Every country has its accents and in our Western World there is an urban/rural divide when it comes to them. We associate the urban accents with sophistication and education while the country tones sound thick and basic to our ears. The sons-of-the-soil on radio and TV are generally smirked at regardless of what they have to say.
This is true of Ireland also but the Healy-Rae dynasty have overcome that bias in Kerry, (a very rural area without a city within its boundaries). Brothers Michael & Danny won seats in the General Election on the Independent ticket and they won by a landslide. They were on the Late Late Show last Friday and they came over very well, (to this punter anyway). Unlike all other politicians, they state what the people want, not what they want the people to want. The Healy-Rae's have their finger on the pulse of the Kerry electorate and they represent them accurately as a result.
Michael Healy-Rae came to international prominence a year or two ago when a German TV crew flew in to make a programme about his latest utterances. As a publican, he demanded that the drink-driving limit be raised to reflect reality. He made the point that the National limits were drawn up for Metropolitan Dublin that had buses, tram-lines and taxis to take the drinker out and drop him home. West-Kerry, the area he represents, has the private car and little else. The local pub can be up to ten miles from the farmer and there's only one way to get there and back down the leafy country lanes.
The Germans loved Michael and couldn't wait to get back to the Fatherland to screen their one-hour documentary. They positioned it as the Irish demanding a return to reckless drunk-driving and this was received by a mix of mirth and outrage on the Continent. Michael's points were taken and exaggerated out of context and he was humiliated in the press back at home as a result. But I believe they have a point about rural isolation and the Dublin-centric drink driving laws.
I don't know what the measure is where you are but in Ireland now, you cannot have over a half pint of beer in safely and by safely I mean the police, not an accident. God be with the many, many days I had four or five pints and drove home without difficulty to leave the car responsibly while I went back out for the night. But even then, if I found myself on the unfamiliar streets of Dublin, I would not have had more than three because the traffic was busy and I wouldn't have known my way.
If your daily commute takes you up and down the remote tracks of Mount Nowhere and the odd car you do see is owned by a neighbor several fields away, a few pints before setting off for home should not be an issue. Not only do the Healy-Rae brothers know this but the thousands of voters who elected them do too and the Germans and their snide humour can just fuck off if they don't get it.
So, I believe these guys are as straight as you can get and they'll be popular for years to come. I love their authentic accents too with the thick Kerry brogue and the strange turns of phrase that roll out of the pair of them. In a sea of mid-atlantic twangs, these boys will be heard and their unique punchy styles will challenge centralization, (in Dublin), in the coming years. That would be good for both our urban and rural communities.