'People have nobody to chat to other than a cat, dog or cattle' - Laois publican slams Shane Ross' drink driving laws

Conor Ganly

Reporter:

Conor Ganly

Email:

news@leinsterexpress.ie

Drink Driving.

Laois publican slams Minister Ross.

Rural Laois pubs and their customers in the ‘middle of newhere’ are not being helped by the ‘Dublin’ Government Minister Shane Ross and his drink driving legislation, according to a well known Laois publican.

Lar Hogan of Sheeran’s Coolrain said pubs are struggling due to high commercial rates and crippling insurance costs. He said stiffer drink driving laws will make it worse.

“It’s certainly not helping rural pubs out in the middle of nowher

'“People get depressed not been able to get out, it’s like sending them to prison, but they have done nothing wrong”.

e. There are 150 rural pubs closing yearly and mainly due to this Dublin man’s ideas.

Apart from his business he was also concerned for his customers.

"What about the senior members of our society who built Ireland, locked away in isolated farms with, in some cases, nobody to chat to other than a cat, dog or cattle. Shame on you, Mr Ross.

“I know of senior men and ladies who used to frequent our pub for three or four drinks for the last 40 years and now they don’t unless I send my seven seater for them of a Saturday or Sunday night. I don’t support drink driving but there has to be a bit of common sense attached to rural areas and not because we are rural, but to keep people alive.

“People get depressed not been able to get out, it’s like sending them to prison, but they have done nothing wrong,” he said.

Mr Hogan suggested that the Government give publicans a tax break to drive customers.

He added that the younger generations’ attitude to drink driving has changed greatly and they arrange their lifts home and collect their cars the following day.

Under the new law a driver found to be over the limit faces an automatic driving ban for three months. One standard drinkcan put someone at risk of going over the limit. This can be a glass of beer, a small glass of wine or a pub measure of spirits.