Pint and a half of beer 'never made anyone drunk', Danny Healy Rae tells Dáil

A pint and a half of beer “never made anyone drunk” the Dáil heard this eveing during a debate on new road traffic laws.

Kerry TD Danny Healy Rae was responding to a proposal in the new bill to reduce the minimum alcohol limits permitted for drivers, saying it would “destroy rural Ireland”.

The bill is being brought forward by Transport Minister Shane Ross who was the subject of stinging criticism from a host of rural TDs.

During the debate on the Road Traffic Bill, Mr Ross came under fire from a host of rural TDs but Mr Healy Rae and his brother Michael spoke of the potential damage on rural Kerry.

“Why are you trying to criminalise hard working people who just want to be left alone”, Danny Healy Rae asked of Mr Ross.

“Everything that is being done is hurting rural Ireland, how have Fine Gael let you do it,” he added.

At the start of the debate, those opposed to the bill were called to their feet to declare their position and among those who rose was Mr Ross' own Independent Alliance colleague and Government deputy whip Sean Canney and former Independent Alliance member Michael Fitzmaurice.

Mr Canney is toying with leaving the alliance after he failed to win back the junior ministry he shared with OPW minister Kevin Boxer Moran.

As Deputy Whip, he is entitled to a an additional stipend of €15,000 on top of his Dáil salary and this would be lost should be decide to leave the alliance.

Meanwhile, the Chief Whip Minister Joe McHugh, updated Cabinet on the Government legislation programme. He said a total of 63 Bills have been enacted since this Government was formed.

Ministers were told that seven Bills have been published this term, and the Public Service Superannuation (Amendment) Act 2018, which was not on the Priority List, has been published and enacted.

Six Bills are ready or close to publication, he said.

They are the Defence Forces (Forensic Evidence) Bill, the Insurance (Amendment) Bill, the Children's Health Bill, the Criminal Justice (Money Laundering & Terrorist Financing) (Amendment) Bill, the Data-Sharing and Governance Bill - Dept of Public Expenditure & Reform and the Public Service Superannuation (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill.

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