30 November 2017
By Elaine Murphy
The Government must stop treating those living and working in rural Ireland as second-class citizens – says TD
Deputy Michael Collins has called on the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross to remember that his Road Traffic (Amendment) 2017 bill will cause further economic and social problems in small rural towns and villages across the country.
The Road Traffic (Amendment) 2017 bill will see an automatic disqualification from driving in the case of a person paying a fixed charge in respect of a drink driving offence.
‘Where is the Minister going with this Bill?’, Deputy Collins said. This is an anti-rural Bill as far as I can see. I want to ask the Minister, what has he against the people of rural Ireland. He certainly has seems to have set on the people and the communities this Bill, and with a number of other issues I could mention.’
‘I do not agree with excessive drinking,’ Deputy Collins continued. There are many other factors resulting in people being killed on our roadsides. Minister Ross should start by not bringing this Bill to the Dáil that will, obviously, damage rural Ireland. Indeed, if the Minister wants to set an example, why not bring in a Bill to shut the bar in Leinster House. In my view, it should be shut because we should not have a place of drink in Dáil Éireann.’
‘The Government talks of rural-proofing Government policy, but that is the biggest cod that was ever mentioned in this Dáil,’ Deputy Collins said. It is a mockery to the people of rural Ireland. The people are being told what the Government is going to do. That is not rural-proofing and this Road Traffic (Amendment) 2017 bill is more of the same. If the Minister wants to go ahead with a measure such as this what has he put in place to help the people of rural Ireland come and go within their community?
‘The Minister speaks of social isolation but I am afraid he does not have a clue what it means. Before this Bill ever reached the Dáil the Minister should have resolved that issue but he did not. He is failing in his duty to the people of Ireland. Our Constitution does not say it looks after the people of urban Ireland, its states that it looks after the people of Ireland. With this Bill the Minister, is failing in his duty to do that.’