20 March 2019

Breen and Nagle take West Cork Rally

For the second time in five weeks, Waterford rally ace Craig Breen and his Killarney co-driver Paul Nagle were the crew to beat as they drove their Ford Fiesta to victory in the Clonakilty Park Hotel West Cork International Rally, writes Richard Burke.

Just as in Galway last month, their closest challengers were Ulster pair Alastair Fisher and Gordon Noble in another Fiesta, who were 22 seconds behind after two days of stages, with Tom Cave and James Morgan the best of the British Championship contenders. They finished third overall in their Hyundai i20, another 15 seconds down, with current British champion Matt Edwards fourth.

Former World Rally Championship contender Mikko Hirvonen won the National Rally in a Ford Escort, but Cavan’s Gary Kiernan put up a terrific performance in a similar car, leading the Finnish superstar until he was forced to retire from the lead due to mechanical problems, with just two stages still to complete.  

Craig Breen & Paul Nagle are pictured above on Stage 2, Dunworley. Photo: Kevin O'Driscoll.

19 March 2019

Dacia: new partner to Guinness PRO14 Final Series

Dacia has signed up to offer its commitment to the Guinness PRO14 Final Series as the Official Car Partner of this season’s knock-out stages and the Final at Glasgow’s Celtic Park, writes Trish Whelan.

With the Guinness PRO14 Final taking place at the home of Celtic FC, Dacia will be there for all six games of the Final Series including the Quarter-Finals, Semi-Finals and the showpiece decider itself on 25 May in Scotland.

Dacia will be a prominent supporter of the Guinness PRO14 with their branding placed at pitch side throughout the Final Series while rugby fans will get the chance to win prizes and take part in bespoke activities at every game.

Dermot Rigley, Commercial Director, PRO14 Rugby said: “We’re always thrilled to welcome a new member into our sponsorship family and we are coming together at a time of great success and growth for both organisations. Last year we saw a record attendance for the third year in a row at the Guinness PRO14 Final and with our new world-wide broadcast deals we know Dacia and all our other partners will get to be a part of one of our biggest audiences yet.”

Patrick Magee, Country Operations Director, Dacia Ireland said: “We are delighted that we can align the brand with the success of the PRO14 Rugby for the Final Series which will crown this year’s champion team.”

The Guinness PRO14 Championship is made up of 14 clubs - four Irish, four Welsh, two Scottish, two Italian and two South African teams. Teams play a total of 21 games in the regular season across two conferences with the six top-ranked teams qualifying for the Guinness PRO14 Final Series. 

Pictured are Dermot Rigley, PRO14 Rugby; Dacia Ambassador Fiona Coghlan; and Liz O’Gorman, Marketing Manager, Dacia Ireland. Fiona captained the Ireland rugby team that won the 2013 Women’s Six Nations Championship. 

18 March 2019

Mercedes-Benz aids Sneem Digital Hub with new Vito

The commercial vehicles division of Mercedes-Benz is providing support to Sneem Digital Hub in its mission to reverse rural depopulation in the area, writes Trish Whelan.

The hope is to provide sustainable long-term jobs that would attract people to live and work in Sneem, thereby ensuring the continuing viability of the village and surrounding areas.

The initiative will see Sneem Digital Hub facility supplied with a new Mercedes-Benz Vito van for their exclusive use for a one-year period.

The new Vito will provide essential support to managers at the Hub in transporting equipment and distributing materials as required, and as a promotional unit when conveying display materials to events and exhibitions.

Soon to be a familiar sight around the Ring of Kerry and surround area, the Vito 111L model will display the Sneem Digital Hub logo on its livery. Complete with all mod cons, it features will include colour coded bumpers, multifunction steering wheel, reverse camera and air conditioning.

Aidan Murray, manager at Sneem Digital Hb said: “The use of the Vito van will provide a visual presence and shop window for the Hub as it travels throughout the Kerry and south-west region, and further afield.”

Created with the help of a dedicated group of community volunteers, the aim of Sneem Digital Hub is to bring reliable digital infrastructure and quality jobs to the location. A modern, stylish facility, the Hub provides high-speed broadband, hot-desking for remote workers, a low-cost base for business start-ups and options for companies seeking to expand remotely. Video conferencing technology and meeting rooms are also available.

Addressing guests present at a recent key presentation event held in the Mercedes-Benz headquarters on Dublin’s Naas Road, the company’s chairman Stephen O’Flaherty praised the work being done by Sneem Digital Hub, seeing it as ‘a wonderful example of local enterprise at work in a way that brings immediate and downstream benefits to the community.”

Pictured with the new Vito van are Stephen O’Flaherty, Chairman of Motor Distributors Limited, concessionaires for Mercedes-Benz in Ireland; and Niall Scott, Chairman of Sneem Digital Hub. With them (left to right) are Stephen Byrne, Chief Executive, Mercedes-Benz in Ireland; Lauren O’Flaherty, Marketing Manager, MSL Motor Group; Aidan Murray, Manager, Sneem Digital Hub; and Fergus Conheady, Sales Manager, Mercedes-Benz commercial vehicles.