After recording strong views from members of the public in this week’s Vox Pop about the Dail Bar, see page 14, the Democrat contacted local TDs to seek their opinions.
Fine Gael’s Peter Fitzpatrick says that since he entered the Dail he never encountered a TD drunk.
“I have never spotted anybody drunk in the Dail bar,” Fitzpatrick said, “I have never seen it abused. I visit the bar once or twice a week.
“As I don’t drink alcohol, I have green tea and brown bread.
“It’s a very good meeting place for TDs to socialise.”
Seamus Kirk added that very little alcohol is consumed by TDs and highlighted that there should be some sort of regulation.
“I’ve seen big changes over the years,” Kirk told the paper, “I don’t drink, I would have a coffee in the bar.
“I do believe regulations should be made. But I’m not sure if TDs having a breathalyzer test before entering the Dail chamber would work.
“I see the late sittings as a danger time.
“ I think the bar shouldn’t serve alcohol after the regular licensing hours.”
Meanwhile Gerry Adams has blasted the Dail Bar.
He said: “TDs should not been drinking on the job. This would be unacceptable in any other workplace. It’s the least citizens should expect from their representatives.
“The Dáil Bar should be regulated the same way as any other bar. It is an anamoly to have a bar on the premises of a workplace, open until all hours of the morning.
“But to have this situation in the Dáil where important legislation affecting the lives of so many citizens is being debated is disgraceful.
“I intend to pursue this matter until it is dealt with properly.”