Minister with special responsibility for unlicensed driving

It’s not clear which he’ll opt for, sending in his postal order for €80 and accepting his two penalty points for driving without a valid driving licence, or risk five points on his new licence by pleading his ignorance before a judge. Of course, it seems he’ll have to do neither, since the Gardaí have no plans to pursue the minister with regards to driving without a licence.

His defence is not that he definitely hasn’t been driving without a licence, but that he didn’t know it had expired. Minister Brennan’s licence expired over ten years ago, covering a period that found him on the opposition benches and so without a ministerial car and driver at his disposal. You’re a big boy now Seamus, we think you should have been paying attention.

Our handy cut-out-and-keep penalty points guide
Seamus Brennan backpeddling as always, possibly on his way back from the Aer Rianta Duty Free Shop
Brennan, possibly on his way back from Aer Rianta’s Duty Free Shop. We hear they sell decent enough cigars.

Offence Points
Driving without a valid driving licence 2
Failure to produce a driving licence 1
Driving without a seatbelt 2
Using a vehicle with no mirrors 1
Driving a vehicle not equipped with lights 1
Driving a vehicle without seatbelt anchorage points 2
Driving a vehicle with no indicators 2
Failure of a vehicle to comply with prohibitory traffic signs (such as a ‘bus lane’ sign) 2
Failure to comply with traffic lanes (i.e. driving in a bus lane) 1

Random Access Memory

“…his memory of the time is that, if he drove, it was only a little, because he had taken to using a bike at that stage, pedaling around the place,” says Tom Rowley, spokesman for Brennan.

“If he did drive during that period he was unaware or not informed his licence had expired.”

It’s interesting to note that it is now acceptable to drive “a little” without a licence, sure that’s grand, nothing to see here now, move along.


Yes folks, in a strange twist in the “what will aul’ Mr. Brennan do next” saga, the government’s darling of spin, our Minister for Transport, Seamus “Golden Gates” Brennan, has not had a driving licence for over ten years.

He does not seem to use bus or rail transport (except where a photo opportunity is in the offing), he occasionally travels by bicycle, although he is hardly bike friendly, last time BUSRAGE saw him on one of those was at the opening of the Dundrum bypass, a piece of road roundly condemned by the Dublin Cycling Campaign as a deathtrap.

It should come as no surprise that the minister would try to turn this around into a cute “just one of the common folk” story, with much being made out of the fact that he applied for the test and had to wait just like everybody else.

We’re just surprised he didn’t get a letter from his boss to try and skip the queue, maybe his boss wouldn’t sign it. We hear government ministers don’t really care for having things down on paper at the cabinet table these days.

That aside, facts are facts, and the cold hard reality is that any time he has been behind the wheel of a car over the last ten years he has been breaking the law. But no penalty points for our man in Transport House, no chat in front of a judge, and certainly no chance to be bunk mates with colleague Liam Lawlor in Mountjoy, perish the thought.

What comes out of this is another wasted opportunity, and even a wasted PR opportunity for Seamus Brennan. Instead of sending off for his provisional licence, applying to do the test and spending all that quality time with rally driver Rosemary Smith, he could have taken an “O’Rourke” bendi-bus down to 59 O’Connell Street and got himself a CIE Identity Card and commuter ticket.

Whatever about him having to wait for, and ultimately take, the driving test “just like the rest of us”, how about he wait for a 48A to take himself to work instead? Maybe if he had to commute to work instead of taking the limo we might start having some respect for him.

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