Handbags at 11am as Shane Ross rails at Eamon Ryan’s ‘amnesia’

Members of the Green Party undoubtedly pride themselves on frugality — so being accused of “spending money like there was no tomorrow” must have been the ultimate insult to Eamon Ryan.

Handbags at 11am as Shane Ross rails at Eamon Ryan’s ‘amnesia’

But the Dáil snipes and swipes continued as Transport Minister Shane Ross suggested that Green Party leader Mr Ryan must be popping “amnesia pills” as he had forgotten that “he was in government when the country was bankrupt”.

If the few TDs who made it into the morning Dáil debate had thought it would be a drowsy way to kill time, they were rudely awoken by bellows across the chamber.

It was handbags at dawn — or 11am, which is almost as early as the Dáil springs into action — as Mr Ross, in an excited tone, accused Mr Ryan of being dramatic and “a little bit histrionic”.

Mr Ross continued: “I wish to know the pills this man is taking. This man must be smoking amnesiac... There is a thing called an amnesia pill, and it makes one forget everything.

"For his years in the wilderness, he took his amnesia pills. He has forgotten he was in government when the country was bankrupt.”

Mr Ryan interjected, clearly not wanting to divulge his medical history, and asked the minister how long it had taken him to drive to work — good deflection.

Fianna Fáil’s Robert Troy also seemed concerned about the minister’s commute, pointing out that you would be “quicker walking” than using the new Luas cross city line at rush hour because of congestion in Dublin.

Mr Ryan, who at this stage was showing some emotion, said: “The minister is killing our cities, particularly Dublin, and I am sad that that is happening at a time when we have the money and the opportunity.”

Mr Ross replied: “When you were not so busy deferring bankrupting the country, bankrupting the banks and propping up Brian Cowen and Bertie Ahern, which he did with alacrity, I do not know what you were doing about transport but we inherited a situation in transport from you guys which was an absolute and utter disaster.

“You get up here day in, day out wanting to spend money like water, as you did the time you were in government.

"I will not sit here and take that as though money comes out of the sky when you are in opposition but when in government you just spent it and bankrupt the country.”

So, a little bit more drama than was expected from a question to the Minister on an underground rail interconnector linking Heuston Station and Spencer Dock.

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