Dáil Bar will never close, despite opposition
I never thought I would hear a publican complaining about alcohol being sold in bar, but it has happened as calls have been made for the Dáil Bar to be closed down.
A member of the Kerry Vintners' Federation tabled the motion recently which will now go before a national congress.
I believe publican Sean O'Mahoney has a good point when he suggests that it is not appropriate for there to be a bar within a place where TDs are at work.
However, it all goes back to personal responsibility and one has to think that any public representative worth their salt is unlikely to be drinking and then going into Dáíl chambers.
It appears that the elite nature of the venue is what makes many people uncomfortable and they believe that politicians should go to any other public bar to enjoy a drink if they so wish, rather than the exclusive surroundings of their own bar.
While many believe the bar is subsidised, I think that this is more an urban legend than anything else although there was a question mark over unpaid bills at one stage - again, a matter of personal responsibility.
It's the notion of a pub being on site within the Dáil that unsettles people because as a nation we have such an unhealthy relationship with alcohol.
It has been the downfall of many a person. We think that, because there's a bar there, most of the people working in the building must be in it getting drunk.
It suggests that grown adults are incapable of making mature decision to keep a clear head while at work.
It seems that the Dáil Bar is considered a meeting place by the politicians but as a cosy perk by the public.
I think that if the members want a private place to discuss matters of importance they should do so in a designated meeting room rather than in a bar, even if it is semi-private.
If members want to socialise they should hire a private venue or go to a public bar, and then the critics would have little to complain about.
The obstacle to closing down the Dáil Bar is tradition and there are also jobs to be considered.
It will never happen regardless of the opposition from vintners or anyone else. After all, those who use it are hardly going to pass legislation to ban it are they?