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Test drive Ford’s first hybrid electric vehicle at Killarney Autos

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Ford’s first hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) in Ireland has just made its debut on our roads. The Mondeo HEV combines the best facets of the hugely popular car with the benefits of hybrid technology. With its 2.0 litre 187PS automatic transmission petrol powertrain, the new Mondeo HEV will meet the needs of those who want a more environmentally-friendly car but who do not wish to compromise on space, driving dynamics, driving range and comfort.

Ciarán McMahon, chairman and managing director of Ford Ireland, believes now is the perfect time to launch the car in Ireland. “Ford has taken the electrification journey,” adding that the Mondeo HEV is a more recent addition to Ford’s electric portfolio. “We introduced the Mondeo HEV towards the end of last year and we believe the time is now right to bring it to the Irish market. The market in Ireland has changed greatly over the past 18 months and there is a new impetus behind the electrified vehicles market here.”

The Mondeo HEV will have a particular appeal to a broad swathe of the market, according to McMahon. “We believe this represents a very big opportunity for Ford. It is our first hybrid launch in Ireland and it will appeal to companies that want to demonstrate green credentials.”

Familiarity is another plus. “Everyone knows the Mondeo and its great driving dynamics and specs. From that point of view, it’s the perfect vehicle for Ford to start its hybrid journey in Ireland.”

It also stands out in the market as many of the hybrids already on the market are smaller in size. “There is a great opportunity in this space for us. Also, when people drive it they quickly realise that it’s a beautiful car to drive. It has a petrol engine but has an electric powertrain and that makes it automatic transmission by default. It is a lovely, quiet drive regardless of whether you are driving on the petrol engine or the battery.”

Another strength is its fuel consumption. “It is very fuel efficient despite being a high-powered petrol vehicle. When you combine all these things together it’s a package that people understand and find attractive. One thing I would say is that people really do need to test drive the vehicle to fully appreciate it.

“Once people get in and drive it they are very impressed. The drive switches between electric and petrol power completely seamlessly and it’s very hard to tell when it happens. That’s to do with the way it has been developed. The petrol engine has been specifically designed for hybrid electric vehicles. The overall package is excellent and anyone who has got used to other hybrids will be very pleasantly surprised by the Mondeo HEV.”

Looking to the future, McMahon believes it will not be too long before all cars are electric, either hybrids or pure electric with consumer demand and other factors driving the change. There will also be pronounced differences in markets which will continue to be influenced by local factors.

“Our HEV offering in the US has been very successful,” he says. “We recently announced plans which will result in further investment in EVs there. In the US, SUVs rather than saloon cars are very much seen as the future. There is a huge market shift over there.”

Technology is among the key forces at work in this quiet revolution. “The industry is changing rapidly and technology is changing even faster. Battery technology is advancing all the time and costs are coming down. It is different in Ireland and while the SUV segment is growing, the Mondeo segment continues to be a popular choice in our market.”

Test this exciting car now at Killarney Autos. Call 064 66 31355 for more information.

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Killarney co-drivers to the fore at this weekend

Two Killarney-based co-drivers will contest this weekend’s Trackrod Rally Yorkshire, the fourth rounds of the British Rally Championship. The two-day event gets underway tonight (Friday) with one stage set to be run under the cover of darkness. On the startline will be Muckross man Noel O’Sullivan and Aghadoe’s Mikie Galvin. O’Sullivan, co-driver to Welshman Osian […]

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Two Killarney-based co-drivers will contest this weekend’s Trackrod Rally Yorkshire, the fourth rounds of the British Rally Championship.

The two-day event gets underway tonight (Friday) with one stage set to be run under the cover of darkness.
On the startline will be Muckross man Noel O’Sullivan and Aghadoe’s Mikie Galvin.

O’Sullivan, co-driver to Welshman Osian Pryce, is the current leader of the series while Galvin, who reads pacenotes for fellow Killarney and District Motor Club member, West Cork’s Keith Cronin, is eighth after missing the opening round.

“The element of darkness certainly brings an additional challenge to all the crews, especially since most of us will not have done any night stages for some time, the most recent I did was in 2017 on the Ulster Rally,” Cronin noted.

