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Danny Healy-Rae at his family pub in Kilgarvan, Co Kerry Photo by: Dan Linehan

Danny Healy-Rae’s Co Kerry ‘drunk driving’ legislation slammed as 'ridiculous'

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Danny Healy-Rae at his family pub in Kilgarvan, Co Kerry Photo by: Dan Linehan

Co Kerry Mayor Terry O’Brien also said to RTE that Healy-Rae’s motion is “incredibly dangerous. I don't know how anybody can be allowed to say: 'You've had two pints, so you're justified to drive.’”

“I don't know what expertise one would have to look at someone in a bar to give them a permit to drive a car after any alcohol.”

Kerry Councilor Gillian Wharton-Slattery refuted Healy-Rae’s  link between being stuck at home and suicide: "Depression causes suicide. It's not caused by not being able to go to the pub," Wharton-Slattery told the Guardian. 

Irish radio host Ray D’Arcy even hung up on the Kerry Councillor while speaking to him about the matter: “...You come up with harebrained ideas like this and waste everybody’s time. I have to say goodbye. This is my show. Good luck.”

But where there is criticism, there is also some support. Independent Galway Councillor Michael Fahy spoke out saying that he supports Healy-Rae’s new measure, and may bring the issue up at the next policing committee in Galway.

Said Fahy, “We don't want to see people drunk, we're only talking about up to three pints. This would have to be monitored, maybe by the publican or through some sort of stamped card system."

Similarly, Fine Gael’s Bobby O’Connell, a Castleisland, Co Kerry publican, strongly supported the motion. “Rural isolation is a big problem. People are afraid to go out,” he said. 

Other Co Kerry politicians Fianna Fáil councillor and Milltown publican Michael O’Shea agreed, as did Michael Cahill, a Rossbeigh licensee and councillor. 

With the motion passed in County Kerry, it will now proceed to the jurisdiction of Minister for Justice Alan Shatter. Healy-Rae said, “I, as a public representative, feel obliged to try and do my best to move this idea. All I’m asking from the Minister for Justice is that he consider this. I think it is a worthwhile idea.”

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