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Tuesday 16 September 2014

Emmet Stagg mocks Gerry Adams on Dail Bar

JOHN DRENNAN Political Editor

Published 19/01/2014 | 02:30

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Emmet Stagg, Labour deputy for Kildare North
Emmet Stagg, Labour deputy for Kildare North

Labour Party chief whip Emmet Stagg has dismissed Gerry Adams's promise to renew his campaign against the Dail Bar.

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"It's as nonsensical as all that twittering he goes on with about his teddy bears in the bath," he said.

Mr Stagg was responding to complaints by Mr Adams that the Dail authorities had not responded to concerns, raised by the Sinn Fein leader in the wake of the notorious lapgate incident, where the bar remained open until 5.30am as the abortion legislation was debated.

In a renewed attack on the Dail Bar, Mr Adams, who is unhappy about the absence of a formal response by Leinster House authorities to his letter of concern, claimed that it was an "anomaly" to have a bar on the premises of a workplace, open until all hours of the morning.

"The Dail Bar should be regulated the same way as any other bar. I intend to pursue this issue," he said.

Mr Stagg, however, slammed what he described as "twitterfied publicity- grabbing".

"Some of the shebeens and other activities that close friends of Sinn Fein have been associated with means this display of puritanism is less than convincing," he said.

The veteran Labour whip is a key member of the Committee on Procedures and Privileges.

"Ironically, the Dail Bar opens for fewer hours than most other bars," he said.

Referring to the Sinn Fein leader's highly publicised abstemious ways, Mr Stagg noted: "Adams would know that if he ever entered the place.

"Mr Adams, if he is as much of a workers' rights advocate as he purports to be, should note the Dail is a workplace. People are entitled to a location where they can take a break or a coffee," he said.

The Sinn Fein leader's concerns were also dismissed by the Seanad Cathaoirleach Paddy Burke.

"There will be no changes. No one is taking any notice of him," commented Mr Burke.

He said Mr Adams should take his "prohibitionist agenda elsewhere", adding: "He has rather more serious moral issues to deal with than visitors to the Dail enjoying a pint."

Irish Independent

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