Exclusive: Politics.ie now home to even more “young adult” whingebags

Politics.ie, you know the site that makes The Phoenix magazine look like the Irish Times, has paused giving up on breaking false rumours and innuendo (never wrong for long you know!) and instead has gone gung-ho against the Government, Gay Byrne, the Road Safety authority and anyone that would in any way look sideways at people in their Honda Civics with L plates. Yup, if you’re one of those who will now rightfully be supervised until you get off your ass and do your driving test, then go to Politics.ie right now. Yes, it’s a lot like Bebo. LOLZ wtf lolocopterz. txt spk.

Has a learner driver anything to do with running this PramToyEjection campaign we wonder?

Anyway I could write more on the sheer stupidity and idiocy of the arguments from people obviously too lazy to learn to pass the driving test but Elly has summed it up succintly for me. Get off the fucking roads if you don’t like the rules, little ones. Less people will die as a result. While you might be happy ploughing your prams, sorry cars, into walls and trucks and other cars, please don’t do it while taking out innocent people on the roads and footpaths of this country. If it takes someone else in the car to tell you sensible things like “don’t overtake on this dangerous bend” then so be it. Sit the fucking test and less of the crap about waiting lists. It’s a fatarsed lie.

According to the Politics.ie press statement, 6,000 people have visted the site over this issue and one of the polls, not the one asking Gay Byrne to resign (9 votes!), not the should we burn down mosques one, probably this one: Should the Government give more time before putting 100,000 drivers off the road?, the press release said 72 percent voted against the implementation of the new RSA measures, I guess that would be this poll where a whopping 139 people visited. 68% is what it stands at now.

Want to join my Facebook Group? Dear L drivers, shut the fuck up and take the damned test

Oh looky, a sensationalist headline and post. I’m reminded of what exactly…

Update: Dear learners.

53 Responses to “Exclusive: Politics.ie now home to even more “young adult” whingebags”

  1. Damien says:

    Also, for those with their full licence, if you want to post a pic of it, I’ll add it to the post 🙂

  2. [1] No unqualified drivers allowed on public highway unless under professional instruction.

    [2] Mandatory defined training scheme

    [3] Professional qualification for driving instructors.

    [4] Voiding of all licences handed out under amnesty

    [5] Re-test of all drivers every five years.

    [7] Oh and ban agricultural vehicles from national routes permanently and from all other routes between the hours of 7am and 7pm

    Result = Watch the death rate plummet.

  3. elly parker says:

    Hoi you! Nothing wrong with Honda Civic drivers! But at least ours doesn’t have ‘L’ plates on it!

    I would post a pic of my licence here, but can’t be arsed to snap/scan it. But I will say that I’m 29, and over 2 years into my 2nd ten-year licence – yup, I’ll do the math for the kiddies, I passed my test at 17, as did 95% of my classmates.

    And before someone begins to bitch that it’s different in Northern Ireland, the pass rate WAS higher then, probably because we have licensed, qualified instructors, not just people who place an ad in the golden pages…

    It’s all about wanting something and just going out there and getting it.

  4. Colm says:

    I used to be a regular reader and some time poster on Politics.ie. In the run up to the election it was interesting. However with 5 years to the next election the thin layer of interesting posts has been scraped away and all they are left with is about 10 or 12 fanatics who seem to do nothing else all day but generate hundreds of posts slagging each other off on the board. The baiting of Fianna Fail and Sinn Fein is particularly endless. The only actual politician on it seems to be a failed Sinn Fein election candidate from Tipperary but he seems no closer to the decision making center of his party than the other party hacks running around the board posting how bad the other side is. They all got worked up about 2 weeks before the election over some exclusive that Enda Kenny was about to resign for some scandal. 6 months later nothing. That unfortunately is typical of the editorial standards on the site.

    It has now descended into childish squabbling and I’m not surprised they are so worked up about learner drivers finally being forced to abide by the law because I suspect most of them are naive secondary school kids.

  5. Elana says:

    Now, there’s one part of the population that isn’t boy racers who have to sit their tests…immigrants. To put it simply, many countries don’t have reciprocal exchange agreements with Ireland, and so even if you have a clean driving record (which I do, and have it on paper since I started driving), we now have to go through the rigamarole of crap about getting our full lic. Yes, I know I’ve lived here for 8 years. I’ve been a little busy having a freaking life. At least our kid lives close enough to his school that we can walk or bike.

