Thursday 23 May 2019

Shane Ross calls TDs seeking to delay new drink driving laws 'disgusting' and 'utterly ruthless'

Minister Shane Ross. Photo: Gareth Chaney, Collins
Minister Shane Ross. Photo: Gareth Chaney, Collins
Philip Ryan

Philip Ryan

Transport Minister Shane Ross has branded rural TDs who are seeking to delay the introduction of new drink driving laws as “disgusting” and “utterly ruthless”.

Speaking ahead of a crucial Dáil debate, Mr Ross launched a scathing attack on TDs who he accused of “filibustering” legislation which he said, “will save lives”.

In cutting remarks, the minister said no-one with an “ounce of humanity” believes the TDs, who include Michael and Danny Healy-Rae, are “doing the right thing”.

“There’s no way of explaining what type of rational thoughts are going through the minds of these people filibustering. It’s utterly ruthless. It’s unfeeling and ruthless,” he said.

Mr Ross’s attack on the rural TDs came after he met a group representing victims of road traffic accidents outside the gates of Leinster House.

The group of rural TDs are seeking to block new laws which would see car owners penalised for allowing learner drivers drive without being accompanied by a full licenced driver.

Mr Ross said he believed the TDs had been “nobbled by the vintners” and wrongly believe they are representing the views of people living in rural Ireland.  

“What is happening here is disgusting because it is filibustering a bill which will save lives,” he said

“I don’t see any problem with people talking for a very long time on legislation if they are going to be serious. But here this is parliamentary tactics to stymie a bill that save lives,” he added.

Mr Ross said he believed a motion of closure will be put before the Dáil today and the Road Traffic (amendment) 2017 will be passed.

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