IN WHAT SEEMS like perfect timing, a Senator is having the official launch of his newly opened pub tonight, which is a replica of the Dáil and Seanad Private Members’ Bar.
Terry Leyden, a one-time Fianna Fáil TD, is launching the bar to be known as the Castlecoote Lodge in Co Roscommon.
Former TD Mary O’Rourke is set to make a special appearance, while Leyden said his former boss Charlie Haughey “would be there in spirit”. Current Fianna Fáil head Michael Martin would be making an “I will be Taoiseach speech” in the replica Dáil bar on Wednesday, Leyden said.
Unlike current revelations that the real members’ bar stayed opened until 5.31am on the night of the Protection of Life during Pregnancy Bill debate, the Castlecoote Lodge would “be totally compliant with opening and closing times”.
Another difference between both bars will be the lack of “fractions”:
“Fianna Fáil have their own space [in the Private Members’ Bar], Fine Gael another and Labour have their area,” explained Leyden. “It won’t be like that here. It’ll be a better atmosphere with no divisions”.
He also said there would be no tabs unlike the Leinster House members’ bar, which is owed €11,392.63 by Minister, TDs and Senators, “only slate is the one on the roof”.
Leyden’s wife Mary is the licensee of the pub, while their son Conor is the bar manager. Terry plans to be the “front of house” man, telling the “anecdotal stories”.