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Saturday 21 April 2018

FG TD Michelle Mulherin seeks Dail ban on jeans and T-shirts

Michael Brennan Deputy Political Editor

FINE Gael has re-opened the debate about banning TDs from wearing T-shirts, jeans and runners in the Dail.

The issue had lain dormant for the past year, but has been revived following the controversy over Independent TD Mick Wallace's non-payment of VAT.

He has attracted attention for his fondness for wearing jeans and pink shirts rather than the slacks, jacket and shirt and tie sported by most male TDs.

Fine Gael Mayo TD Michelle Mulherin brought a motion at this week's Fine Gael parliamentary party meeting to implement a dress code in the Dail.

She told the meeting that some TDs seemed to be bent on giving "two fingers" to the system by dressing inappropriately and refusing to pay taxes like the household charge.

"Ultimately, if we followed their way, there would be anarchy in the country," she said.

She also argued that it was setting a bad example to the schoolchildren who were visiting the Dail -- and who had to wear their uniforms.

Although she did not name any of them, the focus is firmly on some casually dressed Independent TDs such as Mr Wallace, Luke 'Ming' Flanagan and Richard Boyd Barrett.

Ms Mulherin got support from several Fine Gael TDs, but others in the party were more wary of being seen to focus on the dress code issue at a time of economic crisis.

The matter is due to be taken up again at Fine Gael's parliamentary party meeting next week.

The current rule in Leinster House says "members should dress in a manner that reflects the dignity of the House".

Irish Independent

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