Politicians are used to being called vermin, but even they were surprised to see a new furry friend seen scurrying down the corridors of power.
The Oireachtas TD and senators members bar was closed for more than an hour on Tuesday afternoon after staff spotted a large rat taking residence in the exclusive location.
Several TDs and Oireachtas workers told the Irish Examiner the rat caused momentary panic among Ireland's politicians after entering the room just after lunch, with TDs and senators clambering to get out of its way.
The rat, which was not removed until just after 4.30pm, is believed to have entered the building from a nearby smoking area which opens out into a small courtyard near ongoing Oireachtas building works.
One TD who spoke to the Irish Examiner said the rat was large and may have been attracted by nearby food and alcohol, while another jokingly named the visitor "cardinal Rat-zinger".
Asked about the rat entering the building, a third Oireachtas official laughed, before asking: "You mean the four-legged kind, not the two-legged?".