    There is one thing I don’t get: how can you practice in your car if your partner doesn’t have their lic for more than 2 years? That doesn’t make sense to me. It’s like they’re punishing people for getting their act together and taking the test.

    All the talk is about the 18-24 group…what about the other groups? Should I be punished cause I’m 36?

  6. elly parker says:

    Elana, that’s a weak argument in fairness – if you are a good driver then a couple of lessons to brush up and an hour to take the test – you really couldn’t find that time in 8 years? Less than 5 hours of your life?

    And as for the needing a qualified driver with at least 2 years on a full licence, that’s only common sense – someone who has hopefully had experience on the roads and can advise the learner. In the UK the rules are even stricter, the accompanying passenger must have their licence 3 years and be over 21.

    If you’ve really been too lazy to get this sorted in 8 years, then yes, you should be punished along with the rest of them.

  7. Damien says:

    Too busy having a freaking life? Isn’t everyone else too? That’s not an excuse for failing to take a driving test in 8 years. We all have lives and driving is an essential part of living and surviving in Ireland, if you didn’t think getting tested was important for those 8 years, fine. Now you have no choice.

  8. Conor says:

    Yes the death rate is too high.
    But we have also to accept that hundreds of thousands of 1.5 tonne blocks of metal travel all over the country at 100 KPH. Sometimes they’ll bump into things and each other with catastrophic consequences but no amount of scare mongering will stop that.
    It took me until my third test to pass with almost a year in between each sitting. I don’t envy those waiting now. The panic the government has caused will only increase the waiting time forcing more and more L drivers to go it alone on the roads.

    Oh, and this on the same week the give themselves a huge pay hike. Sounds like a very well thought out way to make that story disappear.

  9. elly parker says:

    Conor – if they even cut the number of roads deaths by 50 next year due to this measure then I’d say an extra €38,000 for Bertie is worth it.

    If other countries have lower road death rates per capita, then there’s no valid argument why ours couldn’t be lower. If we had properly qualified instructors then the pass rates would go up and the waiting times would go down (if most people need 3 attempts then that basically trebles the waiting list… and says that most people are taking it before they are ready).

  10. Daithí says:

    Watching the news about this this evening. Parade of people talking about how upset this makes them. Particularly loved the guy on his first licence who drives to college every day – someone should tell him that it’s *already illegal* to do this and he shouldn’t go around confessing such on national TV…

    Join the Facebook group!

  11. Elana says:

    My problem is that I’m an excellent driver, but not in the Irish style. I don’t understand the handbrake properly (in the states, I never used it), and backing up around a corner sounds horribly dangerous! I have to re-learn how to drive, and that’s what’s going to take a long time (and I wonder if the driving instructors will be putting up their charges now? Damn, I’m bitter).

    A friend suggested a new pressure group: Ireland Off-road.

  12. 73man says:

    Well, yea, I mean obviously not you Elana. I mean you’re one of the good immigrants 😉

  13. Justin Mason says:

    I’m in exactly the same boat as Elana — I have a full US licence, which is worth fuck all here.

    The Irish driving test is hilarious — it’s a collection of wierd practices that have no correlation to what’s actually safe on the road. What’s the point of turning the wheel in the opposite direction before stopping, during the 3-point turn? Turns out it’s to save tyre wear and tear. They’ll give you a mark down if you don’t do it. Totally absurd; that’s not an accurate test of driving ability, it’s nitpicking wankology.

    In the meantime there’s fully licensed boy racers doing 90mph on country roads at 1am every weekend, and changing the learner-permit laws won’t make a difference there at all. Read the RSA strategy document — they pretty clearly point out that L-plates/no-L-plates has no correlation with road deaths (the age of male drivers is a causative factor, but if that was correlated with L plates, they’d point it out). They just took the opportunity to make a few tweaks to the learner-permit rules while they had a mandate to change things…

  14. Adam says:

    No problem with the rule changes, badly needed.

