Fuming Ray D’Arcy hung up on Kerry councillor Danny Healy-Rae yesterday morning after giving him a dressing down for wasting the country’s time with his “hare-brained” drink-driving motion.
In an exchange which lasted less than three minutes, the normally unflappable Today FM host rebuked the Kerry county councillor for dreaming up the motion to press Justice Minister Alan Shatter for permits to be issued to people in rural areas to allow them to drive after having “two or three” drinks.
The radio host, who has been a vocal road safety campaigner, eventually hung up on Mr Healy-Rae less than three minutes into the interview.
Mr Darcy told Mr Healy-Rae he was getting a headache after listening to him describe his proposal to allow people in isolated rural areas to drive home from their local pub.
“Where have you been for the eight or nine years as the country talked about road safety?” he asked Mr Healy-Rae. “Where have you been when we have radically attempted to reduce the amount of carnage on our roads, where a definite link between drinking and driving and road fatality was made by everybody?”
Mr Healy-Rae answered that he did not foresee a safety issue as he was referring to minor roads.
“The roads I’m talking about there was never a fatality or anyone seriously injured or anyone injured at all, because you couldn’t be doing 25 or 30 miles an hour,” he said.
Mr Darcy dismissed this explanation and dubbed the controversial proposal as “ridiculous and ludicrous”.
“If it ever did happen then everybody would want to do it,” said Mr Darcy.
“Then let’s issue permits for speeding for people who want to get home in a hurry because they have three kids and they missed them all day. It’s ridiculous.”
The easygoing host of the country’s biggest morning show also told off Mr Healy-Rae for wasting the country’s time and public money with his motion.
“The other problem, Danny, is that you are being funded by people in Kerry who had to pay €100 of a household charge,” he said.
“They are funding Kerry County Council for you to come up with harebrained ideas like this and waste everybody’s time. I have to say goodbye. This is my show. Good luck.”
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