Breaking the Barriers – Irish team only one of 22 nations with a female competitor

Breaking the Barriers – Irish team only one of 22 nations with a female competitor

Inaugural FIA Masters Hill Climb Championship and Nations Cup

Irish Team with cars, taken at Knockalla Hillclimb September 2014Irish Team. L-R Joe Courtney individual competitor , Rory Stephens, Deirdre Mckinley  and Irish Team Mascot baby Rory, Simon,, Eanna CarrollSimon McKinleyin action at Naul Hillclimb August 2013~1

Morsport Ireland announced today that the Irish team are in good spirits as they face the challenge of competing at the first ever FIA Masters Hill Climb Championship and Nations Cup event this weekend in Eschdorf in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.

Alex Sinclair, CEO Motorsport Ireland stated, “The Inaugural FIA Masters Hill Climb Championships presents a fantastic opportunity to showcase some of Ireland’s best drivers in the discipline. This hugely popular form of motor sport tests both drivers and their cars to the limit. As a nation we should also be very proud of the fact that we are the only country that has a female driver as part of our Irish team.”
The event brings together 154 the top international drivers from the season, who have proved themselves in the FIA European Hill Climb Championship, the International Hill Climb Cup or in their respective national championships.

Six Irish competitors are making the trip to this event which not only gives them the opportunity to compete on the international stage but also allows them to demonstrate the immense talent contained within the Irish Championship. As well as competing for overall honours in each category four competitors from each nation will form a team to compete for the Nations Cup.


The Irish team is made up of Irish National Champion Simon McKinley, Deirdre McKinley, Eanna Carroll and Rory Stephens.

Deirdre McKinley, Irish Team member, stated “With so many people from Ireland planning on travelling to the event to support all the Irish drivers Eschdorf is sure to be a sea of green white and gold for the weekend. We are all very excited to be representing Ireland and I am very honoured to be the only female racing driver competing for my country. “
The Hill Climb Masters are organised jointly by the Union des Pilotes, the Automobile Club de Luxembourg and the FIA. Saturday 11 October will be devoted to the practice heats, with three climbs for each driver. The following day, three race heats are scheduled, starting at 9.30 a.m.


The Nations cup will be won by the team that has the most consistent times from each of the four drivers in each national team.

As many as a tenth of all UK imported cars may be crashed or written off

written-off-carsAs many as a tenth of all UK imported cars may be crashed or written off.

Startling figures from car history experts show that as many as a tenth of used cars being imported from the UK may have been previously written off.

In the first comprehensive analysis of its kind, examined a 10,000-strong sample of the cars imported into Ireland from the UK in 2012, and found that over 950 of these were previously categorised as Category A, B, C or D write-offs. Some had even been crashed multiple times.

In the case of the lower categories (C & D), especially on older cars, it is possible for a write-off to occur when a car has suffered relatively minor and easily repaired damage.

The problem comes with the Category A or B write-offs. These are much more serious. In the case of Category A the law in the UK states that such cars must be scrapped and no components sold on and re-used in other cars. Parts from Category B write-offs can be re-used but only under strictly controlled circumstances. In both cases a certificate of destruction must be issued. Clearly, however, there are a large number of unscrupulous sellers breaking the law and offloading dangerously repaired wrecks onto unsuspecting new customers.

Given the fact that Motorcheck’s sample was so large, it can be said with some safety that the sample can be extrapolated, and that as many as 3,500 to 4,000 of the cars imported from the UK last year (assuming an annual average import level of 40,000) have previously been written off.

While it’s true that many of those vehicles may have been safely and legally repaired and put back on the road, it’s still extremely worrying that there is now a large number of cars in daily use out there that are simply not safe enough to be driven. Irish buyers should be aware of this danger when buying an imported car, and other road users are equally at risk.

Commenting on the findings Co-Founder Shane Teskey said “It is extremely important that buyers check for any outstanding write-off classification before they buy a car. That’s not to say that a category C or D write off cannot represent good value for money, provided it has been repaired correctly, but it is only by checking it first that you can make the informed decision and consider any potential ‘walk away defects’ before you buy the car”.