    Every problem with the implementation, from the extremely short notice, to the fact that the test waiting lists aren’t yet at an acceptable level, to the fact that our Minister for Transport has taken the typically idiotic Irish approach of “yeah, it’ll be the law but I wouldn’t worry about it for the time being”.

    I’m not sure if Conor’s suggestion of a mandatory 5-year re-test was a suggestion or something that’s actually coming but I wouldn’t see a problem with that – from what I see most bad driving comes from people who pass the test and figure their road safety knowledge is thus useless to them… kind of like how you cram for an exam and forget it all once it’s over.

    Either that or the Gardaí could, I dunno, be given the means to actually enforce all road safety legislation and then be expect to do so… but that’s just a crazy notion I have about effective policing.

  15. Conor says:

    300 driving test applications an hour today. Looks like we’re going to be back to waiting an eternity for the drivers test.
    The idea as a whole is no doubt an excellent one. Anything to save lives must be, but it was done at the wrong time. We’re not ready to handle such an influx of examinations. When the drivers test can be sat ever few weeks then no-one will have anything to complain about.
    The truth of the matter is that there’s an 18 week average and double that in built up areas, Cork, Dublin etc. i.e., the areas most affected. The system has been abysmal for too long. Forcing people to apply ASAP will only add to that. We should at least wait until we have approached European waiting standards before we try to ban people from the roads.
    We were promised a huge increase in the amount of testers, but as with all public services this hasn’t happened.
    Driving instructors must be rubbing their hands with glee. I wonder how much they will hike their prices up by now. What’s needed is education, especially in the schools. The government can hand out their laws but what have they done to train learner drivers. Correct me if I’m wrong but I know of no public driving training centre. They demand that we pay some of the highest road tax in Europe, along with the illegal VRT. What do drivers get back? A yet sub par road network.
    This is a poorly managed wealthy nation. We have the means to train learner drivers but lack the will. For too long peoples fathers, mothers etc have thought people to drive and at €40 an hour for an instructor who can blame them. If they provide the training then they can demand all the testing the wish. And please no-one dare say that driving is a privilege not a necessity, our public transport system is a shambles also.

  16. Conor says:

    Oh, and Elly, €38,000 in exchange for 50 lives? Not the point. My issue was the timing. They covered one story that would have outraged the nation with another.
    I’ve no doubt that if this controversy with learner drivers hadn’t happened we’d all be arguing about the pay increase.

  17. I’m with Justin and Elana regarding the reciprocal respect for full driving licenses, especially those with an international endorsement like mine. Sometime in the next 20 years I will take the Irish road test (I pass the Irish written test every year because it’s fun to pay for people who invigilate) but in the meantime, I feel privileged to drive on a sorta provisional license that an Irish insurance company has accepted on the back of an expired German license and full US license with an international endorsement. I also have an American insurance policy that covers me in Ireland so I’m conscious of my civic responsibilities, to a point. I have not taken the Irish driving test because of the queues. Fix that by reducing the wait to less than a fortnight and I’ll make the time. In the meantime, I have taken two flight examinations in Ireland which keeps my instructor instrument certification current and under Irish aviation regulations would allow me to land on a remote stretch of country laneways, sharing the byway with another long-time unlicensed Irish driver.

    I have been stopped twice in Ireland and asked to show my license. After a little chin rubbing, I’m allowed to go on my way. It helps when I revert to my strong Pennsylvania accent while asking if I’m “on the right road to GALE-way.”

    Going after the L and R contingent in Ireland is more confrontational than shutting down a country pub after midnight. You affect the “right” of passage on commons roadways and that cuts to the quick of the Irish psyche, or so it seems from the shitstorm lashing about in the Republic at the moment.

  18. elly parker says:

    Conor – do your research at least before quoting all those stats from your arse. Current average waiting times are 23 weeks, down from 33 this time last year. 10 new test centres have open, there are now 83 in Ireland compared to 73 this time last year. The RSA has created 2000 extra tests per week. All these figures are available on the RSA.ie website. To me, applying basic knowledge of statistics, that shows a downward trend.

    Doing a quick search on google.co.uk for driving lesson prices, shows costs per hour of £18 – 24 stg, which converts to €25 – 35. A quick search on google.ie shows prices in Ireland of €35 – 40, which can also be reduced by buying a bulk set of lessons. Considering that tax and insurance are more expensive (as is life generally in Ireland) those are pretty fair rates.

