Edmond’s caravan plan One man who will not have to worry about drink driving charges or random breath testing after a night out is Donamon bachelor Edmond Walsh. Why? Because Edmond has decided that enough is enough and has purchased a caravan to take refuge in at closing time to avoid any unwanted brush with the law. Edmund (known locally as ‘Forty’) was in the pub trade himself years ago when he owned a public house ‘Forty’s’ in his native Belmullet, before selling the establishment over thirty-years ago. He bought a house in the Salthill area of Galway city before selling up and moving to Dublin where he lived until he decided he wanted to retire to the country and moved to Co. Roscommon over three years ago where he wanted to lead a peaceful life – including a few quiet pints every so often. In order to do this Edmund has felt the need to buy a caravan so he has somewhere to lay his head after last orders have been called in the bar. He intends to bring his mobile home along with him to the pub and park it outside so he can enjoy his night without the worries of how and when he is getting home. The drink driving laws have been certainly a talking point since the anti-drink driving campaign was launched some years ago. The concern is that it is most effecting the elderly in rural areas, who are now afraid to drive to the pub, cannot afford the luxury of taxis and whose options are very limited. ‘I’m very nervous about driving after a night out. The rural pub scene has gone down in recent years and it’s all some of us have. Older people enjoy going to the pub now and again and we’re doing no harm to anybody else,’ said 71-year-old Edmond, who feels that the rural Ireland and more in particular rural pubs should be protected. Edmund has gone even one step further again with the suggestion that the Government should seriously consider introducing a new grant for elderly people which would make going to the pub a little easier. ‘Terry Leyden is a good friend and neighbour of mine and just lately I have suggested to him that he should put forward the idea to the Government of a ‘caravan grant’ for pensioners who wish to go to the pub with minimum hassle. It may sound like a funny idea but it could well work.’ Edmund has also revealed that the response he has got to this latest venture has been phenomenal with people becoming intrigued with the story both locally and nationwide. ‘I was at the races on Monday and had people who I didn’t even know coming up and talking to me about it. I received a letter this week from Gene Anderson in the Thatch Pub based outside Carrick-on-Shannon, inviting me to his pub for the night. He even said he had a toilet in the car park if I needed to use it.’ Edmund concluded by yet again stressing the fact that the rural pub scene is in grave danger of becoming a thing of the past and that most entrepreneurs will find it increasingly difficult to remain open for custom with the stringent laws that are being implemented. ‘You only have to open your eyes to see all the pubs in rural Ireland which are closing down. Taxis are just too expensive and you can’t have publicans driving you home as it’s not fair. My answer to it was the caravan.’ You really do have to admire Edmund’s attitude and stance on the topic. It would be very easy to shut up and put up, but here is one man who is determined to enjoy his pint in a bit of peace and comfort. Who knows? Maybe it might have the domino effect and we may see others follow his bizarre but yet ingenious idea in the future.