By Gerry Murphy
If it’s not broke, don’t fix it is the first thought that comes to mind when we look at the latest version of the upgraded Mazda6. Always a favourite, they have stuck to their knitting with the 2.2 SkyActive four-cylinder diesel engine and all the driving traits that we have come to respect and love from Mazda.
Despite falling sales in the sector – we are not buying larger family saloons like we used to – business buyers and those who just can’t warm to SUVs will know instantly that the Mazda6 is special car.
What is never in doubt is the outstanding driving experience you get behind the wheel of one of the best in the market.
A new deep grille shows off Mazda’s new image, and slim LED lights make it recognisable and classy. My test car came in white, though I think that it is better looking in other colours – as frivolous as that might seem, the white may not age as well because the beautiful curves from the side view and the prominent wheel arches are not as defined.
In addition, the ratio of glass to metal makes the white a little too imbalanced for my liking. Give me their signature Soul Red Metalic or the Blue Reflex Mica any day and all becomes perfect.
Inside, Mazda designers have upped the game with a modern feel, a tight build quality and space for five full adults. The dash has been re-aligned and is now slimmer and sharper with new modern materials, metal finishing and clever wood inserts giving it a look of something you would expect from a higher class. You also get a huge boot with depth and width to take copious amounts of luggage.
Mazda has also held back on delivering overly confusing on-screen technology that often becomes a distraction in modern cars. All the right technology is there and can be worked through a central dial beside the gearshift, a system that has stood the test of time and much to my preference. It is not quite as capable as the BMW iDrive system but is equally as effective all the same.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
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Galway to complete vaccine roll-out by end of the summer
On the first anniversary of Covid-19’s deadly arrival into Ireland, the head of the Saolta hospital group has predicted that all who want the vaccine will have received it by the end of the summer.
Tony Canavan, CEO of the seven public hospitals, told the Connacht Tribune that the HSE was planning to set up satellite centres from the main vaccination hub at the Galway Racecourse to vaccinate people on the islands and in the most rural parts of the county.
While locations have not yet been signed up, the HSE was looking at larger buildings with good access that could be used temporarily to carry out the vaccination programme over a short period.
“We do want to reach out to rural parts of the region instead of drawing in people from the likes of Clifden and over from the islands. The plan is to set up satellites from the main centre, sending out small teams out to the likes of Connemara,” he explained.
“Ideally we’d run it as close as possible to the same time that the main centres are operating once that is set up. Communication is key – if people know we’re coming, it will put people’s minds at rest.”
Get all the latest Covid-19 coverage in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie
Galway meteorologist enjoying new-found fame in the sun!
Growing up in Galway where four seasons in a day is considered a soft one, Linda Hughes always had a keen interest in the weather.
But unlike most Irish people, instead of just obsessing about it, she actually went and pursued it as a career.
The latest meteorologist to appear on RTE’s weather forecasts hails from Porridgtown, Oughterard, and brings with her an impressive background in marine forecasting.
She spent six years in Aerospace and Marine International in Aberdeen, Scotland, which provides forecasts for the oil and gas industry.
The 33-year-old was a route analyst responsible for planning routes for global shipping companies. She joined the company after studying experimental physics in NUIG and doing a masters in applied meteorology in Redding in the UK.
“My job was to keep crews safe and not lose cargo by picking the best route to get them to their destination as quickly as possibly but avoiding hurricanes, severe storms,” she explains.
“It was a very interesting job, I really enjoyed it but it was very stressful as you were dealing with bad weather all the time because there’s always bad weather in some part of the world.”
Read the full interview with Linda Hughes in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie
Great-great-grandmother home after Covid, a stroke, heart failure and brain surgery
Her family are understandably calling her their miracle mum – because an 81 year old great-great-grandmother from Galway has bounced back from Covid-19, a stroke, heart failure and brain surgery since Christmas…to return hale and hearty, to her own home.
But Mary Quinn’s family will never forget the trauma of the last three months, as the Woodford woman fought back against all of the odds from a series of catastrophic set-backs.
The drama began when Mary was found with a bleed on her brain on December 16. She was admitted to Portiuncula Hospital, and transferred to Beaumont a day later where she underwent an emergency procedure – only to then suffer a stroke.
To compound the crisis, while in Beaumont, she contracted pneumonia, suffered heart failure and developed COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease – the inflammatory lung disease that causes obstructed airflow from the lungs.
“Christmas without mom; things did not look good,” said her daughter Catherine Shiel.
But the worst was still to come – because before Mary was discharged, she contracted Covid-19.
Read Mary’s full, heart-warming story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie