SENATOR Denis O’Donovan has described as ‘overkill’ a vitriolic response to an image he shared on Facebook.
The image in question was that of a smiling 88-year-old man purporting to come from Kildare. And beneath it was the claim that ‘15 pints a day is the secret to living a long and happy life.’
In a letter emailed to the editor of The Southern Star, Oliver Sadler of Castledonovan said he was ‘shocked and outraged at a public representative sharing such nonsense on a public forum.’
Mr Sadler said he imagined the Road Safety Authority would be ‘horrified to see Senator O’Donovan condoning such rubbish.’
The letter writer grants that the senator might have thought it was funny, but he clearly did not.
In fact, he expressed concern that another West Cork public representative – the poll-topping independent Cllr Danny Collins – ‘liked’ the post.
‘Do these people realise how many people die each year in Ireland due to drink driving incidents?’ asked Mr Sadler, who went on to suggest that people should be held ‘accountable’ for their Facebook posts, shares and likes.
Senator O’Donovan confirmed that he shared the post but said: ‘Most people who saw it thought it was so funny as to be unbelievable.
I saw it as a joke – no more – and did not intend to insult anyone, or to condone drink-driving.’
Cllr Danny Collins said he doesn’t condone anyone drinking excessively either, but added: ‘I do know elderly people who like to go for a pint, but can’t leave their homes because of the new drink-driving laws, and that is leading to rural isolation.’
As for the post showing a smiling elderly man, Cllr Collins said: ‘If he’s happy, I would not hold it against him.’