DF 454 THE SAVING OF.

DF 454 is arguably one of the most historic buses in Ireland. Bus Eireann have sold her for €50 and are insisting she be scrapped. The museum bought her subsequently for €1210 and paid for it despite Bus Eireann having turned down our original offer of €3,630 for it.

We are now engaged in a desperate attempt to save her and need all the help we can get. The following is the history to date.

DF 454 SAFE - FOR THE MOMENT.

July 24, 2007. In the Cork Circuit Court yesterday July 23, 2007 in the case of Michael Grimes v Samantha Matthews, Joe Neiland and Bus Eireann, an Order was made adjourning the matter to at least October and that Bus Eireann were to preserve DF 454 while her fate is decided. This now gives us time to do something about the matter, which we will! But at least she is safe for now.

Interestingly Bus Eireann have hired the best barrister on the southern circuit, Mr. Don Mc Carthy, B.L. and they are now willing to spend a quarter million euro of the taxpayers money to see her scrapped. But there is even more scandal to follow and this case already has shown up Bus Eireann to be a bunch of crooks giving away the nations heritage to their friends for peanuts at the taxpayers expense. The tender system they were using was a sham and nobody had a chance as the outcome was fixed, well in advance!

Counsel for Bus Eireann warned me that I was likely to be sued for libel which would be absolutely wonderful as I always wanted to end my career with a libel action. So that they may have a decent case I will have a much longer article on the subject shortly and that will be pretty libellous, I guarantee. But it will tell the truth.

What has emerged and this will shock preservationists from all over Ireland is the fact that they never had a chance. Samantha and her friends were selling the nations heritage to their friends at 50 euro - yes 50 euro each - and turning down almost eighty - yes eighty - times that amount. For example I bid €3,630 for DF 454. Joe and Samantha sold it for a paltry €50! They were offered on the last tender list some €80,000 euro for the fleet by dealers, preservationists and others. They sold for €1,500 approximately. What a scandalous waste of the taxpayers money! Joe Neiland and Samantha Matthews should be fνred. If that is their idea of how to behave responsibly in a state company protecting the taxpayers money, then in my view, they are sadly misguided and when I get through exposing this scandal they will be very, very, sorry - that is if they survive!

And as for the Board of Bus Eireann, they deliberately connived in this waste of money. They either knew or should have known the situation and the fact that nobody cried halt is scandalous. But then they are political appointments of incompetents. I will be analysing the Board on this site shortly. So that is the situation for the moment and I welcome your views as always.

DON E. BROOK RAISES A POINT AND MY RESPONSE.

July 26, 2007.

A gentlemen who goes as Don E. Brook but is, I think, the highly regarded Dave O'Connor - why he did not attach his real name is beyond me - has written a letter on the discussion board which is interesting, raises some points and merits a careful reply. I print his letter and my comments after each paragraph.

I am not a frequent viewer to this site, however I was shocked by the comments of the site regarding staff of Bus Eireann. Right or not it is not the place to air bad linen.

MY COMMENT: To a point the is right but he must understand that in Ireland scandal and corruption are part and parcel of our system and often only web sites are the only means of exposing the scandals. I return the question and ask how would be say we should do it? This is a major scandal.

As I recall the Bus on question was originally D 454 ,a Leyland PDR2 Atlantean with Metsec bodywork.To call the bus a piece of heritage is however overstating somewhat. The current bus is I believe a Daf powered vehicle and no doubt various other changes have been made.Therefore a 'hybrid'

I speak as an experienced Fleet Engineer, including Buckinghamshire County Council, now with DAF operation in the U.K and in total over forty years in the business, all in the U.K. that said however, I am a Dubliner and I have been very active over the years in & encouraging bus preservation and related interests in Ireland and the UK. I would add that us FEW over have not been armchair boys either and I spearheaded with Gary Manahan and others the transport of Leyland OPD2/1 no. R788 to England and Wales (Heritage he says, NOW THERE'S A BUS) I maintained this bus up to full MOT STANDARDS as required by the U.K Vehicle Inspectorate I personally drove and maintained the bus while in our care.

