Sunday 18 March 2018

Playing dumb over animals in the Dail

Fiona O'Connell

We are just about bang in the middle of a month that is associated with bangers. Though there is no shortage of headbangers, whatever the season. Frighteningly, they often end up in power. As star of the silent screen Charlie Chaplin knew well. Maybe it's no coincidence that this victim of McCarthyism, who regularly holidayed in The Ring of Kerry, had his biggest box office hit with The Great Dictator, which was released on this day in 1940.

Though add a plural, and the title could apply just as well to the debate on animal welfare that took place in Dail Eireann recently. The patron saint of this column, Saint Francis of Assisi, cared deeply about "our brother and sister creatures". So I headed to 'the big smoke' to listen to our elected representatives listen to each other.

Or so I thought. But dictation - in the sense of reading aloud, or stating a principle that must be obeyed - was closer to the reality.

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