Proposed drink-drive legislation will increase rural isolation, say critics

Some blueshirts will not like the news
That the forthcoming vote about booze
Will have a tight whip
From which they can’t slip
And run free to vote how they choose.

John Moynes


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46 thoughts on “A Limerick A Day

  1. GoddessDurga

    Separated cycleways and walking paths beside rural roads would make this problem irrelevant, but of course they’d “cost too much”, because we don’t care about safety in Ireland, only about profitability

    1. Cian

      What? Do you mean that a drunk driver can’t mount the kerb and kill someone on a footpath/bike lane?

      1. Increasing Displacement

        Are you talking about someone who had 1-2 pints or someone who had 6-10 pints?
        Who mounts a kerb after a pint?

    2. ReproBertie

      “Separated cycleways and walking paths beside rural roads would make this problem irrelevant”

      No they wouldn’t. For some people the nearest pub could be 5 or 6 or more miles away on twisty mountain roads. A footpath won’t make that journey any easier.

      1. Rob_G

        The fact that it will be difficult to get to and from places where socialising takes place is probably something that people should take into account when deciding to live 5 or 6 miles up a mountain.

        1. ReproBertie

          Yeah! That’ll learn them for inheriting a farm back in the 80’s when drink driving was the national sport.

          1. Rob_G

            Society changes – progresses, let’s say, and it is no longer legally or socially acceptable to drive around half-cut, putting other road users at risk.

            People living up mountains will just have to get along with it as the rest of us do.

            (or wait a few more years until we have self-driving cars, as pointed out below).

  2. snowey

    I find it odd that people in a city with dense population lecture those in a different environment on what is proper and correct.
    I have sympathy for the healy-rea (and other rural TDs) position.

    1. dav

      “I have sympathy for the healy-rea (and other rural TDs) position”
      Why, can they not just call upon god to guide them safely home as they sit behind the wheel after 3-4 pints??

      1. ReproBertie

        There’s a difference between having sympathy for rural TD’s position and thinking drink driving is OK.

        Rural isn’t the likes of Carlow, Athlone or Roscrea where there are taxis and options. There are parts of Ireland where isolation is a serious problem. Drink driving is not the solution but a solution is needed.

        1. Rob_G

          If it’s isolation that is the issue, surely people can drive to the pub and drink a shandy and a few minerals?

          I think the representations of the rural TDs mainly reflect the concerns of the vintners lobby.

          1. Nigel

            Yeah. If your only solution to rural isolation is to relax drink driving laws you’re not really concerned about rural isolation as such.

          2. Amorphous Kerry Blob

            RE: The first sentance/question in your comment.

            Being sober in a pub when you want a drink and everyone else is drinking and looking sideways at you is not fun. It’s pretty awful.
            With regards living and socialising in rural areas, If you don’t drink and your not into the GAA you’re fupped.

            P.S. Drink driving is wrong and no one should do it.

          3. Rob_G

            I understand what you are saying, and I almost always drink in a pub, but that’s one of the reasons I choose to live in an urban area, rather than a rural one.

            I don’t think society would or should accept a rise in the number of deaths on the roads just because some people feel a bit awkward drinking 7Up in a bar.

          4. Nigel

            My point is that we are stuck on pubs and drinking alcohol as our primary social activity. So long as that lasts it’s going to be limited by drink driving laws.

          5. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

            They could always drink a Buckler Shandy, so nobody would know.
            Do they even make Buckler anymore? A guy in our pub used to drink it and it made me laugh every time he ordered it. IN HIS FACE. Ah no, behind his back like a mannerly person, obv.

          6. Amorphous Kerry Blob


            “Just because some people feel a bit awkward drinking 7Up in a bar.”
            I think that statement plays down the significance of pub life in rural areas/small villages. For some people it’s all they have. I wouldn’t play that down.
            Same for the significance of moving to an urban area, obviously.

          7. Increasing Displacement

            “but that’s one of the reasons I choose to live in an urban area”

            Is it yeah RobG?

            You literally have no redeeming qualities.

        2. Rob_G

          @ Increasing – now-now, it’s hardly my fault that you aren’t satisfied with your life choices.

  3. Kwikster

    If they can hang on for ten years, the driverless car will get them to the pub and back home. They just need to be sober enough to climb in, not fall asleep and choke on their own vomit while parked outside their homes.

  4. Boj

    It’s in the pubs interest to have custom. Why can’t they not have a hourly shuttle bus for the local pub(s)?The gov could even let them away with VRT or something to make the purchase easier. Charge 5 bucks a noggin and your laughin’? Is that too simplistic?

    1. ReproBertie

      Yes, unfortunately that is too simplistic and for many pubs it just wouldn’t be suitable. What might work is an on call service to collect people and bring them to the pub but that would require having a driver on standby 7 nights a week and that sort of thing costs money.

      1. Boj

        Why wouldn’t it be suitable? I’ve seen it work before. Hourly 4pm-1am shuttles and they’d pay a fiver for the privilege, and that’s what drinking in a pub is, a privilege, not a right. If the punters want to drink they need to get the bus(or lose their license), if the pub wants business bring em in(or go out of business)?

        1. ReproBertie

          Because running an hourly shuttle bus means running a bus on a regular route every hour and that means burning diesel to go up and down by roads and back ways seven nights a week on the off chance that the lonely farmer living in the only house on this dead end is in the mood for a pint.

          A call out service is more suitable but still potentially cost prohibitive.

          1. ReproBertie

            Boj, if you haven’t been, I ‘d suggest you spend some time driving around Kerry or West Cork or Connemara. You’ll quickly see why the hourly shuttle bus wouldn’t work.

            There are parts of the country where it may well be the solution and there are certainly villages where a couple of pubs could chip together to provide the service but for many more it just wouldn’t work.

          2. Boj

            ReproBertie, I have indeed been in these areas and understand completely what you are saying…but…you say “but for many more it just wouldn’t work.” I completely disagree with this. I believe it would work for the huge majority of rural pubs. In my view the Kerry/Connemara bohereen pubs you refer to would be the minority of cases. If a pub is so isolated that this solution isn’t viable, then shut-up shop I say.

            However now we have the enforcement issue of a pub being so isolated that the Gardaí won’t be around and those punters will continue to drink & drive knowing they will not be caught. Punters using the logic that they are only putting themselves in danger and are willing to do this for the cúpla drinks and therefore keeping the pub open…

    1. Increasing Displacement

      It would be great…I live 2.5km from the nearest town.
      There is no bus. There are no taxis.
      I either walk it or don’t go out.
      And 2.5km is very far in the dark winter with a bad leg

      1. Spaghetti Hoop

        No wonder you feel increasingly displaced!

        Seriously, we need to shape up our rural networks if we are to decrease the housing and transport burden on our capital city.

    2. Otis Blue

      Every county in Ireland has such a service. It shouldn’t be impossible to develop this further to provide some level of night provision. It also seems that unlike conventional services that there is the real possibility of their developing ride hailing or on-demand services.

      I suspect however that the problem is deeper than this. Many rural pubs simply have few, if any, customers. Many rural areas in Ireland are in irreversible decline and the drink driving ban is neither here nor there in the overall scheme of things. It would be nice to see Healy Rae et al begin to address the real reasons for rural decline. Don’t hold your breath though.

  5. hugh_mungus

    “American needs to crack down on guns!”

    “Tougher drink regulation? ah here that’s a bit draconian”

    Really makes you think.

Comments are closed.

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