Saturday 21 September 2019

Curator in court bid to save 'historic' buses

Tim Healy

A MUSEUM owner claiming that 12 buses which Bus Eireann plans to scrap are vital to Ireland's transport heritage was yesterday given an undertaking that the vehicles would not be destroyed pending a High Court hearing into the matter.

Dr Michael Grimes (71), owner and curator of the Kells Transport Museum, Tramore Road, Cork, sought an injunction preventing the bus company from disposing of 12 "KR class" single-decker Bombardier buses which he says are the only Irish designed and built buses ever and are a unique part of our transport heritage.

The proceedings are also against Hegarty Metals Processors (International) Ltd which he says were to receive the buses for the purpose of scrapping them.

Bus Eireann yesterday agreed before Ms Justice Mary Laffoy not to dispose of 12 buses at the centre of the dispute pending the outcome of proceedings.

Bus Eireann are opposing Dr Grimes' application to prevent them from being transferred to Hegartys.

The company's chief executive, Tim Hayes, wrote to the Minister for Trade and Commerce, John McGuinness, saying Bus Eireann did not want to donate or sell the buses to Dr Grimes because they are not satisfied the vehicles would be adequately preserved by his museum.

Dr Grimes, in an affidavit, says he owns the largest transport museum in Europe "and possibly the entire world" with 354 buses. He has offered to settle claims against Bus Eireann if the museum can be given certain buses from the next batch which will be withdrawn from service.

Dr Grimes says Bus Eireann is being "bloodyminded" at the expense of future generations who will thank him (Grimes) for preserving our transport heritage.

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