Fears for ur­baneIre­land

The Irish Times - - Home News -

The cul­ture clash be­tween Leo Varad­kar and the ru­ral In­de­pen­dents is reg­u­larly stoked by the quar­tet of Mat­tie McGrath and the Healy-Rae broth­ers, with Michael Collins from Schull, Co Cork given the oc­ca­sional walk-on part.

Week in, week out, there are howls of protest over the Taoiseach’s cold­ness to ru­ral Ire­land as he var­i­ously closes it down, rips the heart of it, turns it into a waste­land and de­prives thirsty aul’ fel­las of their pints on the way home from Mass. This week, ac­cord­ing to Kerry’s Danny Healy-Rae, he blew “the so­cial fab­ric of ru­ral Ire­land to smithereens” and brought about a sit­u­a­tion where “peo­ple who need a car to get from A to B can’t even have one

pint”. And why was “the cul­ture of the ru­ral peo­ple be­ing blown to smithereens” by guards stop­ping thirsty aul’ fel­las on the roads at all times of the day and night and bag­ging them? Danny gave Leo the an­swer: “It was at your be­hest, try­ing to sat­isfy Minister Ross.” Shane Ross’s name was men­tioned again by McGrath, but this time it wasn’t in re­la­tion to ru­ral trans­port and the drink driv­ing laws. He wanted the Taoiseach to ask his Minister for Trans­port to ar­range a meet­ing be­tween one of his con­stituents and the Road Safety Au­thor­ity.

“There’s a young man in Tip­per­ary, an en­tre­pre­neur named Ja­son Ma­her, and he’s de­vel­oped a tyre app – and he’s with the RSA, up and down – a road safety app for tyre safety. And it’s the most im­por­tant part of the ve­hi­cle, is the con­nec­tion with roads and our tyres, and would you please ask Minister Ross to get the Road Safety Au­thor­ity to en­gage with him?” said Mat­tie, in the course of a some­what gar­bled con­tri­bu­tion.

Leo looked up and drawled: “For the ben­e­fit of the stenog­ra­pher, I think the Deputy said ‘tyre app’.” “Cor­rect,” nod­ded Mat­tie.

“I thought he said ‘tie rack’,” smirked the Taoiseach.

Michael Healy-Rae was not im­pressed. “There’s no need to be smart.”

But Leo was de­lighted with his lit­tle quip. “I wasn’t quite sure what use a tie rack would be to the Road Safety Au­thor­ity,” he chuck­led to him­self.

The Taoiseach ap­peared to give us an in­sight into his town-ver­sus-county view of politi­cians when com­ment­ing on Tues­day about the length of time it is tak­ing for leg­is­la­tion to go through.

“We have an ef­fec­tive fil­i­buster here by ru­ral In­de­pen­dents on the abor­tion Bill and a fil­i­buster in the Seanad by ur­bane In­de­pen­dents on the Ju­di­cial Ap­point­ments Bill.” Leo and the ru­ral ur­bane di­vide. In­ter­est­ing.

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