Sunday 21 January 2018

Amid the drinking and swearing, trouble was brewing

There was a delirious air in the Dail Bar last Wednesday night, which put the old-hand veteran politicians on high alert, write John Drennan and Daniel McConnell

MISHAP: Labour's Michael McNamara pressed wrong button
MISHAP: Labour's Michael McNamara pressed wrong button

Last Wednesday night, Leinster House was heaving a long time before Tom Barry swung his arm around Aine Collins and dragged her on to his lap.

It was just after 11pm, and a sort of collective giddiness was in the air in the Dail Bar, which was busy like Wednesday nights of old. Ministers, TDs, advisers, supporters and journalists mingled and drank while the important abortion legislation went on being discussed in the chamber.

Ruairi Quinn mixed with Labour backbenchers close to the bar, Joan Burton chatted with journalists and party advisers and Alan Shatter moved through the room in his bright summer suit, wearing a broad smile.

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