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Pints, wine and scones: Nearly €7k spent in Dáil bars during late night abortion debate

The amount spent on pints of lager and Guinness as well as Snack bars and Club Milks as TDs debated the landmark abortion legislation is laid bare in documents obtained and published today by TheJournal.ie.

Image: John Pickens via Flickr

Updated 22:58

NEARLY €7,000 WAS spent in the two bars located in Leinster House on the day and night of the abortion debate last July according to figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.

Nearly €4,000 of this was spent on alcoholic drinks alone including pints of stout, lager and ale as well small bottles of wine and spirits.

TheJournal.ie can reveal that the Oireachtas members’ bar – reserved for TDs and Senators – took in a total of €3,326.85 on the night that deputies debated the Protection of Life during Pregnancy Bill late on 10 and early on 11 July this year.

While the Oireachtas visitors’ bar, which is said to have been very busy on the night, took €3,572.20. This means that in total €6,899.05 was spent across the two bars.

Of this, over €1,440 was spent on alcohol in the members’ bar on the night while in the visitors’ bar over €2,500 was spent on alcohol.

In the members’ bar alone, over 50 per cent more was spent on 10/11 July than a week earlier and while the members’ bar takings were calculated at 12.39am on 4 July, on the night of the abortion debate the final takings were not calculated until 5.31am on 11 July.

In the members’ bar alone it can be determined that €1,440.80 was spent on alcohol late into 10 July and into the early hours of 11 July. This included:

  • 105 pints of lager purchased at a cost of €493.50
  • 74 pints of Guinness costing a total of €318.20
  • 31 quarter bottles of wine costing €170.50
  • 31 long neck bottles of beer costing €145.70
  • 29 vodkas and gins costing €118.90
  • 22 pints of Smithwicks costing €94.60
  • 17 brandys costing €85

More than €638 spent in the members’ bar on the night was attributed to ‘miscellaneous’. One Hamlet cigar was also purchased at a cost of 95 cent while €6 was spent on five packets of soft mints.

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Other items purchased included 14 bags of roast nuts, five scones, and dozens of Snack bars and Club Milks. The breakdown of items sold also includes toasted specials, wraps, sandwiches, smoked salmon dishes and soups.

Visitors’ bar

Records for the Oireachtas visitors’ bar on 10/11 July also show that €3,572.20 was spent on the day and night of that late sitting in comparison to €2,506.65 on the same day the previous week.

As the abortion legislation was discussed, a breakdown of items purchases shows that  €2507.90 was spent in the visitors’ bar on alcohol alone.

This is just some of what was purchased:

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A number of TDs admitted to drinking alcohol on the night the Dáil debated the historic abortion legislation when contacted by this website last July.

Fine Gael TD Tom Barry also admitted that he drank “a couple of pints” before the infamous ‘lapgate’ incident involving party colleague Aine Collins.

The consumption of alcohol by deputies has caused considerable controversy this year.

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams previously told this website that there were at least two TDs in his vicinity who were intoxicated on the night the former Anglo Irish Bank was liquidated as part of the promissory note deal.

The records released by the Houses of the Oireachtas also show that the day after TDs debated the abortion bill until the early hours some €2,162 was spent in the members’ bar including hundreds of euro on alcoholic drinks.

On the corresponding day the previous week  just €521.25 was spent in the bar.

First published 6am

More: Here’s what a drink costs in the Oireachtas bars

Read: How much is the Oireachtas members’ bar owed by TDs and Senators?

Read: There is “no record” on who licences the Oireachtas bars

In full: Oireachtas Bars FOI Part One and Part Two

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