14 March 2019

JJ Burke Car Sales celebrates 45 years in business

John Joe and Helena Burke.

Award winning dealership JJ Burke Car Sales are this month celebrating 45 years in business with a birthday party on Thursday 21 March from 6pm to 9pm in their state of the art Ballinrobe property, writes Trish Whelan. 

The party will host special performances from X Factor Brendan Murray who is also a brand ambassador for JJ Burke Car Sales along with Multi-platinum award winning band Keywest.

John Joe and Helena Burke saw an opportunity to set up a garage of their own in 1974 on Abbey Street, they listened to their entrepreneurial spirit opening a thriving business fixing tractors and cars. They then bought a 2.5-acre site on the Claremorris Road in 1984 building a new garage housing a one car showroom, offices and a workshop. 

They can now look upon their bustling enterprise that still has their long time aim of customer service as it cores value. Joseph Burke, dealer principal said; “When Dad opened his first garage on Abbey Street, he never thought it would amount to what we are delighted to have today. I started working with him in 1999 and am proud to be now running the business with my sisters Karen and Pauline. Of course, Mam and Dad are still here when we need them for support and advice.”

John Joe Burke said; “When myself and Helena decided to open the garage all those years ago we knew we had started something special. We bought the Claremorris Road site in 1984 and from there we took on the Austin Rover franchise in 1986 followed by Peugeot in 1987 and then Isuzu in 1998. We were becoming one of the biggest dealerships in Mayo. With all this growth we had to extend the garage and in 2001 we expanded to a five-car showroom, six bay workshop and a state-of-the-art body shop. Demand for variety was increasing so became the franchise partnership with Subaru in 2008. Then finally the appointment of Renault and Dacia dealers in 2013 making it the success it is today.”

The garage has had many aesthetic changes over the years and in 2014 the showroom extended to a fourteen car showroom with further developments coming for a ten-bay workshop and three bay valeting area and wash bay making JJ Burke Car Sales one of the largest new and used car dealerships in the West of Ireland.

“We have gone through tough times over the years however we are still here down solely to the hard work of our staff and to our loyal customers supporting us over the years.” John Joe continued; “I am a proud man when I walk through these doors to see my three children now at the helm. Michael Shaughnessy with us 34 years is one man that has been through thick and thin with us and I am delighted he is here to celebrate the 45 years. He was the recipient of Technician of the Year award last year. Next to Mike is Gerry Donnelly, he is with us 17 years as our General Manager and Financial Controller, another credit to the business as are all our staff.”

The business is family run with John Joe and Helena’s three adult children Joseph, Pauline and Karen, now directors (pictured). Helena said; “Joseph, Pauline and Karen eat, sleep and breathe the business. They are always on the other end of the phone, whether it is a Monday or a Sunday, day or night. They work really close with all the staff who I am most grateful for as they are really the backbone of the business.” 

JJ Burke Car Sales extend an open invitation to everyone to join them on the 21 of March from 6pm to 9pm helping them kick off the party weekend with music from X Factor's Brendan Murray and the award-winning multi-platinum artists, Keywest. This is not just about the JJ Burke team but about the community who has gotten us here.”

The party will be followed by a weekend of promotions on all their new and used cars throughout the dealership. 

Finance offer on Jaguar E-PACE and F-PACE

Jaguar F-PACE

The Jaguar E-PACE and F-PACE SUVs are now within the reach of new customers with a finance offer available for March 2019, writes Trish Whelan.

The brand say there never has been a better time to buy a Jaguar with 2.0pc APR finance available for buyers looking for a new 191 family car.

Jaguar E-PACE
Customers can now drive away in the latest Jaguar E-PACE for €375 per month, or avail of a €1,500 purchase contribution. The E-PACE is a five-seat compact SUV that packs the design and performance of a Jaguar sports car into a spacious, practical and connected all-wheel-drive vehicle.

Since it went on sale in April 2016, the F-PACE has become the best-selling Jaguar ever and was awarded 2017 World Car of the Year and World Car Design of the Year. F-PACE is also available with 2.9pc APR finance, giving customers here the choice of monthly repayments of €499 or a €1,500 purchase contribution. 

All Jaguar models come with a Free Jaguar Care 3 Year Service Plan as standard.

Jaguar Land Rover Ireland Managing Director, Eddie Kavanagh, says the PACE range of vehicles is attracting new customers to the Jaguar brand. “There’s never been a better time to consider Jaguar with the value these offers represent.”

13 March 2019

SEAT Tarraco awarded five stars for safety

The new SEAT Tarraco large SUV, launched here last month, has achieved a maximum five-star safety rating from testing organisation Euro NCAP, writes Trish Whelan.

