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Sgt Mattie.

The Late Late Show

MAURICE HICKEY WEEKLY

Pat is proud to support
Power 4 Good Ireland
27th Aug 2016

Driving Habits

A major crackdown on the driving habits of the locals was launched here last week.

Our own Sergeant McKready against his better judgement has been chosen to spearhead the campaign. The poor man is not to be envied he is a great upholder of the law but is also a great believer in flexibility .
I met him on the street and the man is none too impressed with this latest effort the good rural Garda lives by the elastic band rather than the iron fist he says .
Rural people are the best in the world he continued except when it comes to the motor traffic department in that regard the place is full of chancers.
I suppose the Sergeant has a point travelling on country roads you are likely to meet any sort of a contraption. A speciality is the fella driving along with the bale of hay or the bag of feed on the bonnet and him leaning out the window trying to get a view of the road .
Ronnie Hartley from Glennabuddybugga comes to mind immediately He was bringing two calves to the vet in Glengooley recently and as usual his sheepdog came along for the drive. The dog had his head stuck out the passenger window while the two calves were standing on the back seat with their heads stuck out each of the rear windows.
Now like most natives of Glennabuddybugga Ronnie believes the Glen is another world Motor tax insurance. TV license and property taxes are alien concepts once you cross Barnamwale and descend into the Glen. In fact Ronnie not only lives in Glennabuddybugga he inhabits a completely different reality to most of us. His encounters with the forces of law and order and local bureaucracy are the stuff of legend and lore.
Sergeant McKready was on point duty at Moyganny Cross as Ronnie approached with his bovine and canine passengers hanging out the windows of the vintage Ford Sierra.
Ronnie youre welcome to these parts says he I notice my friend you are not wearing a safety belt.
Sure what need have I of a safety belt guard Look at the size of me amnt I jammed up against the steerin wheel Im what you could call an organic airbag.
Indeed arent we all said the Sergeant I also notice that none of your passengers is wearing a belt.
Lave me alone says Ronnie sure theres no talkin to them guard. Ive told them four times to put on the belts but I might as well be talkin to the wind.
The Sergeant walked around the car and calculated that the amount of penalty points due to Ronnie would see him off the road for life. He also knew if he pursued matters it would make headlines locally and maybe even nationally Ronnies appearance in court would provide weeks of entertainment meanwhile McKready would be left to look like a complete fool.
Pull into that gap the Sergeant said to Ronnie. Meanwhile he phoned the vet who as luck would have it wasnt far away . He came and treated the calves on the side of the road after which the Sergeant escorted Ronnie back to the lip of Barnamwale and told him if he appeared outside Glenanbuddybugga in that contraption of a car again hed jail him.
The Sergeant isnt always such a soft touch and at times his flexible nature can be stretched too far. The parking habits of the locals often drive him mad. It drives us all mad rural people dont park vehicles they abandon them.
A recent victim of these habits was May Brennan. May opened a new boutique in Honetyne a few months ago a brave thing to do in the back arse of nowhere. She had a special bridal event last week for prospective brides their mothers and those who wanted to go along for a gawk.
Anyway the great and the good of the locality were gathered in all their finery sipping champers and nibbling morsels of God-knows-what when who pulled up and parked the pavement outside but young Cantillon on an enormous John Deere tractor with a full slurry tank behind it. He jumped off the machine and disappeared into Marty Hayess shop for a jumbo breakfast roll.
Well the stink from the slurry quickly seeped into Mays boutique altering the flavour of the canapes and adding a certain je-ne-sais-quoi to the bouquet of the champagne Sergeant McKready was dropping off the wife and daughter at the event and May came out to complain. The Sergeant went into Hayess shop and taking young Cantillon by the scruff of the neck ordered him back on the tractor telling him if he didnt take the thing at least two miles out of the village hed make him drink the contents of the tank .
Are there medals for sensible guards.