We are delighted to confirm that the RIAC Club House and restaurant will re-open as planned on Monday, 29th June. This is in line with phase 3 of the Government Roadmap for Reopening Society and Business.
All our staff are incredibly pleased to welcome our members back, and while we want to keep things as normal as possible, we have taken a wide number of measures to ensure your safety, comfort, and enjoyment.
Below I will walk you through some of the key changes you will experience as a member when re-entering the RIAC Club House and Restaurant from Monday.
RIAC Member & Staff Safety Programme Experience:
We would kindly ask our members not to visit the club if they are feeling unwell or have symptoms of COVID-19.
On arrival at the club, all members and guests must enter via the Car Park entrance only where you will be greeted by a staff member. If you are you using the car park only, please click here to review the procedures outlined in my previous communication.
If you are entering the club house, the following new procedures have been put in place for the safety and reassurance of our members and staff.
Firstly, we will request that you are temperature tested at the entrance to the club house. A temperature below 38.4 degrees Celsius is required. If your temperature is at or above this, you will be asked to seek medical attention or else wait in an isolated area for 10-15 minutes to be re-tested.
Secondly, if your temperatures are normal, you and your guests will be asked for your names and contact details (for COVID Tracing Purposes only).
Finally, you and your guests will be asked to sanitise your hands before entering the club house. This is for the comfort of all members and staff.
On entering the club house, you are free to enjoy our facilities including the reading room and restaurant. If you choose to go to the restaurant, please do so from the ground floor by the main stairway in the lobby.
On entering the restaurant, a queuing system for food will be in operation to observe current social distancing guidelines. Our kitchen and restaurant staff will be wearing Personal protective Equipment (PPE) and will be strictly adhering to all HACCP system and food safety requirements.
After ordering food from the restaurant counter as normal, you will be asked to seat yourself while maintaining current social distancing guidelines between tables. Hand sanitiser will be available on your table for you to use. A restaurant staff member will serve your food order directly to your table when ready, wearing a face guard.
When settling your bill, a payment corridor will be laid out to allow you to move towards the till while avoiding contact with other members. A table will be available for you to place your form of payment on and stand back to facilitate social distancing. A staff member will then move forward, process your payment, and return your card to the table along with your receipt (if required). Contactless payment is preferred, and your RIAC membership card or credit/debit card will be sanitised by our staff before and after use. Our staff will use a clean set of disposable gloves for each transaction.
On leaving the restaurant, we would ask you to make your way to the ground floor through the boardroom down the back stairway via the boardroom, which will be clearly displayed with Exit signs.
If using the ground floor toilets at any point, please take the back stairway via the boardroom and always keep two meters from staff and other members. We have covered the middle wash basins in both bathrooms and the middle urinal in the men’s bathroom to facilitate this social distancing. Anti-bacterial wipes and spray are available in the cubicles to allow you to wipe down any surfaces you have touched.
When leaving the club house, all members are asked to please exit via the Dawson Street door, even if collecting their cars from the Car Park. This is to maintain our one-way system for entrance and exit to the club and minimise unnecessary contact. If you are collecting a vehicle, please follow the car park procedure as outlined in my previous communication.
I hope that these new protocols and procedures do not cause you too much inconvenience, but I would like to reiterate that they are in place for the safety of our members and staff, which is of paramount importance to us.
As always, we will continue to follow HSE & government advice and keep you informed of any club developments. Finally, it gives me great pleasure in welcoming you back to the RIAC Club House and Restaurant.
This week’s RIAC - Motorsport Ireland classic video upload is the 1988 Galway International Rally, with commentary from Alan Tyndall.
As a traditional curtain raiser to the Irish rally calendar, the Galway International Rally always attracts great interest and 1988 provided a classic professional versus amateur tussle.
The Ford factory team sent Mark Lovell and Roger Freeman to the event in a works Group A Ford Sierra RS Cosworth and while the English pair eventually won, they were pushed to their limits by Austin McHale in his now ageing Opel Manta, while James Cullen and John Lyons put in eye-catching performances in the treacherous conditions.
This programme will stream below from 7pm on Thursday, June 25th:
Next week’s upload will feature saloon racing from Kirkistown in 1992 where Gordon Kellett showed the opposition a clean pair of heels in a Sierra Cosworth while David Kidd closed in on championship leader Michael Cullen who had to sit out the race.
Remember to subscribe to the Motorsport Ireland–RIAC YouTube Channel to be notified of our latest video uploads.
Arthur Jolley (left) presenting the Reynolds Trophy to the Editor of IVS, Tom Heavey (right).
I lost a good friend, and Irish motorsport lost one of its most distinguished competitors with the recent passing of Arthur Jolley, aged 95. Arthur was both a very accomplished motorcyclist and a top class rally navigator who made his mark in the most famous event of them all, the Monte Carlo Rally.
