Two Government ministers and the Garda Commissioner have shot down proposals by Kerry County Council to give drink-driving permits to elderly people in rural areas.

The motion by Councillor Danny Healy-Rae was backed by Kerry County Council on Monday.

Minister for Justice Alan Shatter said it was "grossly irresponsible" for anyone in public life to promote drink-driving.

Mr Shatter said reducing fatalities on the roads must always take precedence over the promotion of social drinking.

He said: "There is no question of this Government, or indeed I don't believe any future government, facilitating individuals drinking in excess of the blood alcohol limits.

Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar said rural isolation is a serious issue, but the solution to it is neither alcohol nor drink-driving.

Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan said people simply cannot drink and drive.

He said: "If you drink, don't drive and if you drive, don't drink. It's as simple as that.

"It's a short, snappy but very clear and distinct message from the people that are charged with law enforcement in this country."