Sinn Féin Cllr Pat Buckley, a member of Midleton Town Council in Co Cork, is awaiting the outcome of tests on a blood sample he gave following his arrest on the outskirts of the town in the early hours of Sunday morning last.
Despite not knowing if he is to face charges or not, Mr Buckley said: “I am disgusted with myself. It [driving after consuming alcohol] is something I’ve never done before. It’s not my form and it was never in my character. I’m so ashamed of it now.”
Mr Buckley said he had a “few bottles of beer”, followed by something to eat, followed by a few more beers, during the course of christening celebrations at a private house party last Saturday.
Despite having consumed alcohol, he decided to drive the kilometre or so home in the early hours of Sunday morning.
He was pulled over and stopped by gardaí on patrol in a Garda car on the town’s Mill Road at around 4am and was arrested on suspicion of drink driving. He said he went voluntarily to Midleton Garda Station with the gardaí and provided a blood sample, before being released without charge.
While the outcome of the blood analysis is awaited, Mr Buckley said regardless of the results, he will carry this with him for the rest of his life.
“When you do good, nobody remembers. When you do bad, nobody forgets,” he said.
Mr Buckley, a co-founder of the suicide support group, The Let’s Get Together Foundation, was in the running to be the next mayor of Midleton — the election takes place next Tuesday — but he declined to comment on his mayoral ambitions.
He is among several representatives of suicide prevention and awareness groups due to meet Sinn Féin deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald during her visit to Cork City today.
The meeting follows Cork City Council’s decision to be the first local authority in Ireland to back a motion seeking the establishment of an all-Ireland suicide authority to coordinate the State’s response to the suicide crisis.