    The DVTA UK also surveys all candidates when they pass (and in NI, the pass rates are lower than in Ireland on average). The candidates who passed have done an average of 45 hours of lessons with instructors and 22 hours of private practice. Learning to drive is an expensive experience, and I’d suggest if research was done across all European countries you would find similar statistics there.

    Yes, we have waiting lists, yes we have sub-par roads in a lot of the country, yes we have a public transport system in needs of improvement – but are you seriously suggesting that the government just wave a magic wand and make it all better?

    Public transport in a lot of areas is non-existent BECAUSE so many people drive. It would not be profitable for companies to run buses/trains there. Taking a lot of UNQUALIFIED drivers off the road will inevitably improve the public transport in a lot of areas as the demand increases and the companies will finally be able to make a profit.

    There’s too much hysteria over this whole issue. How many of the whiners are actually on their 2nd provisional licence? They are the only ones affected, it was ALREADY illegal for people on their 1st, 3rd, 4th and subsequent licences to drive unaccompanied. And just how were the Garda supposed to tell the difference, pull over every single ‘L’ plated driver and check their licence?

    I know of several people, in their thirties, still on provisional licences that don’t display ‘L’ plates even though they are required to and drive high powered ‘exec’ cars. I would never get in a car with them, as I wouldn’t feel safe doing so – We have a minimum standard of driving as measured by our driving test and they haven’t managed / bothered to achieve it.

    As I pointed out on my own blog post, if you are on your 2nd provisional licence, then you held your 1st provisional for 2 years before that. Even with waiting periods of 33 weeks, you would have had 3 chances to sit your driving test (remember that people could have applied the day they got their provisional up until this announcement):

    2 years = 104 weeks / 33 = 3.1

    It’s the usual people moaning about a situation that has been created due to their own laziness and incompetence, they just need to get over themselves and get on with life…

  19. elly parker says:

    Bernie, does your American insurance policy cover all those students you keep driving around in your car? I really hope so, otherwise I’d find that unacceptable risk taking…

  20. Carrigaline says:

    You’re some man to be giving out about “young adult” whingebags Mulley! Through IrelandOffline, you must be one of the high priest of complaining!

  21. Elana says:

    Quick question for you all…how can a body like the RSA decide these things, and then they become law with no public consultation? Or agreement from the Dail? They can arbitrarily make new laws? I don’t understand, can someone explain it please?

  22. elly parker says:


    The Road Safety Authority (RSA) is tasked with improving safety on our roads in order to reduce death and injury resulting from road collisions. The legal basis for the RSA is set out in the Road Safety Authority Act 2006:


  23. Justin Mason says:

    ‘As I pointed out on my own blog post, if you are on your 2nd provisional licence, then you held your 1st provisional for 2 years before that. Even with waiting periods of 33 weeks, you would have had 3 chances to sit your driving test (remember that people could have applied the day they got their provisional up until this announcement):’

    It’s not always as simple as that — I had my first prov license, then went to Australia after 6 months; came back, eventually applied for my second, and went to the US (where I then got a full license). Now I’m back in Ireland, and on my third, regardless of how much time I’ve actually spent on *Irish* roads. 😉

    It took about an entire year for my driving test to come through (which it eventually did last month). This was at the Raheny test centre, in Dublin.

  24. elly parker says:

    Justin, if you are on your 3rd provisional, then nothing at all has changed for you… even before these changes, you were required to be accompanied at all times, that is/was the law…

    Raheny is notorious as having one of the longest waiting times in the country. These waiting times for each centre are publicly available (see link in 2nd paragraph here: http://www.citizensinformation.ie/categories/travel-and-recreation/motoring-1/driving-tests/driving_test), I found them within 2 mins after a quick google search. If you really wanted to get your test quicker, it’s perfectly legal to apply to one of the other centres, I believe that you nominate this on the application form?

    And don’t give me the bull about, needing to know the route and the area, a couple of quick lessons with a local instructor elsewhere (Tallaght, waiting time 19 weeks, for example) would sort you out with that. It’s supposed to be a test of everyday driving knowledge, not of one area or another. You won’t spend the rest of your life only driving in areas that you know will you?

