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The Dáil incident involving Aine Collins and Tom Barry could be described as harmless horseplay between two colleagues and that it was blown out of proportion.
The taxpayer-subsidised Dáil bar was open until 5am and many of our legislators were intoxicated. Last year, Collins said it was not easy to live on a salary of €140,000.
These are the people we have entrusted to look after our welfare. Given the seriousness of the occasion, when life and death was being debated, this drinking was despicable and disrespectful.
Alcohol consumption impairs a person’s driving judgement, so it surely follows that it also impairs the serious legislative judgement of our politicians. It is not long ago that three weeks of Dáil time was wasted debating the penalty point’s issue, and yet alcohol consumption seems to be acceptable in our parliament.
Recently, also, a county councillor was ridiculed, in an incident that led to widespread debate, when he asked that people in isolated parts of the country be allowed drive with two or three alcoholic drinks consumed.
Some members of our last government were rightly ridiculed for their alcohol-fuelled sessions and were the butt of many jokes. Nothing has changed in that respect.
The Dáil is the only workplace where it is considered acceptable for the workforce to consume alcohol. In light of this recent incident, it is surely time for the Dáil bar to be shut down.
This incident poses the more serious question: have some, or all, of our past decisions been made while our politicians were under the influence of alcohol?
It’s logical to think so, given that 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 the enforcement of regulations.
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