Protecting lives the most important thing

In fairness to the gardaí, despite all their failings nobody in their right mind could regard them, generally, as overly oppressive.

Taking all things into account, when the gardaí nab you for doing something wrong there’s probably a very good reason for it.

This week, it has emerged that Kerry has one of the highest drink driving conviction rates in the country, a fact that is entirely disappointing and one that must encourage us all to take road safety in general, and drink and drug driving in particular, even more seriously.

Unsurprisingly, Deputy Danny Healy-Rae is doubtful about the stats.

If he confined his concerns to previous mistakes made in respect of crime figures it would be regarded as reasonable.

However, he broadens the focus of his disapproval of garda tactics by complaining that drivers have been stopped and tested for drink driving going to and coming home from Mass.

And the question is: does Deputy Healy-Rae believe that God-fearing, Mass-attending Catholics are not capable of lashing down too much drink of a Saturday night, and that the residue may still be in their systems as they attend to their religious duties on Sunday morning?

If people are caught over the limit at that point, then they deserve to be hauled before the court. What, exactly is the problem? Protecting lives on our roads is so important that virtually all other considerations must give way.