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Never mind rats we need to rid the Dail of booze; Hammering home the truth JASON o'toole news@irishmirror.ie @IrishMirror.

Byline: JASON o'toole

Rats are well-known for deserting sinking ships, which made it all the more surprising to hear about one running around the Dail bar, of all places, last week.

It immediately brought to mind the hilarious Fawlty Towers scene in which John Cleese opens up a tin of biscuits to offer one to the health inspector only for a rodent pop out.

There surprisingly didn't seem to be too many memes doing the rounds about it, but the best one was how the Dail rat was offered a [euro]250,000 pension to leave.

Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin was apparently the first to spot what was described by one eyewitness as a "big, fat fella" in the private members' bar.

It must've looked comical when staff tried to chase it away with a golf club kept behind the bar.

Perhaps they should've asked one of the TDs who spend more time walking around golf courses than they do their own constituency to have bludgeoned it to death.

The whole episode certainly sounded like something straight of Father Ted when you think about how Mr Martin was bizarrely compared to a "sinning priest" by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.

LAUGHING But joking aside, it's certainly no laughing matter how there's still a bar in the Dail in this day and age.

In the same way we now frown upon smoking in public places, I'd imagine future generations will be gobsmacked how it was even possible politicians could booze in the workplace.

It played right into hands of the embarrassing stereotype of our fondness for the gargle when the Lapgate controversy made international headlines in 2013.

Cork TD Tom Barry admitted he'd been drinking earlier in the Dail bar when he made a holy show of himself by pulling his Fine Gael colleague Aine Collins into his lap during a late-night abortion debate.

But you'd be sadly mistaken if you thought that shameful behaviour was an isolated incident. It's not that long ago when proceedings in the Seanad had to be halted twice when a row broke out over claims some in the Upper House smelt like a brewery.

While Gerry Adams said he noticed at least two intoxicated TDs in the Dail chambers when the former Anglo Irish Bank was liquidated as part of the promissory note deal.

TDs are quite capable of making terrible decisions when sober and shouldn't have their judgment impaired by alcohol when taking part in important votes.

It just shows you the sense of entitlement some politicians feel when you think how some of them failed to even bother settling up g p p their Dail bar tabs. This forced the Dail bar to recently make politicians fill out a direct debit form if they wanted to purchase drinks on "credit" because they were so cheesed off chasing debts.

it by to last of who was work LICENCE We often moan about how politicians think they're above the law, but this is literally true with the Dail bar because it doesn't even have a proper liquor licence!

it's no she ie 10 It's the only watering hole in the country exempt because the Oireachtas isn't required to hold a bar licence thanks to parliamentary privilege.

Theoretically, it could flout laws such as serving after hours -as it famously once did until 5am - and there's nothing gardai or judges can do about it.

The Dail bar should be regulated at the very least, but I'd happily raise my glass if last orders there were called for good instead.

news@irishmirror.ie

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full-ing around Tom Brady manhandled Aine Collins in Dail

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Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jul 14, 2019
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