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German TV station airs Healy Rae drink-drive segment

Around 2 million viewers tuned in to watch a report that featured uileann pipes, ballad singing and countless pints of Guinness.

Image: Spiegel TV

KERRY COUNCILLOR DANNY Healy Rae’s controversial proposals to allow drinkers in rural areas drive home after a few pints have reached a wider international audience, following the broadcast of a segment on the publican-turned-politician as part of a major German current affairs programme.

The crew from Spiegel TV filmed the report back in Kilgarvan in May, and it was broadcast to around 2 million viewers on Sunday night. Healy Rae’s proposal that people in certain areas should be allowed ‘two or three’ drinks was backed by Kerry County Council back in January, leading to widespread condemnation.

The report takes a light-hearted approach to the subject matter, opening with a shot of a lone uileann piper standing in a rain-swept Kerry mountain scene. Action then moves on to Healy Rae’s bar, where the narrator states that the councillor is spearheading efforts to allow drinkers a “three Guinness tolerance” from authorities.

70-year-old local ‘Francie’ is the main focus of the piece. The pensioner – with thick, grey sideburns and wearing a tweed hat, is shown singing a plaintive ballad at the bar and sipping a pint of stout. He is “exactly as you would imagine a real Irishman,” the voiceover says.

The final scene of the segment shows Francie getting behind the wheel and buckling-up as he prepares for the drive home. He tells the TV crew he’s “not worried about being caught” and that he has his dog with him as a guide.

You can watch the full segment over on the Spiegel TV site .

Read: Kerry councillors back plan to allow drink-driving ‘in moderation’>

Read: Here’s how the world reacted to the Kerry drink-driving story>

About the author:

Daragh Brophy

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