‘LUNACY’ Cllr Gerry Coyle.
It is very unlikely that Shane Ross received a Christmas card from Gerry Coyle, the Erris councillor who launched a scathing attack on the Transport minister.
Minister Ross’s plans to introduce tough new penalties for speeding and automatic fines for not carrying a driving licence were severely criticised by Cllr Gerry Coyle at the recent meeting of the West Mayo Municipal District.
The Geesala-based councillor said people in rural Ireland cannot survive without their driving licence, and he questioned how not the carrying or not of a licence could affect road safety. “What sort of nonsense is that?” he said at the meeting.
Road safety was not on the agenda, but Cllr Coyle raised the issue after hearing that a woman returning to Ireland has to go to Roscommon to get her licence renewed. He told the meeting that it is time to call a halt to the ‘daft ideas’ coming from the Department of Transport.
“This girl is coming home from abroad and first of all she cannot hire a car at the airport because her licence is out. She has to go to Roscommon on the 29th of [December] because it was the only place she could get to renew her licence. It would pay Shane Ross a small bit better to stop the nonsense that people have to go into a place and sit down before someone to get their licence renewed,” he said.
Illegals in US
The Fine Gael councillor also added that the new renewal procedures were affecting illegal Irish immigrants in the US who can no longer get their licence renewed.
“I have people illegal in America and I used to send the renewal forms to them and they sent them back signed with a picture, and we would get their licence renewed. Now they have to present themselves. They cannot come home for a funeral yet alone come for a licence.
“I know a woman who has two businesses in New York and another man with a business in San Francisco and now they have no licence because of the stupid goings on that are going on in this country.
“Yet we are sitting back lapping it up from whoever is coming up with these daft ideas. It is time to call a halt. It is something that has been bothering me for some time but even more so since I saw this lunacy about these points on your licence,” he said.
Cllr Coyle clarified that he is not advocating speeding. However, he said that if the new proposed penalties were introduced, it would hurt rural Ireland, who rely on cars to access health services and more.
“I am 40 miles from the nearest train and 50 from the nearest hospital and the CIÉ bus comes once a week to Geesala. There is no taxi or Luas or DART,” he said, before once again lashing out at the Department of Transport: “These people should cop themselves on.”
Cllr Coyle was supported by some of his fellow councillors, who proposed that they demand to meet with Minister Ross to voice their concerns.