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33 politicians have yet to pay off their outstanding Dáil bar bill

Figures released by the Houses of the Oireachtas reveal that the largest sum amounts to over €800.
Mar 21st 2016, 12:37 PM 35,177 76

AS OF 10 March, 20 TDs and 13 Senators had not cleared their Dáil bar tab amounting to €4,010.

Figures released to Ciarán D’Arcy of The Irish Times under the Freedom of Information Act and published on the front page this morning, reveal that on the day the 31st Dáil was dissolved, there was an outstanding bar tab of €5,405 owed to the Oireachtas.

Over the course of a month, over €1,000 was paid off the outstanding bill.

The largest single outstanding bar bill as of 10 March 2016 is €802. A total of €310 of the total amount was money owed prior to the formation of the last government.

The Houses of the Oireachtas noted that it is not clear if this amount is in fact owed and may be still outstanding due to an accounting error in 2008 when moving to a new accounting system.

Late nights at the bar

There has been criticism in the past about politicians not settling up. TheJournal.ie reported that at the end of August 2014, a total of €11,715 was owed to the bar facilities in the Houses of the Oireachtas, a sharp fall from the €72,000 that was owed at the end of 2012 – the last available figures.

The Dáil bar has come under renewed scrutiny in recent times after a number of controversial late-night sittings.

In 2013, a bar bill of nearly €7,000 was run-up during a late-night sitting to pass the abortion legislation – an evening which became know as ‘lapgate’.

Last year, the busiest night of the year for the Dáil bar was the day the Water Services Bill was debated, when the bar made €7,461.19.

If you’re curious about what price politicians and their visitors are paying for booze and food in the Dáil bar, the updated prices have also been released.

Price list 

A pint of Guinness in the Dáil bar will cost you €4.40, as will a pint of Smithwicks. Long necks like Budweiser and Miller will set you back €5.00, while a measure of gin, rum or vodka costs €4.50.

The cheapest bottle of red and white wine costs €20, while the Chateauneneuf-du-Pape Domaine Duclaux costs €50.

The soup of the day costs a mere €2.50, while a toasted BLT costs €6.50. A homemade 8oz beef burger with chips will set you back €8.00.

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Christina Finn

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