The car went through meticulous testing to determine its safety credentials and scored 97pc for adult protection, 84pc for child occupant protection, 79pc for vulnerable road users, and 79pc for safety assist.

Safety stems include Emergency Assist, Blind Spot Detection, and Exit Assist, Traffic Sign Recognition, Traffic jam assist and Light Assist as options, while it has also introduced two new safety systems for the first time: Pre-Crash Assist and Rollover Assist.

The Pre-Crash Assist can react in just 0.2 seconds should it detect an accident is about to happen, tightening seatbelts, activating hazard lights, rolling up the windows and closing the sunroof. - all helping protect the passenger compartment. Rollover Assist, if activated, will activate the curtain airbags and seatbelt pre-tensioners. Front Assist with bicycle detection, lane assist and Emergency-Call also feature. 

Tarraco is offered with five or seven seats, and is available from €34,700. 

Subaru to electrify XV Crossover and Forester

Subaru’s XV Crossover and new Forester e-Boxer will be the first two electrified models from the brand for Europe, writes Trish Whelan. Both were unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show. 

Both models feature custom-built horizontally-opposed powertrains combining motor-assist with Boxer technology and Symmetrical All Wheel Drive.

The e-Boxer is the brand’s new generation power unit system which combines Motor Assist with a Boxer engine and Symmetrical AWD. The system adjusts the power-split ratio between the 2.0 direct-injection engine and the electric motor. Three driving modes are offered: Engine driving, EV driving, and Motor Assist driving.


The fifth-generation Forester, now with a more rugged style, is safer than ever, is the most technologically-advanced Subaru in the current European line-up and is equipped with new Advanced Safety technologies. It is also the roomiest and most capable Forester yet. 

Built on the Subaru Global Platform it offers superior handling and stability, improved hazard avoidance performance, more responsive steering, ‘exceptionally’ low vibrations and driving comfort. The new model is wider overall by 20mm to provide more front seat comfort; the wheelbase has been stretched so allow more rear seat legroom. 

From standstill, or at low speed, the electric motor alone powers the vehicle. It can drive on EV-Mode for distances ranging up to about 1.6km, and reach speeds up to 40km/h. Subaru say it offers improved fuel consumption in urban, stop-and-go traffic; fuel consumption, depending on the driver’s driving style, can be reduced by up to 11pc compared to the outgoing 2.0 petrol version. 

It is available as standard with EyeSight Driver Assist Technology, and adds the Driver Monitoring System, a new facial recognition technology that alerts the driver of fatigue or distraction while on the road as well as automatically adjusting driver settings for seat position, door mirror angles, and air conditioning preferences. The new model introduces the Reverse Automatic Braking to help avoid collisions when reversing. Overall width is increased by 20mm for more front seat comfort while the wheelbase has been stretched to allow more rear leg room. 

With 220mm of ground clearance, new Forester is well suited for off-road adventures. The X-Mode is now available with dual functions suited for a variety of weather and road conditions. Towing capacity is 1,870kg.

XV Crossover:

Subaru’s XV Crossover was the most sold Subaru in Europe last year. The company say it is a key model that embodies their safe, fun and tough core pillars.

It is built on the brand’s new Global Platform to achieve world-class collision safety and superior hazard avoidance, as well as increased advances in driver-responsive handling and ride comfort. 

The new model is powered by a 2.0 four-cylinder engine, featuring 80pc new components, and paired with an electric motor within the Lineartronic transmission. The electric motor assist and the battery pack are aligned longitudinally. The heavy motor is placed near the car’s centre of gravity while the battery is above the rear axle. 

Three driving modes are: Engine driving, EV driving, and Motor Assist driving. 

Ground clearance is 220mm, underpinned by the Symmetrical AWD System. 

Best of Greece tour: Travelfox

On this Best of Greece tour, discover the best of historic and mythical as well as modern-Greece. As the birthplace of Western civilization, Greece has some of the world's most fascinating archaeological sites. Your tour starts and ends in Athens, with overnight stops along the way in Nauplia, Sparta, Olympia, Delphi, and Kalambaka.

Step back in time as you visit some of Greece's ancient sites where the Mycenaean civilization thrived in Greece between 1600 and 1200 BC. At the Mycenae archaeological site, learn about this civilization as you enjoy guided sightseeing of the monuments erected here between 1350 and 1200 BC. In Athens, visit the Acropolis, still standing after 2,500 years. Dedicated to the goddess Athena, the Acropolis sits high on a rocky hill and is a symbol of the wealth and power of Athens at its apex. Visit the amazingly well-preserved, 2,300-year-old open-air theatre in Epidaurus and marvel at the perfect acoustics. You'll step back in history-but not as far back as Ancient Greece-when you enjoy sightseeing of the medieval Byzantine Citadel of Mystra, a castle founded in 1249. Also visit the fantastic landscape of Meteora with its 24 rock-top monasteries set in almost inaccessible sandstone peaks.

