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Funky C3 drives as well as it looks



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



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

Galway have lot to ponder in poor show



Date Published: 23-Jan-2013




GALWAY’S first serious examination of the 2013 season rather disturbingly ended with a rating well below the 40% pass mark at the idyllic, if rather Siberian, seaside setting of Enniscrone on Sunday last.

The defeat cost Galway a place in the FBD League Final against Leitrim and also put a fair dent on their confidence shield for the bigger tests that lie ahead in February.

There was no fluke element in this success by an understrength Sligo side and by the time Leitrim referee, Frank Flynn, sounded the final whistle, there wasn’t a perished soul in the crowd of about 500 who could question the justice of the outcome.

It is only pre-season and last Sunday’s blast of dry polar winds did remind everyone that this is far from summer football, but make no mistake about it, the match did lay down some very worrying markers for Galway following a couple of victories over below par third level college teams.

Galway did start the game quite positively, leading by four points at the end of a first quarter when they missed as much more, but when Sligo stepped up the tempo of the game in the 10 minutes before half-time, the maroon resistance crumbled with frightening rapidity.

Some of the statistics of the match make for grim perusal. Over the course of the hour, Galway only scored two points from play and they went through a 52 minute period of the match, without raising a white flag – admittedly a late rally did bring them close to a draw but that would have been very rough justice on Sligo.

Sligo were backable at 9/4 coming into this match, the odds being stretched with the ‘missing list’ on Kevin Walsh’s team sheet – Adrian Marren, Stephen Coen, Tony Taylor, Ross Donovan, David Kelly, David Maye, Johnny Davey and Eamon O’Hara, were all marked absent for a variety of reasons.

Walsh has his Sligo side well schooled in the high intensity, close quarters type of football, and the harder Galway tried to go through the short game channels, the more the home side bottled them up.

Galway badly needed to find some variety in their attacking strategy and maybe there is a lot to be said for the traditional Meath style of giving long, quick ball to a full forward line with a big target man on the edge of the square – given Paul Conroy’s prowess close to goal last season, maybe it is time to ‘settle’ on a few basics.

Defensively, Galway were reasonably solid with Gary Sice at centre back probably their best player – he was one of the few men in maroon to deliver decent long ball deep into the attacking zone – while Finian Hanley, Conor Costello and Gary O’Donnell also kept things tight.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Archive News

Real Galway flavour to intermediate club hurling battle in Birr



Date Published: 23-Jan-2013


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