Mick Wallace’s Euro 2012 time-off plea shown red card
Never mind opinion polls -- it was the land of the Poles which was on the mind of one politician yesterday.
Independent TD Mick Wallace reckoned he was on the ball when he stood up in the Dail during the morning's Order of Business and proposed that the Oireachtas should take a couple of weeks off next summer so that its hard-working members can watch the football.
He first congratulated the boys in green for qualifying for the Euro 2012 finals.
But then Mick went for glory.
"Given that there will probably be a six-week recess at some stage next summer, would the Tanaiste consider arranging two weeks of it to coincide with the first two weeks of the soccer?" he inquired.
Across the Dail chamber, a taken-aback Tanaiste promptly blew the whistle on such a frivolous notion.
"It shows how much times have changed around here," Eamon Gilmore remarked. "There used to be a time when opposition deputies complained about the length of the summer recess. This is certainly a first in that we have got a request not only to extend it, but to have it in June," he added.
Mick hastily intervened -- "Not extend it; reorganise it."
Even a new signing like him understands the perils of a politician calling for more holidays in these tough times.
But the Tanaiste kept hopping the ball.
"Unwittingly, Deputy Wallace might have stumbled on an issue which will find considerable support on the government side," he admitted, but then showed football-mad Mick's brainwave the red card.
"We'll have to watch the games on the television, Mick," he said.
Afterwards Mick went on Twitter to clarify that he had asked for the recess to be reorganised, not extended.
Now everyone will be watching to see does Mick Wallace stay on the Dail pitch in June. It's a funny old game, politics.