Considering the scientific robustness of the sample, it could reasonably be extended out to all cars imported from the UK currently running on Irish roads. Out of the current 2.4-million cars on Irish roads, approximately 500,000 are imported from the UK, which means that as many as 45,000 cars on our roads today may have been previously written off.


·         The sample is taken from 10,000 vehicles imported into Ireland from the UK during 2012

·         This number represents approximately 22% of annual imports in a typical year (taking last 5 years imports as an average)

·         It shows approximately 900 of these vehicles were previously written off (Category A, B, C or D) at least once. Some were written off multiple times

·         This represents approximately 9% of the sample

·         The sample is robust enough to extrapolate that approximately 9% of all imports from the UK may have been written off previously

·         Given that an average of 40,000 – 45,000 vehicles are imported into Ireland from the UK annually, it is safe to assume that approximately 3,500 – 4,000 previously written off vehicles are imported into Ireland each year

·         Used car buyers can verify the write off history for any UK import using its Irish number plate on The check costs €20 and will also report on potential mileage discrepancies, NCT status, whether the vehicle was ever used as a Taxi or Hackney.

New Golf Pushes Volkswagen to the Number One Spot

The eagerly awaited first quarter results for new car sales are in and can reveal that Volkswagen is now officially Ireland’s best selling brand for 2013 (year to date).

The closing stages of the race proved to be extremely significant with 56% of March’s total registrations recorded on the last five days of the month.

Nevertheless the German manufacturer crossed the finish line with 4,882 cars registered; a comfortable 747 units ahead of Japanese rival Toyota who came in at 4,135.

The Volkswagen Golf proved to be largely unstoppable and a major part of the brands quarterly success. figures show that there were 2,083 new Golf’s registered in the first quarter of this year representing a whopping 43% of Volkswagen’s total sales. No surprise then that it’s the most popular car this year ahead of the Nissan Qashqai and Ford Focus in second and third place respectively.

The overall market does however remain somewhat depressed. Total sales for 2013 are 13% down on 2012 with 39,595 new cars registered against 45,593 for the equivalent period in 2012.

The only brands in the Top 10 to show an increase in volumes registered were Hyundai (up 25%), Audi (up 13%) and Kia (up 5%).

Popular brands Renault, Toyota & Ford suffered the biggest losses with a drop of 47%, 29% and 23% respectively.

The industry will now set its sights firmly on July 1st when it’s hoped that the ‘13-2’ number plate will stimulate a ‘second coming’ for new car sales.


Top 10 Makes                      Units              Market Share

Volkswagen                            4,882              12.33%

Toyota                                    4,135              10.44%

Ford                                        3,851              9.73%

Nissan                                     3,364              8.5%

Hyundai                                 3,282              8.29%

Skoda                                      2,756              6.96%

Opel                                        2,634              6.65%

Audi                                        2,060              5.20%

Kia                                          1,815              4.58%

Renault                                   1,805              4.56%



Top 10 Models                     Units              Market Share

Volkswagen Golf                    2,083              5.26%

Nissan Qashqai                      1,994              4.91%

Ford Focus                             1,500              3.79%

Ford Fiesta                             1,336              3.37%

Toyota Auris                          1,219              3.08%

Volkswagen Passat                1,134              2.86%

Opel Astra                              1,051              2.65%

Toyota Yaris                           1,036              2.62%

Skoda Octavia                        1,034              2.61%

Toyota Avensis                      973                 2.46%

Top 6 Best Driving Songs

Driving whilst under the influence of emotions can be an arduous task. The painstaking planning of a journey can help you in the long run, ensuring the stability of your emotional well being and that of those around you.

Stuck in traffic after a long day at work

There is nothing worse than getting into your car after a long day at work, and realising you are in for a tedious drive home! Finding the right song to help you unwind is imperative to your mood. If the day has been long and you need to relieve that stress, try the relaxing sounds of Kenny G to sooth the mind. May I suggest ‘forever in Love?’