Arthur grew up at Airfield in Tallaght, so-named as it had once been the site of the first Royal Flying Corps base in Ireland. After attending the High School he studied Commerce at Trinity College, Dublin. While there he became an active member of the Dublin University Motor Cycle & Light Car Club (invariably known as DU and of which he became a president and life member), having a particular interest in motorcycle trials, at which dicipline he soon came to be regarded as a expert. In 1948 he won his first event – the Rathmichael Scramble – in the process beating the famous Reg Armstrong. Throughout his life, Artur continued to compete in motorcycle trials and was a regular and successful competitor in the Scottish Six Days Trial.
The Cavey-built Jaguar Mk. V of Vard/Young/Jolly /Jackson at the finish of the 1951 Monte Carlo Rally. Note the tricolour on the radiator grille.
It was in 1951 that he was enlisted together with Frank Biggar and ‘Doc’ Jackson to be part of Dubliner Cecil Vard’s crew in the forthcoming Monte Carlo Rally. At the time easily the greatest rally in the world as well as the most keenly contested, Vard’s plan was to borrow his motor-in-law’s Jaguar Mk. V and use it for the event, choosing Glasgow as their starting point. The Jaguar was an Irish-assembled car, having been built by Cavey’s at Camden Street, Dublin. In the event, after 2,000 miles of terrible weather conditions, they took a superb third place, helped by Cecil Vard’s second place in the Speed-Regularity Trial on the streets of Monte Carlo. The result was sensational and was the first major international success by an Irish crew in a major event.
Two years later, Cecil and Arthur returned with the same car, together with Frank Biggar, to place fifth, directly ahead of the Sunbeam-Talbot driven by no less than Stirling Moss and John Cooper, and demonstrating that their earlier third place had been no fluke.
The telegram from Jaguar to Cavey’s congratulating them on their success.
Alongside his motoring and motorcycling activities, Arthur found time to enjoy sailing and was a member of the National Yacht Club. He particularly enjoyed exploring the western Isles of Scotland.
In later life, Arthur enjoyed veteran car and motorcycle events and competed in many of the early Royal Irish Automobile Club Pioneer Run events on various motorcycles, together with his great friend, Jonathan Bewley. Arthur was for many years a committee member of the RIAC Archive and became its Chairman, holding that position for ten years right up to just before his death. He was particularly keen on the annual Reynolds Trophy, presented to the person who has made the greatest contribution to the preserving of motoring or motorsport history in the preceeding year. His store of knowledge and great good sense will be greatly missed by all those with a love of motorsporting history.
This article, by Bob Montgomery, is featured in Irish Vintage Scene Magazine, Issue 170 (July 2020). Bob Montgomery is an author, publisher and Curator of the RIAC archive. He is widely known as Ireland's foremost motoring historian.
I am delighted to confirm that RIAC Car Parking has been operating successfully and is back to 24/7 opening hours from Monday 22nd June 2020. Our famed Valet Service will return from Tuesday, 23rd June.
For now, our car park facilities and the toilet area are available for member use, while we intend to re-open the restaurant on the 29th June when we enter phase 3 of the Government Roadmap for Reopening Society and Business. We will communicate more on this later in the week.
While we would ideally like to keep things as normal as possible in the RIAC, we will have to make some changes to the way we operate for the safety of our members and staff.
Over the last number of weeks, we have been developing the ‘RIAC Member & Staff Safety Programme’ which includes the introduction of a wide range of protocols and systems to ensure, as best as possible, that our members have an enjoyable and safe return to the Club.
Among many other measures, we have introduced new cleaning procedures for all touch surface areas and toilets to ensure they are cleaned several times throughout the day. New hand sanitiser units have also been installed at all entrances and exits.
Our staff are fully trained and have been piloting this new programme within the club to ensure it will be a success. The protocols that apply to you will equally apply to all our employees both front and back of house.
RIAC Member & Staff Safety Programme Experience:
The most immediate effect of the Safety Programme for you as a member will be car parking, so please let me walk you through this process.
When you arrive at the club, you will have the option of parking your own car or availing of our valet parking service. You will be greeted by one of our attendants who will be wearing PPE equipment for safety. Whatever option you choose, our staff will always observe a minimum two-meter distance from you.
If you wish to park your own car, simply advise our attendant of this and you will be led to a car park space and directed into a parking bay. You will be asked to exit your car and retain your own keys until you choose to collect your car.
If you decide to avail of valet parking, please advise the attendant who will request that you to stay in your car and open both front windows completely. You will be asked to keep your keys in the car for social distance reasons. You will then be asked several COVID-19 related questions including whether you have had any flu-like symptoms within the last 14 days, a Doctor has advised you to cocoon or self-isolate, or you coughed/sneezed in your car within the last 60 minutes.
