Adams: Dáil bar should be subject to normal licensing laws

Bars in the Dáil should be subject to the same licensing laws as every other establishment, Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams.

His comments follow speculation that TDs had been drinking the Dáil's private members' bar during the discussion his week on the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill, which was debated for 13 hours on Wednesday night and into Thursday morning.

Speaking today Deputy Adams said there is an onus on Oireachtas members to be sober and correct when debating and voting on legislation.

“There has been an understandable focus once again on the opening hours of the Dáil bars," he said.

“It is the intention of Sinn Féin to ensure that the sale of alcohol in these establishments is subject to the same licensing laws as every other establishment."

Leinster House has two bars. One is the public bar which closes at normal hours and is open to members, journalists, Oireachtas staff, and the general public admitted to the grounds, while the other is a private members’ bar which only TDs and senators can enter.

“It is ridiculous that alcohol is available here, as it was during the debate on the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill, until five in the morning," Deputy Adams added.

“There is also obviously an onus on Oireachtas members to be sober and correct when debating and voting on legislation which affects every citizen in this state.

“This behaviour would not be acceptable in any other work place. This is a work place and it should not be acceptable here.”

The Government has denied there was excess drinking during the abortion debate and defended sitting through the night.

MORE: TDs drank while Dáil session continued

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