Calm your nerves

Nerves can often get the better of us. If you’re on your way to a job interview or to ask for that raise, be sure to get yourself into the right frame of mind for the task ahead. Survivor’s ‘eye of the tiger’ is perfect to supply that much needed positivity and faith in yourself; essential before a difficult task.

Keep family occupied

The kids are screaming in the back seat and you’re close to pulling your hair out! Yes, it is family holiday time! If your scalp is still intact, ensure your music for the journey will be pleasing to their ears by including the catchy dance tune ‘Gangnam Style’ by PSY. Adored by children worldwide, this global hit will surely keep them occupied. At least for 4 minutes anyhow!

Break up song

There comes a time in everybody’s life where we’ve been dumped. What is it about being dumped that we feel the need to listen to songs of heartbreak, to make us feel more of an emotional wreck than we already are?! I call it purging the soul. If you are unfortunate enough to be in this situation, can I recommend the smooth tone of Kelly Clarkson’s ‘Because of You’ to drown your sorrows?

Preparing to propose

You’ve bought the ring and you’ve planned the night for months; now it’s time to get in the right mood. Yes, you’re in the mood for love! Planning a proposal is a work of art. If done right, it will create the right memory for your special someone forever. Get in touch with your romantic side and set the tone on your journey with the beautiful ‘Wonderful Tonight’ by Eric Clapton. The lyrics will not be forgotten by your future wife!

Long journey song

A long journey with your partner can be a difficult time, cooped up together with only a playlist and conversation to keep you company. Ensure a smoother journey (and perhaps relieve some tension!) by picking some classic music to get you singing along to! Can I suggest ‘Highway to Hell’ by ACDC? It’s an oldie, but a goodie!


If you spend a lot of time in your car, you will probably want to have a music collection to match your every mood. Whilst it is true, journeys can be long and tedious, with the right music to suit your needs; you can make the journey an easier task to undertake. Your car may see a range of your emotions over the years, but, with some careful planning, it could also be the place where your emotional needs are met, becoming a safe haven for you and your family.

This Post has been provided by FBD Car Insurance.  To view the benefits of an FDB policy visit

