A Monaghan man has invented a swivel seat to help people with disabilities get in and out of cars.

Unemployed for two years, fitter Brian Ecclestone of Carrickmacross in County Monaghan enrolled on an AnCO development course. He worked out his idea for the swivel car seat and set up SWF Engineering Limited to make it. He now employs one person in his workshop and his wife Ann deals with office work and sales. Ann Ecclestone has confidence in her husband’s vision.

He had the idea and he had the ability to make things and he has very good ideas so we had nothing to lose.

Wheelchair user Molly Gainford tries out the seat and cannot deny its usefulness, however she thinks it takes a lot of practice.

You’d really want to get well used to it.

Organisations working with people with disabilities are largely positive about the car seat, although the Irish Wheelchair Association would like to see a modification made to it.

Brian Ecclestone borrowed £5,000 to invest in his idea and the Monaghan development fund has offered a grant of £3000 for starting the company in the county. He is optimistic the Irish Development Authority (IDA) will eventually come in on the venture.

Brian Ecclestone is confident his seat will be a success because,

There is nothing like it in Ireland at the moment.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 15 January 1985. The reporter is Alasdair Jackson.