Driving in Rural Ireland – The new Russian Roulette


Every time I contact my family in Ireland, they are always going on about the carnage on Irish roads…It wasn’t until we witnessed the LUDICROUS speed limits on the tiniest of roads (called boreen’s) that we understood why the road accident statistics are as they are.


So confused were Dara and I by this phemomenon, that I decided to “go all Nano” (a reference to Dara’s grandmother), and write a letter to the AM radio hosts of the country. We’re still awaiting a reply…


Dear Joe,

Please settle a bet for me.

My partner and I have been debating the insanity of Irish road rules,
and we’d like you to enlighten us by answering the following:

The only sane reason that boreen’s are signposted at 80km/hr is:

(a) Someone with dodgy handwriting tried to order a thousand 30km/hr signs
(b) Local councillors were on the strong tea when voting for the speed limit
(c) England gave Ireland a heap of 80km/hr signs for free
(d) If no one can break the speed limit, then no one has to police it
(e) As a dare
(f) Ireland is trying to re-brand the infamous Russian Roulette.

Surely the answer is one of the above?

No nation in their right mind would actively promote the ludicrous speed
limits of boreen’s and still consider their country to be taken seriously.


As an Irish native living abroad, I would like to avoid the shameful dinner
party conversation that is the joke of Irish roads, and the inevitable
comment of “it’s so expensive in Ireland, even the speed limit has been
hit by inflation”.

And don’t even get me started on the winding Ring of Kerry. 110km/hr on
those roads? Could Schumacher even achieve this top speed? In Australia,
doing 110km/hr is a multi-lane freeway luxury!

So please, settle the argument for me Joe. Spill the beans. How have these
little roads in Ireland been granted such impossible speed allowances?

Awaiting enlightenment,

Nemara Hennigan