MY COMMENT : Don alias Dave indeed has been active in preservation and as he notes he is no armchair general and good for him! But I argue he actually supports my case that DF 454 is unique. She is like nothing else on this earth and is the only vehicle of its type in the world. She is unique and therefore should be saved. But could someone explain to me what is Bus Eireanns problem in releasing her for preservation? What harm does it do to them? Why do the want to spend 250,000 euro of the taxpayers money to see her destroyed? Why, why, why? Is Don advocating we should allow them to destroy our heritage?

To become agressive to this degree over a "new" 1974 Leyland bus is not becoming.I understand it is one mans meat etc., but I recently seen pictures of an old friend of mine ex bus R 827 in Cork with preservationists and it was a disgrace I was shocked at its condition. No doubt you guys up in Co.Meath would agree. So remember this is a hobby and none of us get PAID either so let's us not get hot and abusive, as my old Dad used to say "Its like tinkers fightin'"

Don E. Brook

MY COMMENT: R 827 has nothing to do with this case, I suggest, and anyhow she is scheduled for a repaint shortly. And even worse I am not getting my message across as he seems to think we live in Meath whereas the museum is in Cork! I thought most people knew this but I must be failing to communicate.

As for his suggestion not to be fighting, this battle is not for the museum. It is for every preservationist in this country that I am fighting. I am seeking that everyone has a fair chance to obtain vehicles. Right now they don't. I am the only person who can take them on and if I win there will be a fair tender system next time and everyone will have a fair chance. I ask Don is that unreasonable?

I am going to start a nationwide campaign now and do not care what it costs but I am going to save DF 454 and Bus Eireann would be far better surrendering her now rather than making absolute fools of themselves defending the indefensible. People nowadays do not talk bluntly, honestly and truthfully. I do. And so there is no misunderstanding let me finally say that in my view anyone who destroys Irelands transport heritage deliberately is a philistine bastard.

BRIAN GRIFFIN AND DF 454.

July 18, 2007. Brian Griffin has written a letter on the discussion board with which I naturally do not agree, but nevertheless, he does raise points which merit an answer and which I will attempt to address. I would welcome your opinions on the discussion board as what could happen to DF 454 is very, very important, in my view, to preservation in Ireland.

Brian Says:

Please stop these injunctions against Bus Eireann as slanderous remarks about staff members of Bus Eireann will have implications for you and others. Bus Eireann will not entertain you due to these actions and the fact that many other ex CIE vehicles sold to you have not been maintained shows the buses fate in your hands anyway. Your museum claims are invalid. As an enthusiast, I beg you, please stand down and allow the few hundred enthusiasts enjoy this hobby without this nonsense. From what I know, there are other D's in preservation. Aquiring 454 is not worth the destruction of the relationship between enthusiasts and CIE. I believe I speak for all enthusiasts in my above post.

The first point to address is that we in Ireland destroy ourselves and particularly our heritage. I argue that nobody has any right to destroy our heritage and that includes Bus Eireann. As regards comments on staff members of Bus Eireann, I am merely stating the truth. These people took the decision and therefore as spenders of taxpayers money are accountable to you, I, and everyone in Ireland. If anyone makes a decision destroying our heritage, then they have to be held responsible, and the only place anyone can lawfully be held responsible is in the courts.

The next point is that I have paid for the vehicle and therefore it is mine. It is not up to Bus Eireann to now decide I must scrap it. There is no law allowing them to abort a sale on grounds of scrapping. Is Brian arguing that I should lose my money? I say not and I argue that it is up to the court to decide if I am right or wrong. You cannot walk into Joe Neilands office and beat him over the head until he releases the bus. The only way to do things lawfully is through the courts.

Brian says that many of the ex CIE vehicles which we have in the museum have not been maintained. I take grave exception to this remark and anyone reading our website can see that we are indeed very busy and actively engaged in getting all our CIE vehicles to pristine condition. The current vehicle being worked on is KC 157 and you can see photos of her out and around. I accept that not every vehicle is pristine but it takes time and we have limited resources but we will get there.

Once our new maintenance shed goes up shortly, we will be able to paint and do anything, but right now, it is impossible to paint a bus with the current weather. This means KC 157 has to wait and this in turn delays every other vehicle awaiting painting. But what puzzles me is that Brian has never even been near the museum yet seems to think he knows all about us and of course he is totally wrong. He has never reserved a vehicle and knows little about it to judge from his comments.

