Friday, 28 December 2007


This week Noel Bradley from Buncrana is in the motoring spotlight. Noel lived in Nigeria for years before coming back to his birthplace, working as a missionary priest for The Society of African Missions. Noel explains that motoring in Nigeria was very different to Ireland. The deflation of their currency (Naira) along with political corruption made buying a new car almost impossible. Most vehicles on the roads were old discarded models from Europe that had failed their NCT’s. The cars are kept running by the ingenuity of people who make do and mend with anything that is to hand.

Noel is now working as a facilitator, counsellor and life coach around the country. He drives a 1999 Toyota Corolla 1.4

How long have you had the car?
Four years now. I decided to get a Toyota because I saw a lot of farmers driving them so I thought they must be reliable! It was more expensive than other cars of the same year but it was worth the extra money.

Best thing about the car?

It hasn’t ever needed to go into a garage for anything other than a service.

Any plans to change?
No, I will run it for as long as I can.

Do you clock up the miles?
I run backwards and forwards to Cork in the autumn where I run courses for the Social Health Programme on personal development, raising awareness and looking at wider issues outside the usual formal education. The participants come from all walks of life, single mothers, teachers etc. The project is part of the Social, Health and Education Project.

How often do you wash it?

If there is a wedding or a special occasion it will get the once over. I will give it a clean before it has a service too.

How would you help motorists if you could?
Improve public transport and steer people away from their dependency on the car.

What do you think to the new idea of parking charges in Buncrana?
I would prefer to leave the parking as it is, where the public sort it out themselves without being penalised for dropping a DVD back to the shop or posting a letter. Letterkenny is a no-go area for a lot of people since the meters were introduced, which isn’t good for trade, and it hasn’t helped the congestion at all. More car parks are needed around Buncrana. (Free ones of course!..Ian).

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