis’s papers and write a sanitised biography. All other books on him were deemed heretical.

The Church was afraid of him, stresses Mario, and so decided to distance him from the ordinary people, by canonising him shortly after he died. Francis was the fastest saint ever produced in the history of the Church, being canonised within three years of passing on, says Mario. That took him away from ordinary people, as they felt they couldn’t aspire to such greatness.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Archive News

Moycullen come up short against favourites in U-18 Boys National Cup Final



Date Published: 31-Jan-2013

Belfast Star 68

Moycullen 57

Moycullen came up short in the club’s first ever appearance in the U-18 National Cup Final, losing to a classy Belfast Star team that completed a club double, having won the U-19 title earlier in the day.


Moycullen entered the game as slight underdogs, and Belfast lived up to their status as favourites early on as they raced into an early 8-0 lead as Conor Quinn had the hot hand, connecting on two 3-point shots to start the game.

As the quarter wore on Moycullen began to settle into the game as Paddy Lyons and Stephen O’Brien in particular found their scoring touch as they combined for 13 points in the first quarter which Moycullen trailed 23-19.

The second quarter was another close affair as both teams really stepped up their defensive intensity with Sean Candon and Stephen O’Brien doing an excellent job defending Belfast two 6-8 inside players, while Darragh Mulkerrins, Mark Rohan and Paddy Lyons shared the responsibility of guarding Belfast’s Aidan and Conor Quinn.

Belfast held the slight lead at the end of the first half 35-32 with Conor Quinn leading the way for Belfast with a total of 17 first half points while Stephen O’Brien continued where he left off in the first quarter by scoring 16 first half points for the Galway team.

Belfast went on a scoring run in the third quarter, giving themselves a 10-point lead midway through the period. Belfast were doing an excellent job switching their defences as Moycullen’s usually free flowing offence really struggled to gain any sort of momentum in the 3rd period.

The introduction of Joseph Tummon off the bench seemed to settle Moycullen back into the game as he scored six straight points towards the end of the third period.


For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

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