He goes on to say that it and I quote "many other ex CIE vehicles sold to you have not been maintained shows the buses fate in your hands anyway." What exactly does he mean. We have never scrapped any CIE vehice that was not for scrapping when we got it and those vehicles are parts for a much larger operations fleet e.g. M Class, KC class etc. Could he perhaps clarify which buses he regards as having met this horrible fate or likely to? I say the same to him about his comments on the way the museum looks after its vehicles : bullshit!

He then goes on to argue that it is not worth saving DF 454. I disagree and would seek the views of others to see if I might be right. In my book she is unique, the only Atlantean Bus Eireann open topper of its model in existence and therefore merits being saved. In any event what is it to Bus Eireann if she is saved? They have been paid for her so what is their gripe?

He then goes on to say he speaks for all enthusiasts. I wonder! Let's hear your views. But more to the point I know many enthusiasts bid on the last tender list and got nothing. It is very unfair that they should not be allowed to get vehicles and expecially when they offer far more than Bus Eireann are selling the vehicles for. I would like to hear from anyone who did bid and what vehicle they wanted and I will see they get a KR out of the next batch. Never mind me but all the other enthusiasts have been treated miserably by Bus Eireann.

I am the only person in this country who can mount a challenge to Bus Eireann as it would cost anyone else €50,000. And now that the cat is out of the bag I am nto at all finished as there is a little matter of twelve destroyed buses which were sold to me yet to come.

So in summary to Brian I say:
1. DF 454 is worth saving.
2. If someone in Bus Eireann has made a decision to destroy our heritage then they must take the consequences
3. If I do not do something nobody else will and
4. Enthusiasts have nothing to lose.

BUS EIREANN AND DF 454.

July 17, 2007. At last it can be told. You may have noticed that I have been very quiet about Bus Eireann recently. We had been trying diplomacy to get buses but to no avail as we ran into a brick wall, otherwise known as Samantha Matthews and Joe Neiland. I do not know if she was acting off her own bat or on instructions from her boss Joe Neiland but she was pretty nasty today on the phone when she informed me that she had given instructions that DF 454 was to be destroyed and photographic or other evidence given to her about the buses destruction. That was the last straw for me.

Not to put a tooth in it, anyone who connives at destroying Irelands transport heritage is nothing less than a bastard and a Philistine. As to who this comment applies if the shoe fits, then wear it. Compare Bus Eireann with Ulsterbus who are proud to see their buses preserved and go out of their way to achieve it. One has to realise that Bus Eireann is run by a bunch of ignorant bastards. Let me go further. They have a total disregard for the taxpayers money who pays their wages and they dispose of vehicles to their friends at one tenth the price they are offered by the highest bidder. Contrary to what Samantha told me that they could sell to anyone they liked at any price they liked I say that is bullshit. Their tender process is a sham and they have a duty to sell to the highest bidder to maximise the price they received and thereby minimise the subsidy from the taxpayer.

DF 454 is one of the most historic vehicles in Ireland and we bought and paid for her fair and square and then in the last few days Samantha issued an instruction that we were not to get her - even though we had paid for her - and she was to be destroyed. I think I speak for other preservationist when I say they have been treated disgracefully by Bus Eireann as witness all the high offers for KR's and Bus Eireanns refusal to let any be preserved. Bombardiers are historic Irish Vehicles and to order their destruction is the work of a bastard.

Joe Neiland needs to stand up and be counted and let us know if he takes responsibility for Samanthas behaviour in which case I am being unfair to Samantha and apologise to her and should direct my comments at him. And to make sure the next tender process is rigged Bus Eireann have issued an invitation to tender to their friends and we never even got one this time. Nobody is going to get any KR and they are all going to be destroyed unless someone takes action. Well, I have and I welcome support on the discussion board.

So this afternoon I obtained a temporary court injunction preserving DF 445 from the scrapper until such time as Bus Eireann can justify their instruction that she must be scrapped. I am not allowed to comment on the court proceedings but I am allowed to print the court record without comment.

The following is the court record follows.

