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Dublin: 8 °C Thursday 18 October, 2018
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RTÉ's political coverage went all 3am-at-an-Irish-wedding this afternoon

Saturday with Claire Byrne signed off for the season with a massive Oireachtas sing-song. Some were a little better than others…

YOU MIGHT NOT usually associate Irish political discussion with melodic and heart-felt singing.

Ordinarily you would be right. Not this afternoon however.

Saturday with Claire Byrne, RTÉ Radio One’s weekly staple for all things Oireachtas-related, signed off for the season today by getting all its guests to sing a song. As you do.

Click here if you can’t view the video

The season-finale had a summer barbecue theme you see.

It wasn’t all singing of course. Claire found time to grill Fine Gael whip Regina Doherty on the government’s no-show in Dáil Éireann on Thursday, not to mention what exactly is going to happen to Enda Kenny now that the vultures appear to be circling (‘it won’t happen again’ and ‘I support the Taoiseach 100%’ the answers respectively).

Likewise Michael Fitzmaurice was quizzed on his exit from the Independent Alliance prior to the government’s formation, and junior minister Finian McGrath was asked about his support for Mick Wallace’s fatal foetal abnormality abortion bill from last week.

But each question was interspersed with a song. And some of our elected representatives have hidden depths it seems.

McGrath himself belted out Sinatra-favourite Bad Bad Leroy Brown, which was slightly surreal.

Fitzmaurice took up the mantle then and gave his rendition of The Fields of Athenry. Not bad at all.

Click here if you can’t see the video

Next was former TD, now Senator, Aodhán Ó Ríordáin, who stopped in having run a 10-kilometre race this morning, to sing The Contender. Not quite so good, but given his morning exertions that was perhaps understandable.

Regina’s take on, well, something to do with love we think (doesn’t exactly narrow it down, but we couldn’t make out what the song was), was very impressive, bar a couple of wobbly high notes.

Newly-minted Senator Frances Black of course has something of an advantage given she’s actually a singer, but still, she gave Legal Illegal all she had.

All this odd, odd show was missing was a song from Claire herself. She did tell us that “this is the maddest thing I’ve ever presented” which was something we suppose.

Roll on next season. The show’s producers will have a hard act to follow though.

With Richard Boyd Barrett showcasing youth culture in the Dáil last week, maybe the way forward is a beat-poetry open mic contest between deputies.

Anything’s possible. One thing’s for sure, the podcast of today’s show will be worth a listen.

Read: Andrea Leadsom is in hot water for saying she should be prime minister because she’s a mother

Read: Families in council-owned housing may face eviction as they’re excluded from getting rent supplement

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