A point about order and orders of pints
Viewers who tuned into the live broadcasts from the Dáil and Seanad on Wednesday night/Thursday morning were somewhat surprised by the lively atmosphere in Leinster House given the lateness of the hour.
As it neared midnight an exasperated Gerry Adams, struggling to make himself heard, turned to the Ceann Comhairle and said: “Could I honourably suggest that if you want some order from the Government TDs then perhaps you should close the Dáil bar. That may be a useful way to get some order here.” That didn’t go down well.
However, having written here last week about the change in drinking habits among politicians in Leinster House – where the Dáil bar is far more likely to run out of tea and coffee before the beer pumps give out – the opposite was the case on Wednesday.
The Members’ Bar was heaving all night, and well into the early hours.
There was huge excitement about what the Minister for Finance was going to announce, with Government TDs and Senators giddy at the thought of landing a lucky break.
Opposition politicians wondered if what the Government had planned was unravelling as the time for Michael Noonan’s announcement to the Dáil kept being pushed back. This led to a general air of mild hysteria.
To add to it, there was a soccer international on between Ireland and Poland earlier in the evening.
And in another part of the bar the golf society had its agm.
A number of former TDs and Senators came in for this, so they were keen to touch base with former colleagues.
As the clock moved on the bar was the place to be as rumour built on rumour in the build-up to the Anglo announcement. The Independents and Fianna Fáilers were in one corner; the counter was taken up by Fine Gael.
Senators watched the Dáil proceedings live on the monitors, and when they finished at about 2am a crowd remained to watch the live feed from the Seanad debate.
In the early hours an incident reportedly took place on the floor of the Seanad involving two Opposition Senators and a loud exchange of profanities.
There were some very tired looking individuals around the place by the time business recommenced on Thursday at lunchtime.