Dáil drinking is a disgrace

In itself, the recent Dáil incident involving Áine Collins and Tom Barry could be described as a harmless bit of horseplay between two work colleagues that was blown out of all proportions.

Since then it has come to light that the taxpayer-subsidised Dáil bar was open until 5am and that many of our legislators were intoxicated. These are the people we have entrusted to look after our welfare in their decision making. In light of the seriousness of the occasion, where the issue of life and death was been debated, this incident ought to be considered despicable and totally disrespectful.

We are told that alcohol consumption impairs a person’s driving judgement. It surely follows that it also impairs the serious legislative judgement of our politicians. It has not been long since almost three weeks of Dáil time was wasted on the penalty points issue and yet alcohol consumption seems to be acceptable in our parliament.

Some members of our last Government were rightly ridiculed for some of their alcohol fuelled sessions and were the butt of many jokes. It appears nothing has changed in that respect.

The Dáil is the only workplace where it is considered acceptable for its workforce to consume alcohol while at work. In light of this recent incident, it is surely time for the Dáil bar to be shut down completely.

This incident poses the more serious question, has some or all of our past decision making been done while our politicians were under the influence of alcohol?

It ought to be justifiable to think so, since our politicians have allowed the most ridiculous and cruel decisions, laws, rules and regulations to be passed against the Irish people, both in the Dáil and at EU level. They have allowed laws to be enacted that fly in the face of traditional Irish life and practices, while also allowing certain people and institutions to carry out their duties without any regulations being enforced.

Christy Kelly


Co Limerick

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