Technical seating carry-on among (male) Independents
On the move: Technical Group members Richard Boyd-Barrett, Shane Ross, Mattie McGrath, Catherine Murphy and Clare Daly. photograph: dara mac dónaill
Ever notice how, when representatives of the Technical Group are on their feet during Leaders’ Questions, different TDs occupy the seat next to the main speaker, depending on the political orientation of the person concerned?
Or maybe you have a life...
Shane Ross isn’t inclined to sit next to Richard Boyd-Barrett, for example, while Joe Higgins is often captured in the camera frame sitting next to his Socialist rival.
The more left-leaning Technical TDs (not the women, who don’t bother with this kind of carry-on) tend to sit next to Boyd-Barrett and John Halligan, while it’s a moveable feast around Mattie McGrath.
As Finian McGrath will normally sit beside anyone to get into the TV shot, he’s always early into the chamber to bag the prime seat.
But on Tuesday, he was outmanoeuvred by Mattie and Shane.
Over lunch, the Independent TD for Dublin North Central asked Mattie what he intended bringing up on Leaders’ Questions. Mattie said he was going to take a swipe at the whingeing frontline workers and Siptu president Jack O’Connor.
“But you can’t stick it to
Jack O’Connor!” protested former INTO activist Finian, appalled.
Whereupon Shane Ross looked meaningfully at Mattie, who assured him: “Don’t worry, Shane. I’ll have a right go at Jack O’Connor and all those trade unionists.”
When it was time for Leaders’ Questions, there was no sign of Finian, while Shane was nicely ensconced beside Mattie for the shot on Oireachtas Report.
Then the Tipperary McGrath got up and mounted an impassioned defence of gardaí and nurses while praising their unions.
The Dublin McGrath, marooned on the sidelines with Ross smirking down at him, was disgusted.