If all your answers are NO, then you can proceed to exit your vehicle once you have turned off all air conditioning and heating.
If you answer YES to coughing/sneezing in your car but NO to all other questions, you will be asked to return in an hour having ventilated your car with four open windows (medical guidelines state that droplets take one hour to dissipate in a ventilated environment).
If you answer YES to any question other than coughing/sneezing in your car, our attendants will ask that you exit the car park with your vehicle to protect the health and safety of our members and staff.
Once you have been granted entry to the car park, the attendant will put on new gloves to apply a disposable seat cover and use anti-Bacterial wipes for your steering wheel, gear stick, hand brake and keys before parking your car. When you decide to collect your car, the attendant on duty will apply new gloves and a new disposable seat cover before bringing your car back to you. Your keys will be wiped clean using an anti-bacterial wipe and left in the ignition for you to exit the garage.
While we apologise for any inconvenience this may cause, I hope these new protocols and procedures will give you confidence that the safety of our members and staff is of paramount importance to us.
Finally, I would like to restate my pleasure in welcoming you back to the RIAC and remind you that we will provide further safety information prior to re-opening the restaurant and club house.
This week’s RIAC - Motorsport Ireland classic video upload is the 1992 Lurgan Park Rally, with commentary from Alan Tyndall of RPM Motorsport.
Throughout the 1980s, 90s and early 00s, the Lurgan Park Rally became one of the most high-profile rallies on the island of Ireland, with the Co. Armagh venue regularly attracting top names in top cars.
The 1992 running of the event was to see Kenny McKinstry take his fifth win in the park, where in dry and dusty conditions, he fought off the identical Subaru Legacy of Bertie Fisher and the raucous Metro 6R4s of Ken Colbert and Andrew Nesbitt.
McKinstry’s dominance was to become synonymous with the event in the coming years as he would rack up a further six wins in the park, his final one coming in 2009.
This programme will be available to stream below from 7pm on Thursday, 18th June:
Next week’s upload will be the 1988 Galway International Rally where the Ford Sierra Cosworth of Mark Lovell and the Opel Manta of Austin McHale fought it out in some of the wettest conditions ever seen in the history of the event.
Remember to subscribe to the RIAC-Motorsport Ireland YouTube Channel to be notified of our latest video uploads.
This week’s RIAC - Motorsport Ireland Classic video upload is the 1990 Donegal International Rally programme with commentary from Alan Tyndall & Gary Gillespie.
This was a truly classic event in which local Opel Manta driver, Vincent Bonner put it up to the championship contenders, Bertie Fisher and Austin McHale in their BMW M3s as a three-way battle for the lead developed.
Jimmy McRae, who was unable to start the event was drafted in to give a unique stage side commentary on his rivals and the in-car footage from McHale (who won the event by one second from Fisher) in the Xtra-vision M3 gives us a driver’s eye view of some of Irelands most challenging stages, including Knockalla.
This programme will be available to stream below from 7pm on Thursday, 11th June:
Next week’s upload will be the 1992 Lurgan Park Rally programme, a real slice of Summer motorsport action and an interesting comparison between the ageing Metro 6R4s of Ken Colbert and Andrew Nesbitt and the new Subaru Legacy era of Kenny McKinstry and Bertie Fisher.
Remember to subscribe to the MotorsportIreland–RIAC YouTube Channel to be notified of our latest video uploads.
I am delighted to confirm that the first step in reopening the club will see the resumption of car parking on Monday morning the 8th of June at 7.30 am. This is in line with Phase Two of the Government Road Map for Reopening Society and Business. As previously mentioned, opening hours will be 7.30 AM to 6.30 PM Monday to Friday.We have a number of new processes in place for your safety which initially may impact the capacity and we ask you to bear with us. It is our intention to move to 24 x 7 opening as soon as possible with the next step the reintroduction of our famed valet parking at the appropriately safe time.
We look forward to seeing you.
This week’s RIAC - Motorsport Ireland Classic Video upload is the 1992 Irish Opel / Lotus title decider from Mondello Park. Heading into the final race 3 drivers; Vivion Daly, David Wright and Michael Edgar, all had a chance of taking the crown. Changeable conditions in both qualifying and the race caused mayhem, and while Wayne Douglas swept to victory, the championship battle played out behind him.
The video, with commentary by Alan ‘Plum’ Tyndall and Brian Tuite of RPM Motorsport will be available to stream below from 7pm on Thursday 4th June…
Remember to subscribe to the Motorsport Ireland – RIAC YouTube Channel to be notified of our latest video uploads, which will continue on Thursday evenings.
Next week’s video upload will feature the 1990 Donegal International Rally, an event where the iconic BMW M3s of Bertie Fisher and Austin McHale fought tooth and nail until the very last stage.