As the storm of controversy over Agriculture Minister Barry Cowen's drink-driving incident raged, the Irish Independent sent two very simple questions to all 160 TDs via email on Monday afternoon.
The first question was: Have you ever been fined or disqualified from driving due to a drink-driving incident? If so the TDs were asked to provide details of the incident.
The second question was whether they had a driving licence and if so, was it a full licence. If the TD was the holder of a learner permit, they were asked to detail for how long they had held it.
The reason for the question on drink-driving is obvious.
It's in the public interest that there's full transparency on this so that voters know whether their TDs have any such skeletons in their past.
The question on what kind of licences TDs hold arises from the unsatisfactory situation that allows people to drive on renewed learner permits for years without having to pass a driving test. More than 37,000 people are driving on their fourth or subsequent learning permit, according to Road Safety Authority figures, though that organisation has put forward reform proposals.
Fianna Fáil TD Mr Cowen was driving on a learner permit aged 49 at the time of what he called his "stupid, stupid mistake" in 2016. The incident saw him fined €200 and get a three-month driving ban for drink-driving.
Mr Cowen has not yet explained how he reached that age without securing a full driving licence but has come under pressure to do so.
During his apology in the Dáil, he said there had been speculation about how someone of his age could have been driving on a learner permit. He said: "The fact is that before the recent and proper reforms of the system it was not uncommon for people of all ages and levels of experience to drive with either a provisional or a learner permit. However, this was bad practice and I clearly should have regularised my position much sooner."
Mr Cowen said he was now the holder of a "full, clean driving licence".
So what about the rest of our TDs? As of last night, 58 Dáil members had responded to the Irish Independent's survey. That means just under two-thirds of TDs had not.
Almost all of those who did reply confirmed that they had never been fined or banned from the road due to a drink-driving incident and that they held full licences.
Just one TD, Sinn Féin's Pat Buckley, responded saying that he was banned from the road for driving while under the influence. He said it was "a great source of shame for me and a massive mistake which I will never, ever repeat".
He was disqualified from driving for three years and fined €500 in 2014, before he was a TD. His offence was reported at the time and he has apologised in the past.
But Mr Buckley confirmed this week that - like Mr Cowen - he had been driving on a learner's licence when his drink-driving incident occurred in 2013 when he was 44. He said he had been applying for a driving test. Mr Buckley did not respond to questions on how long he had been driving on a provisional licence, why he did not have a full licence at the age of 44, or whether he had ever taken a driving test prior to his ban.
He may not have answered all the questions but he did offer a forthright response to the initial survey despite the risk of renewed coverage of his case. Contrast that approach with Independent TD Mattie McGrath. The Tipperary TD ignored the questions and instead replied to the email saying: "I wasn't aware that you were a member of An Garda Síochána or have you recently joined the reserves?" He did not respond to an attempt to ask the questions again.
Another TD that responded was Sinn Féin's Eoin Ó Broin. In his case, it was straightforward. His answer to the question of whether he had ever been fined or disqualified from driving due to drink-driving was "no". He said: "I have never had a driving licence. I travel by public transport."
He was asked about Mr Buckley's case on RTÉ Radio yesterday and whether any TD with a drink-driving offence should now come forward in the interests of full transparency. Mr Ó Broin responded: "Absolutely."
He added: "And let me be very, very clear. Driving under the influence of alcohol is wrong and particularly for public representatives who should be showing leadership: it's doubly wrong. Pat's case was widely reported at the time. He got a three-year ban and hasn't returned to driving, has never driven a car since. That doesn't make it any less of an offence."
"People lose their lives because of drunk drivers and it is something we have to stamp out," Mr Ó Broin added.
TDs from all parties and none were among the 58 that responded to the Irish Independent survey. A total of 102 did not. Some TDs may have missed the email or perhaps saw it but it slipped their mind to respond. Others may have chosen not to answer even if they have a full, clean licence with no drink-driving incident in their past. They might feel as if it's nobody's business.
Certainly Mr McGrath's response would suggest that some TDs look at it this way.
It's highly likely that, of those TDs who did not reply, the number who have been fined or disqualified for drink-driving is very small, or even zero. But if there are more TDs with incidents in the past, they would be as well to disclose them now rather than store up potential controversy for the future.