Danny Healy-Rae 'hurt' by Transport Minister's 'road traffic terrorist' comment

The Kerry TD has said he is only trying to do his "level best for everyone"

Danny Healy-Rae 'hurt' by Transport Minister's 'road traffic terrorist' comment

Danny Healy-Rae. Photo: RollingNews.ie

Danny Healy-Rae says he's hurt by the Transport Minister's claim that opponents of new drink driving laws are behaving like 'road traffic terrorists'.

Shane Ross leveled the accusation at Deputy Healy-Rae "and his gang" yesterday, over objections to proposed automatic drink driving bans.

If passed, the legislation would see an automatic driving ban for first-time offenders detected at the lowest limit.

Currently, drivers caught with alcohol concentrations of between 50mg and 80mg are facing a fine and penalty points, but no ban – provided it is their first offence.

The Transport Minister claimed TDs have been staging a filibuster to try and stall the bill.

Danny Healy-Rae, however, says he has done nothing wrong, and believes Shane Ross 'doesn't understand' life in rural areas.

The Kerry TD, who is seeking legal advice over the Transport Minister's comments, told Pat Kenny he 'abhors' terrorism.

He said: "I'm hurt by that remark... I'm not a terrorist.

"When we see terrorist activities and what happens in other cities and other countries... where terrorists cause mayhem and mass killings... and many people are hurt and maimed for life, and indeed fatally injured... I have never intentionally hurt or harmed anyone.

"[My intention is] only to help everyone that can I can - [those] that elected me and [those] that didn't vote for me... to do my level best for everyone, wherever they are - and especially in Kerry."

"The man doesn't understand places like Kerry"

He also dismissed Minister Ross' suggestions that he and several other TDs from predominantly rural areas are holding up the legislation.

Deputy Healy-Rae argued: "He has changed the bill several times himself. If he really thought that the 50-80mg bracket were causing all these fatalities, he - like myself - knows that's not true.

"He's on this trip that he wants to say [...] that no-one can have any drink at all anymore if they're driving a car."

He added: "I honestly believe the man doesn't understand places like Kerry, or rural places, or what people have to go through to get from A to B... to get to their local shop... to get to their local doctor... or to go anywhere at all in rural Ireland. It's a much different scenario to what we have in Dublin."