The route layout reads like an extract from the itinerary of the World Championship counting RAC Rally of the 1980s, featuring familiar locations such as Dalby, Gale Rigg and Langdale, and it will be the Dalby Forest test that opens the competition shortly after 8pm tonight.

Meanwhile, Irish rallying returned last Sunday after the pandemic-enforced lay-off with the ‘Munster Car Club’s Cork 20’.

London-based Listry co-driver Shane Buckley was the best of the local entrants, guiding Daniel Cronin, Keith’s brother, to fifth overall.

Ger Conway and his driver Stephen Wright were just two places and 8.9 seconds behind in another Ford Fiesta RC2. It was Conway’s first taste of a RC2 car since he and Rob Duggan finished second overall on the 2018 Donegal International Rally.

“There is a taste of more after this,” said Ger after a trouble-free day.
Damien Fleming came close to making it four local co-drivers in the top 10. He and his driver Stephen McCann were 11th, just 16.6 off the leader board. They said it took a while to get used to the bumpy Irish tar after a recent trip to the Tour of Flanders in Belgium.

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Education Minister officially opens The Mon’s new classrooms

A town primary school – which has a deep connection to Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty – has a whole new look which was officially opened today (Friday) by the Minister for Education. Norma Foley TD officially opened the newly constructed wing to the Presentation Monastery Primary School on New Road which will house two special needs classrooms, a multi-sensory room […]

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A town primary school – which has a deep connection to Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty – has a whole new look which was officially opened today (Friday) by the Minister for Education.

Norma Foley TD officially opened the newly constructed wing to the Presentation Monastery Primary School on New Road which will house two special needs classrooms, a multi-sensory room and a general-purpose hall.

The project, which was funded by Department of Education along with money raised by the school as part of their ‘THE MON-ster Fundraiser’, was just one of three officially opened new additions to the school along with a special dedication of the school’s hall in honour of Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty, a past pupil of the school from 1909-1914.

Also, The Most Rev. Ray Browne, Bishop of Kerry, officially opened a three-classroom extension at the school’s present site which was opened in 1958 having moved from its College Street location which was opened in 1838 by the Presentation Brothers.

Former Supreme Court Judge Hugh O’Flaherty and Mrs Pearl Dineen the nephew and niece of Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty officiated over the dedicating of the school’s new hall to past pupil, Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty, in recognition of his heroic deeds during WWII.

O’Flaherty, who also taught at the school later, became better known for the role he played in World War II while at the Vatican leading over 6,500 prisoners of war, partisans and Jews to freedom to earn him the title of the ‘Vatican Pimpernel’, leading to the 1983 film ‘The Scarlet and the Black’ with Gregory Peck portraying the role of O’Flaherty.

OUTDOOR CLASSROOM

A special outdoor classroom ‘Dotts Garden’, dedicated to the memory of Dorothy (Dott) Hennggler the 2011 Washington DC Rose who died at the family home in Baltimore from a brain tumour, was officially opened by Anne O’Shea (aunt of the late Dorothy), and Àine McMahon (cousin of the late Dorothy and BOM member). The outdoor classroom was beautifully decorated over the summer by artist Katríona Lynch.

Due to COVID restrictions, the main event took place outdoors with staff joined by a small group of pupils selected from each of the classes representing the student body along with members of the school’s Board of Management.

“Your achievements have been remarkable over the last number of months,” Minister of Education, Norma Foley, said today at the official opening.

“It is my wish going forward that the next year in education will be less complicated, less trying and less difficult one. I think school staff are deserving of that. We can put the COVID atmosphere behind us and we are moving positively along. We hope that in a few months we will talk about living in a post-COVID time. The story of Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty speaks of the calibre of students produced here, but it also speaks of the courage and bravery and vision that Kerry people can have in the most difficult and trying of times.”

School principal Colm Ó Suilleabháin, who is shortly moving on to St Oliver’s NS in Ballycasheen, was delighted to be in attendance to see the building come to fruition.

“It’s a fantastic culmination of hard work by the staff and the Board of Management, and we are delighted to see the school is fully equipped and resourced for the next generation of pupils from Killarney and beyond,” he said.

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