  25. Andrew says:

    Personally, though, I’m not surprised the implementation is such a shambles, with Dempsey involved. This is the best he could come up with (breakingnews.ie): “the reason to introduce the measure immediately was to prevent a flood of applications for tests and licences by people hoping to beat the deadline.”

    What the hell does that mean? They deliberately did it this way to catch out the absolute maximum number of people? They admit the testing system is a mess and is incapable of any increase, even a necessary one they’re just about to cause? It doesn’t even make any sense given how the new law applies to everyone, not just to new licenses.

    And all this will-they/won’t-they on the enforcement… Does nobody there talk to anybody? Can nothing be planned in a neat, organised fashion?

    But (and maybe I’m veering off into Politics.ie style here, but I’m just so sick of it), it really is typical of Fianna Fáil. They managed the plastic bag tax and just managed the smoking ban (months late). Took years to do random drink testing (“ah, jaysus lads, we can just do it after all”). Anything more complicated and they just can’t get it together without it looking like a half-assed transition-year project.

    Summary: Agree with new rules, but implementation is, as always, a thrown-together mess.

  26. lexia says:

    Wa wa wa. Just sit the test and be done with it…

    Bitching about arcane parts of the test is not going to give you the freedom to drive without a licensed driver. Yes – the driving test needs to be reformed, but stop compaining and start passing.

  27. Justin Mason says:

    ‘ It’s supposed to be a test of everyday driving knowledge, not of one area or another. ‘

    it’s obviously been a while since you took the test, if you think that’s the case!

  28. lexia says:

    @Justin: Was that last comment directed at me?

    I have my driving licence almost 6 years.. Whether or not you agree with the skills one needs to exhibit in a driving test, you will be obliged to have a licenced driver in your car when you want to drive.. Pure and simple.

    The driving test is a different conversation… Now that the freedom that learners have enjoyed has been clamped down, they are clouding the issue in a outcry.. Get your arguments straight here

  29. elly parker says:

    Actually yes, Justin, it’s a long time since I took my test. I learned for 2 months and 5 days back in 1995 in Northern Ireland and passed my test on the first attempt with only 1 minor fault.

    That’s why I’m qualified to tell you that if you can drive properly, you can drive anywhere.

    I’m just back from driving 4000+ miles around the European mainland in 3 weeks (shared 50-50 with my husband). In all that mileage we never even had a near miss, yet my husband sees them around him every day as he drives the N7/M7. It’s all about the education and respect for other road users which doesn’t seem to exist in this country!

    I’d happily sit my test again tomorrow in any area that you choose. Being a good driver means being able to read the road and the signage and react appropriately in all circumstances. It means owning a car that you know you can handle and being able to check that it’s roadworthy. If you felt comfortable with your skills and your car then you would have sat and passed your test by now.

  30. elly parker says:

    Lexia – Justin was aiming that comment at me…

  31. […] L drivers, shut the fuck up and take the damned test”. He calls those complaining “whingebags” which is rich from someone who regularly uses his right to complain and has built a strong […]

  32. lexia says:

    @Elly: Hehe 🙂 You know me, ploughing into convos !

  33. elly parker says:

    @Lexia – s’ok! Passing the torch to you now to keep up our end of the discussion, I’m going shopping to spend those nice shiny wedding vouchers on white goods!

  34. lexia says:

    @Elly Haha, ‘erm thanks I guess..
    Remember, go for triple A rated appliances where possible..

  35. Elana says:


    “That’s why I’m qualified to tell you that if you can drive properly, you can drive anywhere.”

    Yes, you can drive, but if it’s legally or not is a different story. Remember, I’ve been driving here for 7 years (illegally), because the lessons and the test itself scares the pants off me. There are things in the test that might be testing your competence as a driver, but as a driver of 20 years (and clean driving record) there are things on that test I would NEVER do on a road because it’s unsafe.

    Anyway, yes, whoever said that reforming the test is a different story is totally right. And yes, I do only have myself to blame. But there are people who are doing it all right (they’ve just come of age, are following the rules) who just got completely screwed. Well, if they decide to start enforcing on Tuesday. Which according to the Indo, the Gardai probably won’t.