AN CHUIRT CHUARDA
(THE CIRCUIT COURT)

CORK CIRCUIT COUNTY OF CORK

BETWEEN

MICHAEL GRIMES

PLAINTIFF

AND

BUS EIREANN
SAMANTHA MATTHEWS
JOE NEILAND
ERIN RECYCLERS LIMITED

DEFENDANTS

EQUITY CIVIL BILL

You are hereby required within ten days after the service of this Civil Bill upon you, to enter or to cause to be entered with the county Registrar, at her office at the Courthouse, Washington Street, Cork an Appearance to answer the claim of Michael Grimes of Grianan House, Tramore Road, Cork in the County of Cork, the Plaintiff herein as endorsed thereon.

AND TAKE NOTICE that unless you do enter an Appearance you will be held to have admitted the said claim, and the Plaintiff may proceed therein and judgement may be given against you in your absence without further notice.

AND FURTHER TAKE NOTICE that if you intend to defend the proceedings you must not only enter an appearance as aforesaid but also within ten days after Appearance deliver the statement in writing showing the nature and grounds of your Defence. The Appearance and the Defence may be entered by posting the same to the said office and by giving the copies thereof to the Plaintiff or his solicitor by post.

SIGNED: Dr Michael Grimes
Grianan House,
Tramore Road,
Cork

TO: Bus Eireann of Broadstone, Dublin
AND: Samantha Matthews and Joe Neiland both of Bus Eireann, Broadstone, Dublin.
AND : Erin Recyclers Limited, The Quay, Sligo, Co. Sligo.

DEFENDANTS

INDORSEMENT OF CLAIM

1. The Plaintiff has purchased, paid for and is the owner of DAF Leyland Motor Bus Fleet Number DF 454 which was sold by the first named defendants to the fourth named defendants and then to the plaintiff herein who paid good and valuable consideration.

2. The first named defendant is a statutory undertaking providing motor bus services throughout Ireland and other areas.

3. The second named defendant has the handling and disposal of used motorbuses of the first named defendant.

4. The third named defendant is the Chief Mechanical Engineer of the first named defendant and the direct Manager of the second named defendant.

5. The fourth named defendants are a company which specialize in the scrapping of motorbuses inert alia.

6. The bus in question registration number 454 ZD is a DAF ENGINED Leyland Atlantean new in or around 1974 and is one of the most historic vehicles in Ireland.

7. The second named defendant has made a decision with or without the approval of the third named defendant but with his authority that DF 454 is to be destroyed and proof of such destruction is to be furnished to her and it is to be done immediately, possibly within the next twenty four hours.

8. Once the vehicle is destroyed, no damages can compensate and it can never be constructed again. It is gone for ever. Neither is there any other vehicle in existence of its type.

9. And the Plaintiff therefore Claims:

(a) A permanent injunction restraining the first second and third named defendants from destroying, attempting to destroy or causing others, their agents and servants to cause such destruction.

(b) An Order allowing the Plaintiff herein to take possession of the motor vehicle DF 454 so that he may preserve it.

(c) A declaration that the Plai8n tiff herein is the legal and beneficial owner of the said vehicle DF 454 the subject matter of these proceedings.

(d) An injunction directing all the defendants their agents and servants from dealing with or otherwise alienating their interest in the said vehicle prior to the determination of the proceedings herein.

(e) An Order declaring the tender process of Bus Eireann to be in violation of the applicable EU statutes and Irish law as related thereto.

(f) Costs

SIGNED: Dr Michael Grimes
Grianan House,
Tramore Road,
Cork

AN CHUIRT CHUARDA
(THE CIRCUIT COURT)

CORK CIRCUIT COUNTY OF CORK

BETWEEN

MICHAEL GRIMES

PLAINTIFF

AND

BUS EIREANN
SAMANTHA MATTHEWS
JOE NEILAND
ERIN RECYCLERS LIMITED

DEFENDANTS

EX PARTE APPLICATION NO. 06061901

I WISH TO apply to this Honourable Court on Tuesday the 17th. Day of July 2007 sitting at the Courthouse, Washington Street, Cork or at the first available opportunity thereafter as may suit the sittings of this Honourable Court the following orders:

(a) A permanent injunction restraining the first second and third named defendants from destroying, attempting to destroy or causing others, their agents and servants to cause such destruction.

(b) An Order allowing the Plaintiff herein to take possession of the motor vehicle DF 454 so that he may preserve it.

(c) A declaration that the Plaintiff herein is the legal and beneficial owner of the said vehicle DF 454 the subject matter of these proceedings.

