AMC relocates historic Howth Castle
AMC Removals recently faced the monumental challenge of relocating the entire contents of Howth Castle
in north Dublin following the sale of the 840-year-old ancestral home to a redevelopment company.
For more information, visit www.amcremovals.ie
Traffic Commissioner suggests FORS reform
April 2020 Removals & Storage 11
The Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme (FORS) “isn’t fit for purpose”
because its audit procedures processes are no longer sufficiently thorough,
according to Kevin Rooney, the Traffic Commissioner (TC) for the west
At a recent compliance conference the TC expressed frustration at instances
of FORS-accredited companies attending public inquiries with inadequate
auditing procedures in place. He cited a case of an operator called to public
inquiry who produced a FORS audit that had been undertaken over the phone
without a site visit, and another in which a FORS audit had failed to notice
that an operator had not completed preventative maintenance inspection
(PMI) sheets for the past six months.
FORS has sought clarification from the TC on his comments to enable an
investigation to take place. FORS Director John Hix said that the claims “do
not reflect the true nature of how FORS audits are conducted” and invited the
TC to attend a FORS audit to see exactly how the system operates.
The Road Haulage Association (RHA) added that the current FORS structure
is widely seen to be operating in the interest of the concessionaire rather than
of regulation and road safety. One of its long-standing concerns is the ability
for an operator to meet FORS standards yet not necessarily fulfil the
obligations required to hold an Operator’s Licence. It has called for the scheme
to be reformed so that auditing is tied more closely into the O Licence regime.
FORS is a voluntary accreditation scheme that was designed to raise quality
within fleet operations and highlight exemplary levels of best practice in
safety, efficiency and environmental protection.
AMC was tasked with the safe transportation of an extensive private collection of
antiques, furniture, artworks and prized family heirlooms that had been passed down
through the centuries by the predecessors of the current owners, the Gaisford-St
Lawrence family. As descendants of the feudal lords of Howth, the family has owned
the site since around the year 1180.
The vast assortment of priceless artefacts of all different shapes, sizes and materials
required immense skill and creative and meticulous planning to safely and efficiently
move. Each and every member of the AMC team are extensively trained in fine art
handling, and thus made short work of the challenge with the aid of bespoke
packaging crates, which offered maximum protection for the collection in transit.
AMC has extensive experience in relocating stately Irish homes, their possessions
and their personages, having previously
delivered the relocations of Humewood
Castle, Kilkea Castle, Leixlip Castle (now
in the hands of the Guinness family)
and perhaps most notably Andrew Lloyd
Webber to Kiltinan Castle. It was this
expertise that led AMC to be contacted by
Howth Castle’s long-term owners, and
which was also confirmed by the fact
that over the course of the move the
company also passed its FIDI FAIM
audit with flying colours.
“It was an honour to be able to
deliver such a historically significant
move,” commented AMC’s Managing
Director, Aubrey McCarthy. “We pride ourselves on the professionalism and flexibility
of our service, which guarantees our clients the same level of dedication regardless of
whether we’re moving a semi-detached house or a 12th-century castle.”
Howth Castle lies just outside the village of Howth in North Dublin and overlooks
the city’s coastline and Ireland’s Eye. In 2019 the castle and its 530-acre grounds were
sold to an Irish investment group that is currently planning to redevelop the site into
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