Drinking and driving in County Kerry

Next time you go to County Kerry there may be more drunk drivers on the road.

Kerry County Council has passed a motion to let some rural denizens drink even though they’re legally drunk – all in the name of fighting loneliness on the isolated windswept peninsulas.

Here’s a story we worked on today about it – it’s making news in the Toronto Star.

I remember walking from Dingle town back to our accommodations along the main road, which was lined with fuchsia hedges. Every once in a while headlights from a car whose driver had a few too many – or who just didn’t know the roads – would swing around a bend and we’d all dive into the fuchsia. It was a rough landing but better than being taken out by a car.

c Leslie Garland Pictures. We would land in a  fuchsia hedge like this one on the Dingle Peninsula in County Kerry, Ireland.

To be sure, if you’re a farmer in the back end of Ireland there’s nowhere to go unless you drive there. Getting in a little social life means likely going to the pub – and the move by the Council is meant to combat loneliness among those who live in the country.

This likely wasn’t as much of a problem 50 years ago – take a horse and cart to the pub  and you don’t have to worry about drinking and driving.

Did I tell you at least one of the Council members is a pub owner?

Or perhaps the Council just wanted to make it official and get the word out so that the rest of us are duly warned.

There’s a car – dive!

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2 comments

  1. As Kim Bielenberg in the Irish Indo says ‘Licences for drink drivers are as likely as permits for Taliban strip shows.’
    It does however highlight the rather sad fact that Irish rural pub life is following that of the rest of the UK into virtual oblivion.

    1. That’s a great line! It may be a sign that the publicans are desperate to keep customers – interesting that they’re citing rural isolation and suicide as the problems they’re trying to overcome. Apparently a County Galway councillor is now set to bring it up. As you say, no hope of passing …

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