On this Greece tour, you'll travel to Olympia, legendary home of the Olympic Games, and Delphi, where people visited in ancient Greece to seek the advice of the Oracle. But that's not all ... you'll experience modern Greece as well. Cross over the world's longest cable-stayed bridge, the spectacular Rion-Antirion Bridge, which links the Peloponnese to the Greek mainland. 

From the ancient ruins to contemporary engineering -with beautiful landscapes in between-this tour through Greece is perfectly designed for value-minded travellers.

Highlights include: Athens Guided sightseeing, visit the Acropolis; Corinth Canal; Epidaurus - Visit the open-air theatre; Mycenae Guided visit of the archaeological site; Sparta visit; Mystra visit the Byzantine citadel of Mystra ad olive oil museum; Rion-Antirion Bridge; Delphi visit; Meteora - See the Monastic buildings. 

Price: From €1,799 based on 2 sharing. Direct flights from Dublin on outbound and 1 stop on return. Travel 17 August 2019 - 7 nights. Subject to availability. Call 021 4976293 or email res@travelfox.ie

Note: editorial provided

12 March 2019

Renault GAA World Games 2019 launched

Renault Ireland is the title sponsor of the 2019 GAA World Games, officially launched at Croke Park last week, and which will bring some 1,300 players from 10 regions around the globe home to play this summer, writes Trish Whelan.

Renault Ireland is also the official car partner of the GAA and GPA.

This will mark the third-ever staging of the competition with the 2019 Renault GAA World Games set to be the biggest and best yet. The initial stages of the event will be played out at the Sports Campus of Waterford Institute of Technology in Carriganore from 28 July to 1 August, with the finals taking place on 2 August at Croke Park.

Pictured above at the announcement of the sponsorship in Croke Park were: Dessie Dolan, former Westmeath footballer and Renault Ambassador; Boidu Sayeh, Westmeath Senior Football team; Lyndsey Davey, Dublin Senior Women’s Football team; Nathan Dolan (6); Kay May Magee (8); Paddy Magee, Country Operations Director, Renault Ireland and Patrick O’Connor, Wicklow Senior Football Team.

Visiting teams will be twinned with local clubs throughout Waterford to enhance the social and cultural element of the Games.

There are now over 400 GAA Clubs outside of Ireland and this is reflected in the presence of 97 teams that are confirmed for the Renault GAA World Games and representing clubs from across Europe, New York, US GAA, South Africa, Argentina, Canada, Britain, Australasia, India, Asia and the Middle East.

World titles for football, ladies football, hurling and camogie will be on offer with competing teams made up specifically of native born or Irish born players.

Eight finals will take place on a hectic day of international activity at Croke Park and with four finals staged for Irish-born players and then another four finals for native born players competing across the four codes.

It is anticipated that around 5,000 people will be involved in this year’s Games between players, team officials, administrators, families and supporters.

The Renault GAA World Games 2019 will showcase the extent to which the passion and participation for Gaelic Games has now spread far beyond our shores. The collage of international colours on parade will also be made possible by the on-going support of official kit suppliers O’Neills.

In addition to the World Games, a three-year partnership as official car partner to the GAA and GPA cements Renault’s ongoing support for GAA heroes on and off the field. Renault Ireland has been the county sponsor for the Westmeath senior and minor football and hurling teams since 2014, and together with Joe Mallon Motor Group, the brand recently announced its sponsorship of the Wicklow county senior football team for the next three years.

Uachtaran Cumann Luthchleas Gael John Horan said “GAA Clubs abroad provide an invaluable service to the Irish Diaspora establishing a home from home and are proving increasing popular with non-native Irish won over to the skills of football, hurling and camogie. The Renault GAA World Games is a celebration of this success story. I want to acknowledge Renault for their invaluable support in assisting us in the 2019 event.”

Patrick Magee, Country Operations Director, Renault Group Ireland said: “The GAA is such an integral part of communities across Ireland and around the world, as demonstrated by the success of the GAA World Games and we look forward to a successful Games in Waterford in late July. GAA already plays a key role in our business model, as well as without our 26 dealerships and we are excited about this partnership and getting on the road in 2019 and beyond.”

Volkswagen bumps up EV plans

Volkswagen has increased the number of electric vehicle models it intends to introduce by 2028 to 70, instead of the 50 previously planned, writes Brian Byrne.

The company says this will result in 22 million EVs being built on the group's electric platforms over the next decade.

Volkswagen also plans to be carbon-neutral as a group in all its processes by 2050.

Volkswagen is planning a range of dedicated electric cars in the next few years, beginning with the 2020 MY ID Neo.