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Leinster House will open its doors to 1,650 people tonight (so no need to scale the fence, then)

The Houses of the Oireachtas will be open as part of Culture Night. But no, you won’t be allowed sit in Enda’s chair…

Image: Photocall Ireland

DEMONSTRATORS ATTEMPTED TO climb barricades erected outside Leinster House earlier this week, as around 400 people gathered to protest while politicians returned from their summer break.

This evening, however, members of the public will have no problem entering the houses of the Oireachtas, as the gates are opened to 1,650 (lucky?) people who applied for tickets in advance for the ‘open night’.

The Dáil and Seanad tour is always one of the most popular events of Culture Night — the annual initiative that sees a wide range of cultural and political institutions open their doors to the public for free.

Tickets for access to Leinster House went on offer a month ago, with the last of them snapped up two weeks ago, Oireachtas press officer Cáit Hayes told TheJournal.ie.

“It’s always a ticketed event because we’re such a popular venue.”

Ticket holders will access the building in pre-assigned groups from 5pm. Each group up to 9pm will get an hour-long tour, with the final tour of the night lasting for up to two hours.

In a break with usual practice for visitors, those taking part will be able to take pictures of the Dáil and Seanad, and will be allowed access to areas normally closed off during regular tours.

The big question: will people be allowed a photo op in Enda’s chair, TheJournal.ie wants to know…

“No. No, absolutely not,” Hayes says.

It’s expected however, that there will be a fair few TDs and senators on hand to welcome guests. “Yes, every year we would have a coterie of politicians coming in and welcoming constituents who have applied,” Hayes says.

“There would also be TDs still in their offices working late into Friday evening.”

image

No, you won’t be allowed sit in this man’s chair. But you can look at it (and take photos) – Image: Photocall Ireland

Entertainment on the night will be provided by an all female barbershop quartet called ‘Ireland Unlimited’.

Interested, but haven’t got a ticket? Leinster House is also open for more limited guided tours on other days. You can find details here >

Read: Lockout protest — mini march, TD jostled and pepper spray >

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