independent

Sunday 20 April 2014

Majella O’Sullivan: At least he'd the guts to come on the show, Ray

AN EXASPERATED Ray D'Arcy hung up on Danny Healy-Rae, who had been invited on to his radio show to discuss his controversial drink-driving permit motion.

This wasn't Mr Healy-Rae's only invitation yesterday. He has been pursued by every media organisation in the country and by many abroad, too.

And while the idea of him speaking on foreign radio and TV channels may make many cringe, there can really be no debate at home or abroad about the hair-brained motives behind his thinking. There can be no excuses for drink-driving.

Mr Healy-Rae's suggestion was all the more unpalatable because he's a publican who was backed up by three other publican members of Kerry County Council and his son.

What of the council members who chose to abstain from the vote?

Two did not return calls from the Irish Independent. One said he arrived into the chamber when the debate had finished and didn't understand what he was being asked to vote on. Another councillor said he suspected it was a "publicity stunt" by the colourful councillor who comes from a family that is no stranger to controversy. Another said the wording was "too loose and vague".

D'Arcy – who has been a vocal road safety campaigner – wasn't buying Mr Healy-Rae's arguments, and he told him he was wasting taxpayers' money with his "hare-brained motion" and accused him of giving him a headache.

Yes, the plight of lonlieness in rural Ireland is indeed a problem, but there can be no way that we just allow anyone to get behind the wheel of a car, tractor or any other form of transport after a skin full down in the village pub.

Michael Healy-Rae is nothing if not a great self-publicist, but in this case he has backed the wrong horse. Drink-driving does cost lives, despite what he says.

Irish Independent

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