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Connacht Tribune

Toyota dealerships re-open nationwide from May 18th

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Toyota Ireland is pleased to announce that its dealerships will be reopened from May 18th. While the initial focus will be on meeting the needs of customers from a service and repair point of view, in-dealership sales will follow in line with Government guidelines. In the meantime a lot of work has gone into preparing a new online sales process around new and used cars.

With dealerships being closed for the past six weeks, Toyota has had ample time to develop and implement a series of new measures to ensure the safety of all customers and staff, and is now ready to reopen its services facilities in line with government guidance. These measures include:

  • Sanitisation stations at all entrances
  • 2 metre social distancing markers
  • Protective screens for all staff / customer interactions
  • Hand sanitisers on all desks
  • PPE for staff with masks and gloves available for customers as required
  • Full sanitisation for all touch points in cars
  • Disposable covers used on seats, steering wheel and gear stick
  • Contactless drop-off and pick-up
  • Local collection and delivery from home or office can be arranged as required
  • Contactless payment

Virtual Sales

For 202, customers who are in the market for a new or used car can avail of Toyota’s new virtual showroom tools which include a range of virtual sales and browsing resources, video interaction with Toyota product experts and unaccompanied test drives. From the safety of their own homes, customers can log on to Toyota.ie to:

  • Watch immersive and educational product videos covering the full Toyota range
  • Engage in personalised video calls and live chat with Toyota sales executives
  • Complete trade in valuations and financing online
  • Configure their new car to their own personal preferences using Toyota’s online tool
  • Receive personalised proposals and quotes via email, along with finance approval

In terms of the all-important test drives, dealers will be providing new levels of flexibility and will offer unaccompanied test drives, which may be undertaken at the customer’s home.

Steve Tormey CEO, Toyota Ireland said, “Ireland has suffered profound pain at the hands of the Covid-19 and our hearts go out to everyone who has been affected by the virus. We have seen the true spirit of the Irish come to the fore during this difficult time, led by front line staff and healthcare workers, and supported by every member of the public who have diligently followed government guidance no matter how difficult it has been to do so. As a brand whose mantra is Built for a Better World, we have been trying to be as helpful as possible, and are proud to have been able to play our own small part through the free provision of our YUKO car share service to hospital workers and providing cars to the HSE. We continue to be at the disposal of front line workers and urge anyone who needs mobility assistance to get in touch.

“As the curve is flattening, we now need to look at rebuilding Irish society and our economy and find ways to embrace this new normal. From the day that we closed dealerships in line with HSE and Government advice we have been working on a plan to enable us to reopen in a manner that would ensure safety for customers and staff, and are happy to report that we have now put all the requirements in place to be able to operate social distancing while still providing the high level of service Toyota is renowned for. From May 18th we welcome customers who have car servicing requirements to our dealerships.”

An overview video of all of Toyota’s new safety measures is available to view at:  https://youtu.be/QT029yDV1sE

Connacht Tribune

Eyrecourt tune makes it to Hollywood in Jig time

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A tune composed to celebrate the twinning of Eyrecourt in south-east Galway with Gouesnach in France is to feature in a new film.

Written by Niall Crehan, ‘The Eyrecourt Jig’ made quite a splash when it was released in 2013 and is still popular in music sessions up and down the country.

Niall had been commissioned to write the tune for the 20th anniversary of the twinning of the two villages, Eyrecourt and Gouesnach.

So, when he had a small part as a fiddler in a TV film called Royal Rendevouz, he started playing the jig.

The producers were so impressed, they added it to the movie soundtrack and it will appear in the credits.

Niall is a member of a celebrated traditional Irish musical dynasty hailing originally from County Clare.

He is the youngest son of whistle and concertina player Vincent Crehan and nephew of renowned fiddler Junior Crehan.

Niall and his brother Kieran ran the Dublin shop Crehan Musical instruments until his early retirement.

Now living in Kildare, Niall is a cousin of publican Mick Crehan, who runs the renowned folk pub in the west end of Galway, The Crane.

Niall and the large army of musicians in the extended family are regular guests.

His brother Dermot got music playing parts on films such as the Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter and he managed to get Niall onto the likes of Downton Abbey.

This latest TV project is the latest foray into the world of film, explains his son Brian.

The story centres on an American chef who is invited to an Irish manor to cook a feast in order to convince the matriarch not to sell the home.

It premieres on Sunday, February 26 at 9pm on the E! Network starring Isabella Gomez, Ruairi O’Connor and Ronan Raftery.

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Connacht Tribune

‘No show’ TDs criticised at County Galway policing committee meeting

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A county councillor has launched a stinging criticism of Oireachtas members for their repeated failure to attend County Galway Joint Policing Committee (JPC) meetings.

At a meeting of the JPC on Monday, Cllr Michael ‘Moegie’ Maher (photographed) said he believed it was time the three TDs on the committee decided if they wanted to remain, or give their place up to someone who would make use of it.

“I am asking the Council to write out to our Oireachtas members and ask them do they want to be on this JPC or not, and if not, let someone else be on it,” blasted the Fine Gael councillor.

This followed repeated non-appearances from TDs representing the Oireachtas on the committee – the three representatives are Deputy Noel Grealish (Ind), Deputy Anne Rabbitte (FF) and Deputy Catherine Connolly (Ind).

Cllr Maher said the JPC, which sits around five times per year, was deliberately held on a Mondays to facilitate Oireachtas members who were in the Dáil later in the week. He said there were issues being raised regularly that required raising at a national level and it was incumbent on national representatives to bring those matters back to Dublin.

One such issue was the use of CCTV in the pursuit of illegal dumpers and travelling crime gangs, said Cllr Maher who is Cathaoirleach of the County Council.

“I would like our members of the Oireachtas to be taking the message back on CCTV,” he added, as representatives locally were getting no further as a result of data protection laws.

None of the three Oireachtas members were present for this week’s meeting. Chair of the JPC, Cllr Jim Cuddy, confirmed he had received an apology from Deputy Catherine Connolly.

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Connacht Tribune

New Chief Executive for Galway County Council

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The new Chief Executive of Galway County Council is set to be unveiled in the coming weeks.

Liam Conneally, who is Director of Services for Economic Development at Clare County Council, is understood to be the preferred candidate following an interview process and has been offered the post.

His appointment will have to be ratified by councillors at an upcoming meeting of Galway County Council.

He will replace Jim Cullen, who was Acting CE for a number of years.

The last permanent CE of the local authority was also a Clare native, Martina Moloney who retired in 2014.

Since then, Kevin Kelly initially and then Jim Cullen have been acting in the roles.

According to his LinkedIn page, Liam Conneally was a senior planner at Limerick City and County Councils for almost three years before taking up the Director of Services role in Clare in 2016.

He was educated at University of Limerick and Queen’s University Belfast.

A native of Ennistymon, he is steeped in the GAA.

“He’s done a very good job in Clare; he’s very dynamic and forward-looking, he will be a good choice for Galway County Council,” said a source familiar with Mr Conneally, and the interview process.

Government completed a review in 2021 about whether it was going to appoint someone permanently into the CE role, which was filled on a temporary/acting basis for almost nine years.

It’s understood that officials in Dublin had delayed filling the role as they wanted to push for an amalgamation of both Councils.

The amalgamation, however, was rejected by local politicians, and has since been put on the back burner.

Meanwhile, Chief Executive of Galway City Council, Brendan McGrath, is due to retire this year. It’s understood his deputy CE, Patricia Philbin will take the role in an acting capacity until an interview process is completed.

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