Irish comedy star Chris O’Dowd has taken part in a scheme to drive people in remote areas home from the pub.
The Moone Boy star has teamed up with Guinness and the Vintners Federation of Ireland to promote their pilot programme known as ‘Social Spin’.
People can call or text the Social Spin number when they want a lift to the pub.
O’Dowd, who comes from Boyle, Co Roscommon says that this is a great way to help people in remote areas to get out of the house and socialise without the added expense of getting home – or worse, driving themselves back from the pub.
He told the Irish Mirror: “It’s such a fantastic initiative. I heard about it and it seemed like a nice bit, definitely something I can see being useful around my own community in Boyle.
“Especially around the outskirts, people are clearly more isolated. It’s just such a lovely community thing.
“It’s like having a whole bunch of designated drivers and it just means people can socialise and commune.
“As Ireland and other places become so much more urbanised, you don’t want these rural areas to fall behind.
“It’s not really about drinking, it’s about making sure everyone stays connected.”
The initiative came about after six publicans in Causeway, North Kerry, and Faha in South Kerry noticed there had been a drop in business. They realised it was due to people in the community being isolated.
There are now over 70 volunteers who drive customers to and from the pub throughout Causeway and Faha.
The publicans say the initiative has been a huge success with the benefits not only being to their businesses, but also to the local community, with people being better able to socialise and are feeling less isolated.
O’Dowd got involved and really enjoyed driving locals to the pub.
He joked: “There was a lot of ‘I feel like I know you from somewhere… are you from Killarney?’”
Written by Michael Kehoe @michaelcalling