MAG Ireland - RoadRunner - October 2014
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October 2014


October is nearly past and the clocks have gone back but MAG Ireland only goes forward!

This month we bring you an update on our AGM plus assorted Irish and European news and a little bit of fun with our caption competition.

If you’re planning a motorcycle related event in Ireland in 2014, let us know by sending details to and we'll add it to the Irish Motorcycle Events Calendar for free.

Your feedback (email to is always welcome.



MAG Ireland AGM Report

The 2014 Annual General Meeting of MAG Ireland took place in Dublin on Saturday 11th October 2014.

MAG Ireland Rideout

The major topic was the future shape and direction of the organisation and there was a lively debate among the membership present on the day. Further updates will issue to the members mailing list in due course.

Elections saw five board members returned with two co-opted members and the new board will be led by incoming chairman Peter Bartlett who takes over from Declan McGuire.

Peter has over a decade of experience at the pointy end of MAG Ireland and is the face and voice of Irish riders in Brussels where he regularly attends FEMA meetings in his capacity of European Liaison, a role which he will retain for the 2015 term.

We also take this opportunity to thank our hosts, The Commercial Rowing Club in Dublin, who facilitated the AGM on their premises and MAG Ireland member Jimmy Kenny who organised the day.


IVVMCC Leopardstown Show

Thanks to everyone who stopped by our stand at the Leopardstown show and in particular those of you who joined or renewed on the day. Due to unforeseen circumstances our AGM clashed with the event but we were pleased to see members at both. Our thanks also to the IVVMCC for what was a very well run show.


650 drink driving arrests every month

Latest figures from An Garda Siochana show an average of 650 drink driving arrests every month.

Between 1st January and the end of September 2014 there were 5,849 drivers arrested for driving while intoxicated, a staggering number considering the publicity around, and indeed the punishment for, this lethal offence.

During the same period, the Gardai mounted on average over six thousand mandatory alcohol testing (MAT) checkpoints every month.

Clearly there are some who will never get the message but the figures show that they are being detected, arrested and prosecuted.

A controversial part of the legislation has been the morning after aspect with drivers potentially unaware that they are still over the legal limit until stopped at a MAT checkpoint. Many car accessory shops now sell cheap single use breathalyser kits alongside more sophisticated and expensive electronic variants so there really is no excuse.

With the focus during the past year mainly on distracted driving it's all too easy to forget that drink driving remains a significant factor in our overall road casualty numbers.


Christmas toy run?

IBF Toy Run

If your club or group is planning a Christmas Toy Run this year, let us know and we'll add the date to the Irish Motorcycle Events Calendar.

To get your toy run (or any other biking related event) listed, all you need to do is e-mail with the date, location, meet up/start time, and destination and we'll do the rest.


Budget 2015  - As you were

There were no changes to fuel duty, VRT or motor tax in Budget 2015 but neither were there any changes to the VAT on personal protective equipment, notably helmets.

This means retailers in the Republic will continue to see trade cross the border to avail of lower VAT rates in Northern Ireland. Commenting on the budget, MAG Ireland PRO Victor Donnelly said:

There have been substantial increases in motor taxes and fuel duties since 2008 and with the motorcycle sector at rock bottom throughout 2013 we were obviously concerned that any increase in duty on fuel, VRT or motor tax would have torpedoed the fragile recovery we’ve seen thus far in 2014.

Of course we’re disappointed that the VAT issue hasn’t been addressed but at least the minister hasn’t made the situation any worse.


Read MAG Ireland in Bike Buyers Guide

Bike Buyers Guide Banner

The November issue of Bike Buyers Guide is in shops now and regular readers will be aware that MAG Ireland has been afforded the opportunity to explore some of the issues facing motorcycling through a page in the magazine.

This month's column looks at the problems created by casualty rates and how ancient history might make it more difficult than we think to reduce them.

There's also a feature report on the mobility test event organised by MAG Ireland in conjunction with FEMA back in September.

