MEMBERS of the awkward squad don't usually make it on to the 'A' team in politics, and so it proved with Tommy Broughan.
This week marked his hat-trick when it came to being stripped of the Labour Party whip.
First elected in 1992 as part of the 'Spring Tide' intake, Mr Broughan is a TD of a vintage where he should be looking to climb the ministerial ranks.
But the Dublin North- East deputy's consistent stances against his party leaders always meant this was unlikely to happen.
He made his opinions on coalition with Fine Gael known from the start, and voted against Labour going into government.
His first rebellion goes all the way back to 1994, when he voted against the FF-Labour government's decision to sell off Team Aer Lingus.
Although he returned to the fold before that coalition collapsed at the end of 1994, he was already marked out as a TD unafraid to go against the hierarchy.
He was appointed deputy party whip in 2002 and again in 2007 but clashed with the hierarchy in July 2009 when he refused to vote against a government bill giving gardai extra powers.
Mr Gilmore kept him in the Parliamentary Labour Party but took the deputy whip position off him. He wasn't so forgiving when Mr Broughan abstained on a vote on stag hunting last year and he lost the whip again. But there is a feeling that it is now three strikes and he's definitely out.