Opposition lit his short fuse 24 hours before explosion
PAUL Gogarty is known as one of the most colourful characters in the Dail -- but he exceeded all his previous exploits yesterday.
The Green Party Dublin Mid West TD (40) has become a favoured target of the Opposition because they know he has a short fuse.
And he exploded in spectacular style yesterday swearing twice after a sustained campaign of provocation which had begun more than 24 hours earlier.
It was a strange move by the Green Party to put him forward to speak for a second time in favour of the controversial bill to cut social welfare rates. He had been barely able to hear himself speak on the previous night in the Dail because of the level of insults ("you are missing a digital in your head") being heaped on him by opposition TDs.
Mr Gogarty was angered by the education cutbacks in last year's Budget, given that he had produced a 50-point document before the 2007 election on how to deliver a world-class education system.
He resigned as his party's education spokesman shortly afterwards in an internal row but is now back in the job.
He is also the chair of the Oireachtas Education committee.
Mr Gogarty was first elected to the Dail in Dublin Mid-West in 2002, after previously working as a journalist. He is married with two children. He spoke earlier this year to 'Hot Press' about how he was adopted and how he met his birth mother at the age of 30.
In the same interview, he gave some of those colourful quotes that distinguish him from other Green Party TDs. He spoke about how the party had prostituted itself by going into Government with Fianna Fail.
"We are lying there bollix naked next to Fianna Fail. We have been screwed by them a few times, but we are hoping we can roll them around to get what we want, over the longer terms."
And in another noteworthy comment, he said that Green Party leader John Gormley was "like one of these hippos that, if you stand on his tail, he will demolish you". He went on: "John has balls and will fight his corner. He'll cut your throat if it means doing the right thing."
Mr Gogarty has been trying to live down those comments -- and the story about how he went rolling around on the floor at an anti-incinerator meeting in his constituency to show his disdain for a political rival's speech.
Now he has another event to try to forget.