Read all about it in the November issue of Bike Buyers Guide, out 27th October.


Caption Competition! - Win MAG goodies

Caption Competition

Our long suffering P.R.O. saw this picture and couldn't resist offering a MAG Ireland goodie bag for the best caption.

To enter, simply e-mail with the subject "Competition" and your caption for the photo above in the message body.

Entries close at midnight on Friday 21st November and the lucky winner will be chosen by a completely independent panel of ex MAG Ireland staffers the next day.

Winner will be contacted contacted by e-mail and you'll need to provide a postal address for us to send you a bag of carefully selected tat :-)

Get your thinking caps on, keep it clean, and let's be having your funniest one liners! Winning entry will be published next issue.


Liberty Insurance on Driver Fatigue

Liberty Insurance has carried out a survey into travel behaviour and driver fatigue for GAA fans travelling to games and has uncovered some very interesting if not alarming stats about drive fatigue which they've presented in the following graphic.

MAG Ireland Mobility Study

Crash barriers are fatal for motorcyclists

FEMA Banner

FEMA - In Sweden six out of 22 motorcyclists who have been killed on a motorcycle in 2014 have collided with a crash barrier.

Here's what FEMA had to say:

The Swedish Motorcyclists Association, SMC, is convinced that the numbers could have been reduced with a more motorcycle friendly road environment. Six out of 22 motorcyclists who have been killed on a motorcycle in 2014 have collided with a crash barrier. The share of barrier accidents of all fatalities is 27 percent, which is the highest number ever in Sweden. The share is also high in an international comparison. Dangerous barriers does not only cost lives, they also mean huge costs for the society. 


Liberty Insurance 10% discount

Right to Ride

Liberty Insurance have been in touch asking us to remind readers that anyone holding a motorcycle policy with them gets 10% off any other policy at the same address.

Specifically, Liberty will give a 10% discount for each additional policy (private motor, motorcycle or home) that a policyholder or their partner at the same address has with Liberty Insurance.

For full terms and conditions click here.


SIMI welcomes budget strategy

The Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) welcomed the broad strategy contained in Budget 2015.

SIMI contributed to our recent report on the rise in new motorcycle sales which were up 21% year on year, albeit coming off a record low base.

Alan Nolan, Director General of SIMI said:

We have seen the early signs of recovery in our Industry this year with increased sales that have delivered the highest registrations since the recession started in 2008. In this context we particularly welcome the Minister’s statement that none of the motoring taxes have been increased.

MAG Ireland will be returning to the subject of motorcycle sales later in the year. For now we can only agree with the sentiments expressed by SIMI's Alan Nolan.


Claim your member discounts

We aim to save you the cost of your membership many times over and MAG Ireland members can get 10% off all purchases from Halfords stores through our exclusive members only discount scheme.

We've now got a huge range of discounts for your everyday shopping wih top high street names like Heatons, Arnotts, Debenhams, Currys/PC World, Argos, B&Q, Boots and many more.

Christmas is fast approaching and with over €10,000 in savings made by members to date, now is the time to get your MAG Ireland membership in order and start claiming those discounts!


Mopeds in Finland

Moped Meet in Finland

Finland, a country with a population of only about 1 million more than that of Ireland, can boast of a truly extraordinary statistic.

There are more than 300,000 mopeds in the country and they are wildly popular with teenagers in particular.

Tommi Lumiaho of Finnish riders association MP69 and Jani Immonen of Smoto recently reported on the moped meetings in Finland for FEMA. These big moped meets happen in all the major Finnish cities and typically take place about once a month.

Hundreds, sometimes thousands, of young riders converge on a location having organised the meet on social media. Congregating in industrial areas and retail parks - anywhere with a large open paved area or car park - the riders take turns demonstrating their abilities at pulling wheelies and stoppies. Respect for riding skills is considered important, although the meetings are primarily social events.

Moped meeting in Finland

Not surprisingly, some of the antics occasionally fall on the wrong side of legal but in the main the events are very well organised and run and in some cases they do so with the co-operation of the authorities.

