How will Ferris arrest play for election…

Over at Irish Election they are chewing over how Martin Ferris’ arrest on suspicion of drink driving might (or might not) affect his fortunes in the upcoming elections…

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  • Kerry North is a super-marginal with four credible candidates battling for three seats; given the Shinners are going to do well nationally, he ought to be safe but, at least up here drink-driving is almost as much of a no-no as kiddy fiddling (and rightly so, in my book).

    I get the impression attitudes have hardened in the rural South in recent years and this will be an interesting tester.

  • Pete Baker

    Worth noting, given the apparent emergence of a conspiracy theory already, that Ferris admits to drinking and driving

    He said he is hoping he will be okay but if the results show that he was over the limit he would be putting his hands up.

  • Turns out he had two pints and a glass of wine. Intersting to see how this fares in terms of blood alcohol.

    I reckon that should be his vote secured, not many voters in North Kerry will see any sin in two pints and a glass of wine.

  • ingram

    Cian,

    quote I reckon that should be his vote secured, not many voters in North Kerry will see any sin in two pints and a glass of wine.unquote.

    I will bet he is at least one and half times/ Twice over the legal limit.

    Your attitude reflected above is exactly why the carnage continues on Irish roads. He is a public figure and deserves to be punished just like anybody else and then move on.

    Ingram

  • Cato

    I respectfully contend that an electorate who forgave him for bringing in weapons to murder and maim people in Ireland may forgive him for drink-driving.

  • kokane

    Cato,

    a point well put.

    Another ROI election story. Bertie, his Da, his driver, the bag of money, the murdered Garda, the secret documents, the arms trial and the pre-PIRA paramiltiary group.

  • Ringo

    He has handled it very well to this point – good damage limitation. He won’t suffer, but SF’s attempt to portray themselves as a cleaner brand of politician, untouched by the grubby scandals that Fianna Fail specialise in, may be a little harder to sell. But that was never going to be as important in Kerry North as it is in some of the urban constituencies.

  • Ingram, i didnt intend to imply that I was ok with it, but as a native of the area I simply reflected what is pretty close to fact in my mind. The outlook in many parts of North Kerry is that 2 pints and a glass of wine is ‘not much’ and he will be seen as just a bit unlucky.

    My own view is drink driving is a big killer and a pretty horrendous crime.

    To this extent ringo is right, know your constituency and play your hand accordingly.

  • andy

    Isn’t the normal legal limit 5 units?
    Given the body excretes 1 unit an hour, and i would imagine a sit down meal takes around two hours, I would have thought he would be just under.
    We’ll see in due course I guess….

  • Isn’t the normal legal limit 5 units?

    Depends on how hefty you are and a host of other things not entirely in your control…

  • sammaguire

    Two pints and a glass of wine…often wrung more out of my tie! Of course he may not be telling the truth.

  • No one should vote for the c*nt.
    Over the limit or not drinking two pints and a glass of wine then getting in a car is seriously risky. There are enough deaths on the roads. If politicians can’t even abide by the laws they shouldn’t be allowed in office.

  • Gum

    I agree Maca, but how many politicians would fail that test. Might get us rid of Bush though…

  • Come in to the real world Kokane,

    “Another ROI election story. Bertie, his Da, his driver, the bag of money, the murdered Garda, the secret documents, the arms trial and the pre-PIRA paramiltiary group”.

    And in the NI election, the DUP led by Ian Paisley and Peter Robinson who helped (wearing red berets) to set up Ulster Resistance, a terrorist organisation responsible for the murder of innocent Catholics, were returned as the largest party with 30% of the vote…

  • miss fitz

    Maca
    There are legal limits for alcohol intake in the ROI. You may not agree with it, or feel that there should be zero tolerance, but the fact is that under the existing law Mr Ferris may well be under the limit.

    I think that his attitude is commendable. He put his hands up, didnt try to snake out of it and immediately gave his urine sample.

    2 pints and a glass of wine are very likely to be just on the limit for a man of his size and build. Under the existing law, he may indeed be under the limit, but its the law that needs looking at: not Mr Ferris

  • starbuck

    listening on the radio to his interview-

    he had the glass of wine earlier in the evening with a meal -around 7 o’clock i think he said

    the gardai stopped him around 1 am so the wine would well be out of his system

    and he’s a big Man so in theory 2 pints should put him under the limit

    let’s wait and see

  • miss fitz

    “There are legal limits for alcohol intake in the ROI…. but the fact is that under the existing law Mr Ferris may well be under the limit.”

    That’s not that point.

    “2 pints and a glass of wine are very likely to be just on the limit for a man of his size and build.”

    That is the point! He was taking a serious risk. And any public representative worth his/her salt should really be leading by example when it comes to such serious issues as this.

    “I think that his attitude is commendable.”

    I couldn’t disagree more, he was caught and took the best course of action he could. He is a politician after all.
    If he left his car and took a taxi then I might applaud him.

  • miss fitz

    Maca
    I am not taking a party political line on this, as I dont have a party political line.

    The simple point I am making is that the law allows for a certain amount of alcohol to be consumed in Ireland while remaining legally ‘fit’ to drive.

    My point is that the law needs to be reviewed, that there should be no ambiguity or guesswork about it. The law should hold that if you drink you dont drive.

    While we have this limit of alcohol allowed, people will always try to remain ‘within the limit’, in an attempt to remain within the law. The best solution is a zero tolerance approach to the subject and ban drinking and driving completely.

    It may not happen now, but in my day (fadó, fadó), many a politician wriggled out of a drunk driving charge by exerting influence. All I am saying about Ferris is that he appears to have put his hand up without prevarication or excuse and will accept the outcome.

  • SuperSoupy

    The question is now how will it play with the electorate it having been proven that Martin Ferris wasn’t over the limit:

    http://www.irishexaminer.com/breaking/story.asp?j=4649625&p=464964x&n=4649717&x=

    maca’s rant is shown up as a load of baseless bluster it was.

  • Lessons learned all round by the looks of it.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Supersoupy

    “maca’s rant is shown up as a load of baseless bluster it was.”

    I think you’re being very harsh on Maca. I happen to agree with his post, but even if I didn’t, it’s no “rant”.

    It’s good that Ferris wasn’t over the limit, and it’s even better that he has said: “if he found himself in the same position again, he would not get behind the wheel of his car.”

    I must admit, I’m an ultra on the drink driving issue – I wouldn’t drive, even after a mouthful of beer, and I don’t think anyone should. I certainly wouldn’t drive after two pints and a glass of wine, and I take a very dim view of anyone doing so – including Mr Ferris.

    Clearly it was a dumb thing to do, and it’s a positive that he admits this, and isn’t going to do it again. Fair play.

    The fact that he was under the limit is not something he should be commended for – he lucked out and got away with it, but he definitely deserves a stern shake of the head and a serious telling off from the good people of Kerry North.

    (Another worry: are people now going to think that three drinks is under the limit? Are Guards going to have to listen to lots of “it’s less than Martin Ferris” defences?)