But John also hit the nail on the head by speaking the truth about the reality in rural Ireland nowadays in relation to the existing blood alcohol levels. He did not make the mistake that the angry Tipperary politician McGrath did when he suggested that a pint could improve the driving of nervous drivers.
What John said was that there were no global statistics for all the factors -- apart from alcohol levels -- behind our road casualties. That was a good point.
John also argued that speed rather than alcohol is probably the most potent factor involved, that young men driving too fast kill a lot more people than old bachelor farmers with two pints taken driving home at 30 miles an hour, very carefully, over roads they know like the backs of their hands. They cause fatalities very rarely indeed.
A linked point I'd like to make is that young men driving too fast are very rare visitors to the little quiet country pubs so important to their seniors. No, they are invariably coming home at high speed (often with no drink taken too!) from the kind of urbanized "plastic pubs" and nightclubs that are the only ones surviving all the negative factors now at play.
I suggest to all of you who love to come home to visit the pubs your fathers and grandfathers drank in to read John Spain's fine truths now if you have not read them already. You'll find them in the archive here at www.IrishCentral.com.