The Eagerly Awaited Dacia Brand Arrives In Ireland


The Eagerly Awaited Dacia Brand Arrives In Ireland 

Shockingly Affordable Duster to hit Irish Roads  
Having taken the global car market by storm in recent years, the arrival of Dacia in Ireland is
expected to shake things up  – a lot!
At a time when prices seem to be climbing for almost everything else, Dacia brings a
refreshing smart-buy concept to Ireland and is one  of the most exciting motor stories of
2012. Its arrival here will see the Duster SUV in Irish showrooms in January 2013, at a
shockingly affordable €14,990.
However, customers will be delighted to know that they can test drive and order their
Duster now through their local Dacia Dealership.  The launch of Dacia Duster in Europe in
2010 saw such a demand from eager customers that resulted in a six-month waiting list for
the much anticipated vehicle in Germany and France.
The SUV segment is the fastest growing segment in Ireland and is up 9% YTD on 2011.
Almost 90% of vehicles in the SUV segment are over  €22,500 to buy new or even over
€24,500 to have the equivalent diesel engine for the best seller of the segment, so with that
in mind, the Duster will quickly become a very attractive contender for those looking at
buying a new SUV, a new family car or even a used car.
The multi-award winning Duster will wow buyers with its chunky and unpretentious styling,
impressive and versatile interior space, peerless build quality and unbeatable value for
money. The eagerly-awaited Duster SUV is expected to kick its segment competitors into
touch with its super-mini or in some cases city-car pricing. Quite simply no other car in the
country will offer the same price, size and equipment for the money.
The Duster will be available in Ireland in both 4×2 and 4×4 guises with one diesel engine size,
a punchy 1.5 dCi 110Bhp in Band B with two trims, Alternative 4×2 and Signature 4×2, 4×4,
and comes with an up to five year unlimited mileage warranty.
Everything that Dacia does is centred on simplicity and eliminating the unnecessary. Its
model range in Ireland, Duster, Sandero Hatch launching in January 2013, Sandero CrossOver and Grand Sandero launching later in 2013, reflect this, giving customers the ability to
buy exactly what they need and nothing more.
Julien Lelorrain, Marketing Director, Dacia Ireland 
“Dacia has arrived and this brand will shake up the Irish motor industry. It could not be a
better time to announce the price of Ireland’s smartest buy. Dacia is generous, reliable,
simple and smart. We believe Dacia will change the way people buy cars. No doubt that the
launch of Dacia in Ireland will continue its great success of being the fastest growing brand
in Europe.”
Dacia DNA… 
So what makes Dacia tick? 
It offers an unbeatable combination of price and size versus competitors, functional cleverly
designed cars, reliability with proven engine technology which is robust and built to stand
the test of time and it’s a smart buy.
About Dacia – The Brand: 
Dacia re-emerged amidst a blaze of publicity in 2004 with the Logan, which sold 65,000 units
in the first year. In 2010 Dacia became France’s fourth bestselling brand and the Duster
becoming the bestselling 4×4 in the country. Eight  years on and with five more models
under its belt, Dacia has been trying to keep up with surging global demand for its high
quality reliable and affordable vehicles ever since. Since 2004, over 1.8 million Dacia models
have been sold.
In 2011, Dacia was Europe’s fastest growing car brand, coming out tops in Romania and
Dacia Reliability: 
When it comes to reliability, Dacia excels. Every model is extensively tested, primarily so
that they can cope with tough terrain and weather extremes. Dacia makes extensive use of
proven and honed technology from within the Renault-Nissan alliance to ensure cars are
built to stand the test of time with impressive results – Dacia was just awarded “Most
Reliable Car brand” by 30,000 survey respondents in 5 countries (France, Italy, Spain,
Belgium and Portugal). (Feb. 2012)
Dacia – A social phenomenon: 
In just eight years, the Dacia brand has developed  a thriving community of owners who
never miss an opportunity to be together or communicate. Its web forums are twice as busy
as those of other brands. This sense of community, the popularity of the Dacia models and
the diversity of its expanding range has given rise to a whole new approach to motoring. In
2011, more than 10,000 proud owners took part in a  variety of Dacia Community events
across Europe! Dacia – the ‘Smart Buy’ brand:
For several years now, the Dacia brand has pioneered a revolutionary approach to car
– Generous: for the average price of a given segment, Dacia customers have access to a
vehicle from the next segment up, with plenty of space for passengers and luggage.
– Reliable: Dacia is ranked among the very top brands for reliability and low servicing costs.
– Simple: fuss-free ownership, from the day the vehicle is bought to its resale. Dacia pricing
is straightforward and transparent, while the brand’s models are among the markets very
best when it comes to holding their value.
– Smart: Buying a Dacia is seen as a ‘smart buy’, which allows customers to purchase only
what they really need:
Dacia allows countless motorists who previously had to settle for a used vehicle to own a
new vehicle with a uniquely extensive specification. Dacia vehicles are known to be
simple, generous, robust and 100 % functional. They also deliver exceptional cabin space
for the sort of price tag that was normally only associated with used vehicles, and their
outstanding reliability provides real peace of mind, with low servicing costs backed up to
five years unlimited mileage warranty.
The Dacia Duster will be available at the nine dedicated Dacia Dealers around the country.
Visit  to find your nearest dealer.
Notes to Editors:
See Dacia Duster Specifications on USB
For further information, images etc. please contact
Róisin O’Hea
T: 01-6608524  M: 086-2430839


A COUNTY Donegal man who took on Customs over VRT and won has told others facing court cases to get rid of solicitors unwilling to challenge attempted prosecutions.

John Doherty says Gardai and customs officers are ‘knowingly breaking EU Law’ every time they seize a vehicle in connection with VRT charges.

