The chamber seemed to slip into another dimension as TDs discussed switching time zones, with one reciting poetry while another longed for the days when politicians sang some of their speeches.
Independent Labour TD Tommy Broughan, who was sponsoring a switch to Continental time, praised the debate’s unorthodox tone: “It was good to hear the poetic speech of my colleague, although I would caution him that there was a deputy in the previous Dáil who occasionally used to sing part of his speech. We will be expecting a book of poetry now.”
Mr Shatter, who previously pounced on publicity by calling himself a “Time Lord” as his department is responsible for clocks being put backwards and forwards, said: “I am very disappointed the deputy did not mention my novel.”
That novel, rushed into reprint after a complaint to the censorship board, is the publishing sensation of the summer, with its Leinster House sex scenes.
But thankfully, before Mr Shatter could delight the chamber with a few salty lines, Timmy Dooley saved the morals of the nation. “We need darkness for that. It is not one for daylight,” he said, lest Laura be let loose among the innocents of the opposition benches.
While TDs rejected abandoning GMT, the justice minister called on those seeking brighter evenings via the daylight change to spend less time in bed.
What would lusty Laura’s response have been to that suggestion? Probably not: “Yes! Yes! Yes! Minister!”