Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Exclusive: Ireland's road users are granted 'drink drive permits'

April 2014:

DANNY HEALY-RAE WAS celebrating today after his controversial motion to allow 'drink driving in moderation' was passed by a Dáil majority of 90-76.

The Kerry councillor first proposed the issuing of permits "to drink two or three pints before driving home" to members of isolated rural communities in January 2013, provoking outrage amongst those members of society vehemently opposed to carnage on Irish roads.

While legislation seemed unlikely at that point, it has now been passed by a Government keen to steer the national debate away from the subject of an ailing economy.

One TD, who did not wish to be named, said: "There was a time when a piece of legislation such as this would never have even come to a vote, but the collective inebriation of the Dáil chamber, coupled with the need to reduce the country's rural population and therefore the burden on the Exchequer, should see it pass easily."

A jubilant Cllr Healy-Rae called it a "victory for common sense."

"I've met all sorts of people from communities throughout Kerry who were initially opposed to the scheme, citing all sorts of guff about months of physiotherapy, families broken up and wounds that never heal, but I soon found that after a couple a couple of rounds they were able to see my way of thinking," he said at his pub in Kilgarvan, County Kerry.

When shown evidence that stricter drink-drive rules, introduced in the Road Traffic Act 2011, had greatly reduced the number of accidental deaths and injuries on Ireland's roads, Cllr Healy-Rae was nonplussed.

"Look, you can show me all manner of statistics and numbers and data and all that jazz, but the fact is that a couple of pints never hurted anyone."

Back in January 2013, Cllr Healy-Rae said: "There are many people locked in at home now in rural, isolated places who are looking at the four walls and they can't get out because they can't even have one drink."

When it was pointed out to the Independent Councillor that alcohol itself acts as a depressant and has been ruled ineffective in the fight against deteriorating mental health, he responded: "Where I come from there's no harm whatsoever in telling a man to cop himself on and throwing a ball o' milk his way, do you get me?

"Look, nobody knows more than I the benefits of a few pints of an evening, playing cards or what have you? As a young lad I walked those same roads and even got the odd lick of a Toyota Corolla or Mike Hassett's jeep, and has it done me any harm?"

Monday, January 21, 2013


This is what happens when the words stay in bed, keep the windows closed. 


Thursday, January 17, 2013

On writing...

...or, being more accurate, things I do to avoid my lifelong ambition...


Socks are no longer my nemesis, they are no longer the fuel on which runs the washing machine, they go in and come out in pairs. Hers carefully folded, mine nonchalantly balled. I have come familiar with the principle of keeping... the whites... separate, a maxim I treated with slapdash around my Charleville Road days, and I now possess the ability to undress and dress the bed in fewer than nine minutes.

That first sentence, though. The terror.

Sky Sports News

What is its allure? Allure, surely, is the wrong word to describe the shouting behemoth that is recycled news features about pitch invaders and the going at Sandown. Yet my fingers move with swift grace over the buttons 4 and 0 and 8 at least 14 times a day, my eyes roboting through the on screen data and the red (not even the yellow!) ticker at the bottom.

That opening paragraph, mind you. Fuck.

Dublin City Centre or, y'know, 'Town'

Bus. Off at George's Street. Look at the menus of restaurants I'd like to try but probably never will. Down Exchequer Street. Tut as someone sneezes in close proximity to me. Scoff at the Casual Fridays. Cross the road to be wherever the nearest chugger won't 'dude' me. Sit at a window drinking passable coffee. Take out a notebook and find relief at no pen. Wonder what I'm missing on Sky Sports News. Check my phone (no texts, an endorsement on LinkedIn, a blanket mail from Trip Advisor that I never signed up for, somebody I've never met LOLing on a Facebook update and spam from a Jesus freak). Back up Exchequer Street. Into Dunnes Stores to buy some chewing gum. Ponder an apostrophe. Bus home. Relief.

How many chapters?

The Internet

That greatest thief of time. Today, for instance, I found myself Googling helicopter crashes alongside the filmography of Anne Bancroft, the careers of several Swindon Town footballers and job opportunities in HMV, just for the craic of it. I frowned at the fascination of people who think their cat is, like, "just the cutest" and the only feline in the world who has licked a nicely embroidered IKEA cushion.

I used to read the blogs of others as a safe stayaway from putting words in melancholic, heartbreaking order myself, but my favourite writers have been dormant, perhaps swallowed whole by the one-twist-and-you're-done knocking shop that is the Twitter.

Don't get me started on trying to cohere a narrative. 

Thursday, January 10, 2013

What if they'd been right?

No more shares. No more privacy controls. No more aggregation. No more unsolicited links. No more laughing out loud. No more plaintive Instagram posturing. No more guilt. No more flash mobs, photo bombing, hipster bashing. No more psychoanalysis. Jesus, no more tagging. No more four square, twitpics, no more 'can we share your current location?'

No more Royle Family Christmas specials, no more Jean Byrne. No more Katherine Lynch, and no more Homeland. No more preposterousness, networking, keeping up and falling behind. No more Masterchef, Man vs Food, Dobbo, no more Sky Sports News.

No more January transfer window. No more countdown clocks. No more Jeff Stelling, and no Merse. No more love. No more hate. No more Love/Hate. No more watercooler wet dreams. No more trees, sand, Oscar-baiting and no more Chevrolets.

No more Vodafone, no more customer service menus. No more stout. No more John Mulligan. No more mortgages, no more debt. No more hierarchy. No more death. No more ill fitted suits, union flags, or sociopathic taximen.

No more waiting for things to happen. No more hoping things don't happen. No more doorbells. No more gas bills. No more hope. No more despair.

No more haircuts. No more Bowie. No more Formula 1, and no more fucking Gangnam Style. No more Roddy Doyle, but no more Cecilia Ahern.

No more retweets, quoted tweets, double tweets, tweetweets, hyperlinks and, finally, no more bluster at all.