He says legal representatives who do not challenge the VRT charges and the laws which are used to collect them should be dismissed by clients.

Mr Doherty did not specify any solicitors here in Co Donegal, and said his comments are directed generally at the legal profession throughout the country.

He told “Victims of Customs/ VRT are being failed and misled by some members of the legal profession who are leading people into the courts like a lamb to the slaughter.

“They are not informing them that there are both constitutional and EU law rights that should be raised in court leaving a very easy conviction for the judge to rule on the bogus 1992 Finance Act.

“On the first instance the solicitor should inform his client that the 1992 finance act breaches the 3rd amendment of the constitution under the 1972 European community’s act, Ireland’s accession to Europe.

“The legal profession are also failing to inform their clients that fixed roadside penalties by customs or Gardai breaches their constitutional right to a fair trial in court.

“There is also a failure to inform clients of their treaty rights under the Treaty of Rome where Customs dutys are prohibited under Article 25 and also free movement of goods as between member states in Article 39.

“There is also a failure by the legal profession to raise these matters in court leaving the victim with a €2500 fine leaving court. These cases are very easily won in court if solicitors were representing them properly.

“We in the Irish Drivers Association are advising people that find themselves in this position and are not being informed by their solicitor to dismiss them and find a solicitor who acts for them under the constitution and their treaty rights and object in court to any summons issued under the 1992 Finance Act.”

Under the Finance Act, Gardai are given the power to seize cars at the roadside for non-payment of VRT. This is even if they are properly registered in, for example, the North, and fully insured to be driven in the South.

But Mr Doherty says the Act stands in contradiction of both Irish and European Union legislation, a ruling they claim has already been upheld at Letterkenny Court.

He claims precedent set 18 months ago has already been established in the case of his son when three charges against him were struck out by Judge Kevin Kilraine.

He ruled that the seizure breached Article 25 of the Treaty of Rome Act (free movement of products within the Union). When the car was taken, they also denied him the right of due process, as he was not convicted of any crime yet his car was taken from him.

Celebrity Car Crashes – Near Escapes

As infallible as celebrities may seem to us mere mortals, many of them have experienced car crashes that have been near escapes. While some have occurred as a result of negligent driving on the behalf of the celebrity, others have happened due to sheer idiocy. Regardless of the cause, each event has stood as a mishap that has shook fans worldwide.

Barely a month goes by when the unpredictable Charlie Sheen hits the headlines, and in the year of 2010 he shocked fans worldwide when he crashed two of his cars in the cliffs of Hollywood Hills. In both February and July, Sheen plunged two cars off the Hollywood Hills cliffs. Despite each crash being horrific in terms of damage, Sheen managed to escape with his life. This was much to the surprise of the Los Angeles police force, who found his Mercedes at the bottom of Sherman Oaks cliff.

Closely following Charlie Sheen’s epic performance on the road is the rap star once known as ‘Lil Bow Wow’. While on a blazing night out with fellow rap star Chris Brown, Bow Wow decided he would like to tweet to their fans that he was drunk and ready to let Chris take the wheel. Moments later the star was involved in a near crash, which is apparently what spurred him to allow Chris to drive.

While the alcohol-fuelled exploits of Lil Bow Wow and Chris Brown are shocking enough, George Michael managed to pull his own drug-driven stunt in London. After smoking copious amounts of marijuana, the British singer managed to crash his car into a Snappy Snaps store in the capital. Despite his car being a total write-off, George managed to escape the disaster with only a few minor injuries, but he did land himself in a Legacy Healing rehab centre.

Finally, one of Britain’s most unlucky celebrity car crashes is that of Cristiano Ronaldo. As the Manchester United footballer drove through his team’s city towards the airport, he wrote off a £200,000 car he had only just purchased. Thankfully the star was not hurt, and was able to continue with his footballing career afterwards.

No matter what the cause, all of the above celebrity car crashes serve as a stark reminder to all of us and highlight the importance of taking caution on the road is a necessity.

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