Bog off, says one TD to another


BIT OF a spat at the Fine Gael Parliamentary Party meeting this week between Eoghan Murphy of Dublin South East and James Bannon of Longford-Westmeath.

Chuck Heston lookalike Bannon, affectionately known as “Bonkers” to many of his admirers, arrived in at the end of a report from Murphy, who chairs an internal committee on transport, tourism, sport, arts, heritage and Gaeltacht affairs.

In the course of his briefing, Deputy Murphy said he was specifically excluding the issue of bogs, leaving it as a matter for the relevant Minister, Jimmy Deenihan. This had been agreed by the committee.

When Eoghan asked for questions, Bannon erupted: what about the closure of bogs? Why was nothing being done about this by the committee? He got very hot under the collar.

When he finally blew himself out, Eoghan smiled sweetly and asked: “Are you taking about bogs or blogs, James?”

Deputy Bannon took grave offence at this impertinence, and informed young Murphy there was no need to be cheeky.

“Don’t be getting smart with me,” he bellowed.

Bannon is a member of the committee chaired by Murphy, who resisted the temptation to reply that if he had gone to the meeting he would have known exactly where they stand on bogs.