Minister for Transport Shane Ross has said The Road Traffic Bill could cost publicans their livelihoods. The Minister was speaking during the Committee Stage of the Bill.

“What’s happening here is right and we have to pay a bit of a price for introducing it,” said Mr Ross.

“It will cost. Maybe it will cost some people dearly and their livelihoods and I don’t want to do that, at all.

“But sometimes you have to pay a price to save lives and for the greater good.”

Fianna Fail TD Robert Troy said the Bill failed to target the majority of drink-related road fatalities, where the driver was found to have over four times the legal limit. The Minister’s Bill proposes to introduce an automatic ban for drivers caught over 50mg – the legal limit.

“You choose to ignore people two, three and four times over the limit,” said Robert Troy.

Some TDs claim its “an attack on rural Ireland” and will hurt business especially pubs and off-licences. One of them is Fianna Fáil’s, Kevin O’Keeffe.

“When you go to a pub, you are drinking in a controlled environment. Some of these people are doing that,” said Mr O’Keeffe.

“But now, they’re at home and no control between the measures and the cans – they just drink over the limit.

“But there are other issues. Loneliness kicks and they don’t get a chance to go down and meet their neighbours or whatever,” added the Cork TD.