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Adams to again raise "recurring scandal" of Dáil Bar

22 December, 2014 - by Gerry Adams

Sinn Féin Leader Gerry Adams TD has said the revelation that Government Senators were debating the Water Services Bill while under the influence of alcohol, again raises the problematic issue of the Dáil Bar.

Mr Adams, who is in Stormont for political talks involving all parties there and the Irish and British Governments was speaking in the wake of comments by his party colleague Senator David Cullinane in the Seanad today.

The Sinn Féin Leader was told in October by the Oireachtas Joint Sub Committee on Administration that the Dáil Bar is a "parliamentary privilege", and that it would remain unregulated.

Gerry Adams said:

"This latest revelation that Senators were voting under the influence of alcohol on Thursday night has again shone a spotlight on the issue of the Dáil Bar.

"I have sought over the past few years to have this issue dealt with, but those who have the power to address this recurring scandal point blank refuse to do so.

"The Oireachtas Joint Sub Committee on Administration is dominated by Government TDs who are clearly out of touch with how this issue is viewed by the average citizen.

"This is symptomatic of the detachment and arrogance of the Fine Gael/Labour Government.

"The Oireachtas is a workplace. The idea of a bar, open until any hour of the morning, where important legislation affecting the lives of citizens is being debated, is unacceptable.

"It is anathema to most people and yet another factor damaging the reputation of politics and the political system. I intend to raise this matter again when the Dáil resumes in the New Year."

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