  36. Branedy says:

    You folks don’t seem to realize that the driving changes were a diversion, using Dempsey, the clown, to divert attention away from the huge pay increase that Bertie and the gang gave themselves, and you all bit.

  37. lexia says:

    @Elana: I say lo-jack all drivers (kidding). But, seriously, changing the habits of licenced drivers will only come with enforcement.. More traffic corps and more speed cameras. That still doesn’t change the fact that learner drivers will legally need a full licence-holder to accompany them on trips. Two different issues.

    Also, I want to see licenced drivers retest every 5 years too. Misuse of indicators, bad manners on motorways and confusion on roundabouts by licensed drivers smells of ignorance. Of course, once the wait time for a test comes down..

  38. For the record, I have a chauffer insurance policy from a business in the States which has 100/300/500 cover for everything I operate with a wheel on a road. That policy pays $100,000 to cover each injury, $300,000 to cover each event, and $500,000 to cover damage arising to related fixtures or premises. It costs $40 a month and gives me peace of mind.

  39. Damien says:

    Nice deal, does this apply to Irish people? Got a link? At least Elana can take up the offer!

  40. lexia says:

    Sounds like a sweet deal, Bernie.. Do spill

  41. elly parker says:

    @Branedy – no, we do realise that ‘Bertie and the gang’ voted themselves a huge payrise this week. Since I didn’t vote Fianna Fail at the last election, but lots of other muppets in this country did, they are in power and can give themselves payrises as often as they want. We can’t change that until the next election, when I will go out campaigning for another party. All we are doing is putting forth our opinions on this issue, since it affects the entire population of the country, instead of just a small group.

  42. Damien says:

    Noel Dempsey while not loyal is not suicidal. If it was a conspiracy to cover the pay issue then “grab your guns and I’ll fight ye” O’Dea would be wheeled out. Fianna Fail have brass balls and could care less about what people think and people in the majority don’t care about the pay hikes since they too are on some form of gravy train. This is how they got voted back in, in part. There is no conspiracy. This was on the way.

  43. Elana says:

    @Bernie…email me details of cover? Our cover here is ludicrous!

  44. Branedy says:

    Elly, those who forget Haughey, are destined to re-live Haughey.

  45. Justin Mason says:

    Actualy, if the Republic’s driving test was like the Northern one, that’d be fine; the problem is, it isn’t.

    Mind you there are some other reasons why it’d be great if the test here was like it is up there, too 😉

  46. Elana says:

    Interesting. From the article:

    “Northern Ireland is one of the few regions with a 45mph (72km/h) limit for all learner and recently qualified drivers. However, the report found no evidence that this restriction was reducing crashes for these drivers, and added there seemed to be little enforcement of it.

    The Audit Office study said data from speed cameras at two major Belfast roads recorded “a speeding ‘R’ driver every two minutes” and said such levels of non-compliance call into question the effectiveness of the scheme.”

  47. Branedy says:

    Gee, how interesting that the government is back peddling now, almost as it nothing was going to change. AS IF the Garda were going to change their enforcement operations.

  48. Conor says:

    Maybe they delayed things until they thought they’d be able to handle such an influx. Why wasn’t this done from from that start? They’ve got the right idea but at the worst possible time.
    If they see it fit to increase their pay to match the private sector then they should be subject to the same insecurity. Any board member who made so many countless poor decisions would be left go.
    Brass balls Damien? You’re right. The problem is we “see no evil” as the monkeys we are.

  49. Chaz says:

    Ah !

    Dempsey Dempsey Dempsey Dempsey Dempsey Dempsey Dempsey Dempsey Dempsey Dempsey Dempsey Dempsey Dempsey Dempsey Dempsey Dempsey Dempsey Dempsey Dempsey Dempsey Dempsey Dempsey Dempsey Dempsey Dempsey Dempsey Dempsey Dempsey Dempsey Dempsey Dempsey Dempsey Dempsey Dempsey Dempsey

    What a guy, still nothing whatsoever done for Shannon but we have all forgotten that now have we not ???

  50. Brian says:

    I just had a friend email me a petition to get rid of Noel Dempsey. I asked him a couple of questions, and surprise, surprise, he’s up for his second provisional in November. I haven’t heard his excuse for not having a real licence yet, but I’m sure it’s a genuine sob story. 🙂