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Knees-Up in the Dail Bar

Sometimes you’ve just got to laugh at the antics of politicians – even when the subject matter is serious, as is the current contentious debate on the long overdue legislation of the X case. The following poem is my salute to the deputies in Dail Eireann who, when forced to work into the small wee hours, really show their mettle.


Some were saying rosaries and singing songs of praise Twenty years engagement in political affrays Was drawing to conclusion within the hallowed walls Of Leinster House where T.D’s had been setting out their stalls.

James was quite determined to legislate with speed The verdict on the X case, a judgement once decreed. Lucinda claimed that ‘group think’ was a cultural disgrace. So Enda rapped her knuckles to put her in her place


Amendments were debated as nocturnal hours flew Eloquence was at its best served with a brew or two. Abortion is a woman’s right? Abortion is a crime? The T.Ds in the Dail Bar heard no one calling time.

Some deputies were wavering because they feared a belt From a bishop’s crozier if they protected women’s health. But no one thought to check the bar where whiskey and the beer Had made them rather frisky – or so it did appear.

Now it was reassuring to know that T.D. Tom Was engaged in horse play – and not acting the gom. A lass on lap without permit was only having fun Abortion’s just a woman’s lot – when all is said and done.

Oh, it was a jolly knees-up that took place in the Dail As deputies decided to stand or take a fall. Abortion through the back door? A woman’s right to choose? Argued in the Dail Bar with scruples and with booze.

© Laura Elliot

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