Sean gets hot under collar with shirty TDs
Perhaps it's just because the denizens of the Dail are nearing the end of what's been a surprisingly eventful political year, but the ringmaster of the Lower House circus – aka the Ceann Comhairle Sean Barrett – has been increasingly tetchy of late.
Sean has been embroiled in several set-tos in the chamber with members who won't simmer down. He got quite shirty with Gerry Adams among others on Tuesday, and ended the session with a plaintive appeal for them all to behave.
But members paid not a blind bit of heed, and there was more heckling 48 hours later during a debate on the Housing Bill, when Communications Minister Pat Rabbitte tangled with Sinn Fein's Jonathan O'Brien who was raising objections to the legislation.
Pat pointed out that the Cork deputy had supported the previous second stage of the Bill, and suspected that afterwards "a bevy of advisers got at him and they then started to construct mischievous amendments". This sparked a babble of protest from the other side. And holding her own was brand-new TD Ruth Coppinger.
And the ticked-off Ceann Comhairle saw no good reason to spare the newbie the lash, and while calling for a bit of peace and quiet, he added to the heckling Ruth: "And that applies to you, too, deputy Coppinger. I know you're a new deputy, but there are standards in the chamber. You're not in the county council now."
That was her told. But not for long, one suspects.