(d) An injunction directing all the defendants their agents and servants from dealing with or otherwise alienating their interest in the said vehicle prior to the determination of the proceedings herein.

(e) Costs

WHICH APPLICATION will be based upon the following grounds:

1. The affidavit of Michael Grimes sworn the 17th. day of July 2007.

2. Such other grounds as may be offered, the exhibits to be offered and the nature of the case.

Dated this 17th. day of July 2007

Signed: Michael Grimes

AN CHUIRT CHUARDA
(THE CIRCUIT COURT)

CORK CIRCUIT COUNTY OF CORK

BETWEEN

MICHAEL GRIMES

PLAINTIFF

AND

BUS EIREANN
SAMANTHA MATTHEWS
JOE NEILAND
ERIN RECYCLERS LIMITED

DEFENDANTS

EQUITY CIVIL BILL GROUNDING AFFIDAVIT OF MICHAEL GRIMES NO. 06061903

1. I, Michael Grimes of Grianan House, Tramore Road, in the County of Cork aged 18 years of age and upwards, Engineer, make oath and say as follows:

2. I make this affidavit from facts of my own knowledge save where otherwise stated and where so stated I believe such facts to be true

3. The Plaintiff has purchased, paid for and is the owner of DAF Leyland Motor Bus Fleet Number DF 454 which was sold by the first named defendants to the fourth named defendants and then to the plaintiff herein who paid good and valuable consideration in an amount of €1000 plus 21% VAT. I paid by cheque on foot of an invoice and the cheque was cashed and I was instructed by the fourth named defendants that I now had title to the bus and could collect it.

4. The first named defendant is a statutory undertaking providing motor bus services throughout Ireland and other areas.

5. The second named defendant has the handling and disposal of used motorbuses of the first named defendant.

6. The third named defendant is the Chief Mechanical Engineer of the first named defendant and the direct Manager of the second named defendant.

7. The fourth named defendants are a company which specializes in the scrapping of motorbuses inert alia.

8. The bus in question registration number 454 ZD is a DAF ENGINED Leyland Atlantean new in or around 1974 and is one of the most historic vehicles in Ireland.

9. I own the largest transport museum in Europe and arguably in the world having about 300 vehicles and I beg to refer to a copy of the last annual report when produced.

10. I originally bid the sum of €3,000 for the said vehicle but the second named defendant said that she was entitled to take a sum of, I understand, one tenth of that as she had no obligation to the taxpayer or the company to maximize the return.

11. The tender process was a farce and I say and I believe that the outcome was predetermined and the company turned down all offers of reasonable monies.

12. There are strict EU tendering rules and I say and I believe that they have not been com plied with and the last sale or surplus motor buses was a sham, illegal, null and void and contrary to law.

13. I bid some €30,000 for a number of motor buses which were sold for, I understand, one tenth that amount. I say and I believe that reeks of fraud. There was no fair tender process and it was never intended to be.

14. The second named defendant has made a decision with or without the approval of the third named defendant but with his authority that DF 454 is to be destroyed and proof of such destruction is to be furnished to her and it is to be done immediately, possibly within the next twenty four hours.

15. Once the vehicle is destroyed, no damages can compensate and it can never be constructed again. It is gone for ever. Neither is there any other vehicle in existence of its type.

16. In or about 11 a.m. today July 17, 2007 the second named defendant confirmed to me that she had indeed given instructions that the bus was to be destroyed and she furnished with photographic or other proof that this had been done. She further stated that she had either last Friday or yesterday or today written to the fourth named defendant or otherwise told them that t hey were top collect the bus immediately and destroy it immediately, hence this application as a matter of urgency.

17. I then spoke to the fourth named defendants who insisted they were innocent parties and were willing and able to fulfil their contract with me but had now been told they would get no more vehicles from bus Eireann if they fulfilled their contract with me which in my respectful submission is straight blackmail. They will, however, wait until tomorrow before destroying the vehicle pending an order of this Honourable Court.

18. I therefore pray this Honourable Court for the orders sought and in the terms stated in the interests of justice.

(COPY)
SWORN BEFORE ME

RESULT:

The Judge made an order preventing the bus form being destroyed pending further order of the court.


CLICK HERE TO RETURN TO MAIN KELLS TRANSPORT MUSEUM WEBSITE