Sir, There is more than a whiff of something unpleasant, although probably non-alcoholic, surrounding the coverage of Danny Healy Rae's drinks driving proposals.
This odour may be the scent of urbanite hypocrisy and a failure to see that the proposal exhibts two principles which are much vaunted by the educated middle classes of which the media and much of the Government is generally comprised, namely joined up thinking and liberalism. However, in relation to joined up thinking he did not go far enough.
Mr Healy Rae is a publican and wants to encourage access to drinking alcohol in pubs for those in rural areas. As someone who has implemented road works for Kerry County Council in the past, he should also have suggested that he could widen the roads in order to give more latitude to these drinkers as they meander, mildly intoxicated, down the boithríns. That would have been real joined up thinking.
In relation to permitting people to break the law in defined circumstances, the potential here is obvious in a wide range of areas and would allow for more creative bespoke implementation of the law.
For example, students could be allowed to smoke cannabis on the assumption that they will grow (no pun intended) out of it; only Polish people could be allowed to burn Polish coal in urban areas on the basis that there's a nice symmetry there; and councillors could be permitted, on occasion, to come up with daft embarrassing ideas on the basis that it gets worldwide coverage and in the year of the Gathering helps to reinforce 'Orish' stereotypes which may contribute to revenue generation. Sincerely, Rob Carey, 12 Riverwalk, Oakpark, Tralee