The recent hoohah over Danny Healy Rae’s motion to permit drink driving in certain circumstances misses the point. Aside from the fact that he was addressing a serious issue, that of rural transport, consider the fact that most Kerry councillors didn’t even vote on the motion. What are we to take away from that?
What I read from it is that most councillors saw the motion for what it was, a stunt. If the council had actually been voting to permit drink driving, councillors would almost certainly have taken a position on such a controversial proposal. In fact, let’s be honest, if Danny Healy Rae thought that his proposal could actually become law in Kerry, would he really have suggested it? Imagine when the first drunken driver with a Healy Rae permit knocks somebody down, the first victim of Danny’s Law? Would he really want that? Unlikely.
But what really leaps off the page is the fact that so much attention is given to yet another bunch of politicians getting paid to not make actual decisions but to debate a motion calling on someone else to actually do some work. The truth is that the country would be better off if Danny Healy Rae did have the power to let people drink and drive in Kerry, because people would then sit up and pay attention to the things he does. They would go from publicity stunts to real live decisions. Sure, it would mean that other counties would warn tourists not to enter Kerry for fear of being mown down by a legalised drunk behind a wheel, but so what? That’s the will of the people in action, and a beautiful thing it is too.