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Gerry Adams wants to restrict the sale of alcohol in the Dáil bar

The Sinn Féin president has said his party intends to ensure the bar closes at the same time as every other establishment amid continuing controversy over TDs drinking during Dáil business.

Gerry Adams
Gerry Adams
Image: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

Updated 7.40pm

SINN FÉIN PRESIDENT Gerry Adams has said his party intends to ensure that the sale of alcohol in the Dáil Private Members’ Bar is subject to the same laws as other establishments in the country.

Adams was speaking in the wake of more controversy surrounding the bar following TheJournal.ie‘s story this morning in which a number of TDs admitted to having “one or two” or a “couple” of pints while the Dáil debated the abortion legislation this week.

The now infamous ‘lapgate’ incident involving Fine Gael TD Tom Barry and his colleague Aine Collins has also brought the spotlight on whether or not it is appropriate that TDs be allowed to drink alcohol while conducting Dáil business.

The Dáil bar remained open until 5am on Thursday morning as TDs debated the Protection of Life during Pregnancy Bill.

“It is the intention of Sinn Féin to ensure that the sale of alcohol in these establishments is subject to the same licensing laws as every other establishment,” Adams said.

“It is ridiculous that alcohol is available here, as it was during the debate on the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill, until five in the morning.”

The Louth TD has previously raised the issue of deputies being intoxicated in the chamber, telling this website earlier this year that at least two TDs within his earshot were drunk when the Dáil debated legislation to liquidate the former Anglo Irish Bank in February.

Several TDs told this website yesterday that they had drank alcohol on Wednesday night, but one insisted that there was no “obvious level of drunkenness” in the Dáil chamber as the abortion bill was discussed and voted on.

United Left TD Joan Collins said “one or two” deputies “were a bit wobbly” while her colleague in the Technical Group, Waterford TD John Halligan said that “a lot of TDs were drinking coffee and coke”.

Adams said that there was an onus on TDs and Senators to be “sober and correct” when debating and voting on legislation which effects every person in the country.

“This behaviour would not be acceptable in any other work place.  This is a work place and it should not be acceptable here,” he added in a statement issued this afternoon.

First published 5.21pm

Read more: Some TDs drank during abortion debate… and ‘one or two were a bit wobbly’

Read: The grab seen around the world – the internet reacts to Tom Barry

Read: Male TD pulls female colleague into his lap – in the Dáil chamber

Previously: There were some TDs intoxicated on night of promissory note debate

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Hugh O'Connell

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