Danny Healy Rae's call for ‘drink-drive permits’ criticised by road safety groups

Danny Healy Rae's call for ‘drink-drive permits’ criticised by road safety groups

By Juno McEnroe and Joel Slattery

Permits for drink driving in rural areas should be agreed to ease rural isolation and keep pubs open, according to Kerry TD Danny Healy-Rae, who used his leaders questions in the Dáil to complain about strict drink-driving rules yesterday.

To help isolated residents in some areas, special permits should be granted which would allow motorists to have two to three pints and then drive home legally on a designated stretch of road, said the Independent TD, who is also a publican.

He accused the Government of inflicting “damage and mayhem” on rural Ireland with road-traffic and drink-driving laws.

“Many cities around the world have tried to replicate the Irish country pub but now people all around Kerry are afraid to go out and are like rabbits trapped in a burrow,” he said.

Does the Government have anyone measuring depression rates and how much extra is being spent on anti-depressant medication and mental health?

He suggested the Government provide a permit for people travelling only on rural class 3 roads or cul de sacs so they can have their “two pints and drive home”.

“If they stray beyond those roads, then nail them, but the Government should give them a chance to live because all work and no play makes Jack a very dull boy,” said Mr Healy-Rae.

Tánaiste Simon Coveney said “that is not only irresponsible but an insult to so many families who continue to mourn the deaths of people who have been killed by people who were drinking and driving”.

Road safety group founder Susan Grey said: “It is an insult. This is about saving lives. It is sad for a public representative to say things to get extra votes.”

Irish Rural Link have also contradicted the claims made by the Kerry TD.

He claimed that driving on rural roads after drinking alcohol is safer than driving in a town or city.

CEO of Irish Rural link Seamus Boland says this is not the case

"Irish Rural Link have been saying all along and have said it (for) four or five years - drinking and driving is not on.

"Rural roads at the moment are not safe. Most death occur on rural roads, it you look at the national statistics, that's the case," he added.

More on this topic

Danny Healy-Rae's proposal to allow rural drivers to drink ‘irresponsible nonsense’ - CoveneyDanny Healy-Rae's proposal to allow rural drivers to drink ‘irresponsible nonsense’ - Coveney

Four motorists arrested on suspicion of drink and drug-driving since FridayFour motorists arrested on suspicion of drink and drug-driving since Friday

Study highlights the major role alcohol plays in road deathsStudy highlights the major role alcohol plays in road deaths

Just 9.2% of banned motorists surrender licenceJust 9.2% of banned motorists surrender licence


More in this Section

'He put his hands around my neck and started to choke me' - Cork man convicted of assaulting his sister'He put his hands around my neck and started to choke me' - Cork man convicted of assaulting his sister

Jack Butler Yeats painting sells at auction for three-times its estimateJack Butler Yeats painting sells at auction for three-times its estimate

Court quashes conviction of one of three men for burglary which saw Limerick family assaulted and threatenedCourt quashes conviction of one of three men for burglary which saw Limerick family assaulted and threatened

Taoiseach accuses Fianna Fáil of 'anti-rural agenda' over smoky coal banTaoiseach accuses Fianna Fáil of 'anti-rural agenda' over smoky coal ban


Lifestyle

They’re the best air purifiers around so we should grow more houseplants all year round, says Peter Dowdall.Not just for December: The reason why she should grow more houseplants all year round

Let's face it — for the first few years of a child’s life you can dress them exactly how you want to.Alison Curtis: Clothes shopping with your young girl can be a tricky thing to do

Lizzo, Demi Lovato and Ashley Graham are among those prompting us to practise a little more self-love.5 times celebrities reminded us to be body positive in 2019

Wondering about wine for the big day? Leslie Williams has all the options, for every taste and budget.Something from the bar: The perfect drink selections this Christmas

More From The Irish Examiner