With the biggest meet ups drawing up to 2,500 riders Finland's youth continue a fantastic tradition in which riding a moped or motorcycle and doing it well is something to be proud of, not something to be discouraged.

Read the full article on the FEMA web site via the button below.


From the archives

With hundreds of posts and dozens of pages, the MAG Ireland web site is a mine of information. While we do our best to keep the most relevant stuff accessible, there's plenty in there that you may have missed.

Hand picked by our editor and just a click away via the the buttons below, these are some of the best stories and articles from the archives.


Motorcycle Events Calendar


November highlights

  • Sunday, November 2
    • Fundraiser: Soap box race in aid of Jack & Jill Foundation
    • Poker Run: West Cork Motorcycle Club, Bandon, 12pm
  • Saturday, November 8
    • Rock Night: Trixxters MCC
    • Run: "Daniel's Dreams" Motorcycle Run, Gort, Co. Galway
    • Run: David Lanigan Memorial Charity Run (Kilkenny)
  • Saturday, November 15
    • Rock Night: Restless Gypsy MCC (Thurles, Co. Tipp)
  • Saturday, November 22
    •  Rock Night: Flatliners MCC, Bangor
  • Saturday, November 29
    • Christmas Rock Party - Gan Ainm M.C.C.
    • Fundraiser: Sins & Twins, Louth

Full details of these and other events we've been notified of are on the Irish Motorcycle Events Calendar. Click the button for more.


New US Research on Filtering

Quicker and safer for riders and speeds up traffic. That's the verdict of a new study (PDF) carried out by University of California, Berkeley. The research is specific to California and applies to lane-splitting (that's what they call filtering in the US) where the rider's speed is within 10mph of the traffic.


Press coverage of the results can be found online here, here and here.

Filtering remains illegal in some US states.


Change at RSA

Former TD Liz O'Donnell has been appointed as Chairperson Designate of the Road Safety Authority, replacing the outgoing Gay Byrne who announced his retirement during the summer.

Ms. O'Donnell is a former Progressive Democrats T.D. who represented Dublin South between 1992 and 2007.


Since leaving public office in 2007, she has worked in the media and in public affairs consultancy.

MAG Ireland welcomes the appointment of Ms. O'Donnell and we look forward to continuing our good working relationship with the RSA on motorcycling issues.

We're already glad to hear that she's very concerned at the level of distracted driving on Irish roads.


Event Data Recorder Devices

Our colleagues over at "Right to Ride" have just published an interesting piece about an EU study of Event Data Recorder technology. These are devices meant to “monitor vehicle data such as, speed, acceleration and braking, and engine parameters”.  


Help to protect motorcycling - Join Us

MAG Ireland

MAG Ireland represents Irish riders and is funded by Irish riders but we can only do that with the financial support of members subscriptions.

It costs just €25 for a years membership, that’s less than 7 cent per day.

Not only that but we aim to save you the cost of your membership many times over via our exclusive vouchers and our group discount scheme. To get your member-only discounts follow the link on the top right hand side of  the site: All you need is your membership number to potentially save the cost of your membership many times over with great discounts like 10% off at all Halfords stores. 

If you can’t stretch to a membership subscription but you’d still like to help, just click the donate link on the menu at and give whatever you can.



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We aim to make it easy to keep up with everything we're doing no matter what platform you prefer to use.

Join us online today...


Help Needed

MAG Ireland is interested in hearing from riders with relevant expertise to assist the effort.

  • Civil/Roads Engineers for barrier and parking issues
  • Accountancy Professionals
  • Journalist/copywriter
  • Researchers:

Help Offered

We are interested in hearing from riders with a specific issue or campaign which they are pursuing at an individual or local level.

We're currently following up a number of parking issues for example. Let us know what's happening in your locality.


Bike Buyers Guide

Read MAG Ireland in this month's Bike Buyers Guide. See


Irish Bikers Bible

News, reviews and rally reports. Full details on