| 12.8°C Dublin

Shirty TDs give style rules a good dressing down

They are guilty of turning dress-down Friday into a week-long affair in Leinster House.

But now, the Dail fashion police are getting shirty with style refuseniks -- Mick Wallace, Luke 'Ming' Flanagan and Richard Boyd Barrett -- and the days of their casual apparel are numbered.

If voted through by the Dail, all members will have to adopt conventional wardrobe options if they want access to the chamber.

That means a suit or jacket with trousers.

It will be a complete 'no-no' to jeans and collarless shirts.

Yesterday, Wexford TD Mick Wallace donned one of his many pink polo shirts to stand defiantly on outside Leinster House and denounce the style rules as "something from the dark ages".

However, if the proposal from the Dail's Committee on Procedure and Privileges, chaired by disciplinarian Ceann Comhairle Sean Barrett, succeeds Mick will have to find a jacket in his wardrobe next term.


The soccer-mad Independent TD maintained that a TD should "be allowed to wear what they chose. I think it is important that one is clean but the notion that somebody can tell somebody else how to dress belongs to the dark ages".

Dun Laoghaire TD Richard Boyd Barrett was equally as vocal. "I thought it was a joke when I heard it. This country is being savaged with cuts to peoples' incomes and services and these clowns in government are worried about what a few TDs wear," he added.

The Dail's internal disciplinary watchdog got shirty after three months of watching a cavalcade of casual apparel parade in and out of the chamber.

Sinn Fein's Gerry Adams is getting it in the neck because the committee don't share his fondness for short-sleeved shirts.

At least the spirit of the late Tony Gregory lives on and TDs won't have to wear a tie because of the fight the inner-city Dublin TD put up back in the '80s. Ties are exempt under the Dail's Committee on Procedure and Privileges.

But as the new kids on the block argued from day one, Anglo bankers wore suits and look where the country is now.

Irish Independent