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Bold Mathews has more than a nodding acquaintance with art of soliloquy

The Punt doesn't know whether Peter Mathews, left, ever trod the boards as a young man, but he is certainly no stranger to a soliloquy.

The Hamlet of Leinster House should have been in his element yesterday as some of the country's most senior bankers were hauled before the Oireachtas finance committee, where the Fine Gael TD and former banker is a conspicuous presence.

Alas, committee chairman Ciaran Lynch is clearly a bit of a philistine, at least when it comes to the star quality of "Hamlet" Mathews.

With a packed schedule at the committee yesterday Mr Lynch was relentless in his efforts to rein in his notoriously long-winded Fine Gael colleague.

Unlike the original Dane, the Dail's Hamlet has never had a problem holding court, even at the expense of extracting answers from witnesses called in front of the Oireachtas finance committee. At one stage, Mr Lynch said that unless Mr Mathews cut to the point of a lengthy question on the collapse of Anglo, there would be no time left for Alan Dukes to actually provide an answer.

Not so, came the reply from the bold Peter, "He can nod."

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