Our seemingly unstoppable lust for SUVs is having a detrimental effect on the sales of family-sized saloon cars over the last 10 years or so. Volvo has its share of these SUVs but still produce high class, four-door cars that are right up there with the best in terms of premium quality and individuality.
You can’t get enough of a good thing, and driving the Volvo S60 this week reminded me of just how much I still appreciate driving a proper, four-door saloon. Not only is it perhaps one of the best looking cars of its kind and pretty incomparable on the inside, it is considerably rewarding on the open road too.
Volvo don’t offer a diesel anymore, so the test car was the 2.0-litre turbocharged T5 R-Design petrol model with a healthy 250hp and 350Nm of pulling power. CO2 emissions come in at 155g/km which adds up to an annual road tax bill of €390. It is also fairly good in terms of fuel consumption for a car of its ilk, coming in at 7.8L/100km over a mixed 1,000 kilometres.
Consistently good in every department, the R-Design adds additional weight to the suspension and to the steering feel. Sitting on big 20-inch wheels, there could have been a harsher ride, but that is not as evident here as you might think. Everything on board is measured and well built. You won’t want to be too aggressive with the S60, although when you do push it, it is agile and responsive when asked the serious questions.
Every Volvo comes with a delicious interior. Everything feels good to the touch, but I think that the hand swiping system in the big 12.3″ Active TFT Crystal Driver’s Information Display is a little more complicated than it needs to be.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
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Homemade Wimbledon is a different bale game!
WIMBLEDON mightn’t be happening for the tennis professionals this year due to COVID-19 – but one North Galway family are planning their own version of the tournament.
The younger members of the Craughwell family in Menlough village have had a tradition over the years of lining out their own court on the silage slab that’s available for recreation purposes during the early weeks of the Summer.
The three sons of Jarlath and Anne Craughwell – Christopher, Shane and James – rarely missed the opportunity through the years to ‘get the silage slab ready’ for their own Wimbledon tournament.
“The dimensions of the silage slab are almost exactly the same as a tennis court [78 feet X 36 feet} so back the years we always organised our own games. When the silage was made, then that was always it for another year,” Christopher Craughwell told the Connacht Tribune.
As the lads grew older the summer tennis court hadn’t been used for a few years but in 2020 with the introduction of the coronavirus restrictions, it seemed like a perfect time to bring it back.
“This year we took it a stage further. We used the sheep gates for the net with a line of white electric fence tape along the top so this is probably the best job we’ve ever made of it.
“The silage won’t be made for at least another month so were planning to stage our own family tournament over the coming weeks. With the weather so good, it’s been a great way to pass the time,” said Christopher.
City Council houses Travellers in county
Galway City Council will spend close to half a million euro to house a Traveller family – in a property well outside its own local authority boundary.
Instead the family of four, who previously lived on the Carrabrowne halting site, will be accommodated in the house at Kiltulla near Carnmore, which is deep in Galway County Council’s local government area.
The City Council is understood to have paid €388,000 for the property which will require another €50,000 to refurbish – leaving little change out of half a million euro.
Angry residents, who were unaware of the plan, have now organised a petition to City Council CEO Brendan McGrath to voice their objection to the move.
But Cllr Donagh Killilea believes that there is a bigger issue at stake – with Galway City Council acquiring property wherever they like.
And Senator Ollie Crowe said that he believed the City Council – of which he was a member up to his Seanad election – should be acquiring property within their own area and that this acquisition was ‘unprecedented’.
He said that it was his view that there would be nothing bought outside the city boundary and that the money spent on this property would refurbish a lot of the City Council’s housing stock that had fallen into a state of dilapidation.
Long drives still out of bounds for golfers
This week’s relaxation of travel restrictions saw an exodus to the garden centres and the golf courses – but Gardaí have this week reiterated their warning to those planning to excede their five kilometre limit that they may find themselves in the heavy rough.
The first phase of a return to ‘normality’ went to plan, despite the early rush to newly reopened facilities. Even the rain didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of furloughed golfers, who were on the first tee from daylight.
Time sheets for golf clubs across the county were choc-a-bloc as they opened their doors to members for the first time since the end of March – but many clubs privately admitted that more than half of those who played had travelled way beyond the 5k restriction.
That led Gardaí to warn that they will be mounting checkpoints and turning people back home – adding that the golf clubs themselves have a responsibility to advise members on the travel rules.
Tuam Sergeant Pat Hastings confirmed that Gardaí had the power under the Health Preservation and Protection Act 2020 to turn back individuals travelling more than 5k from their homes.
He warned that a file will be sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions to deal with anyone who continually breached the regulations.