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Scruffy TDs to get a dressing down

THE Dail's fashion police are to be given new powers in an effort to stamp out jeans, short sleeves and runners.

Colourful TDs who refuse to tone down their shirts and skirts will now face a dressing down and possible suspension, the Herald can reveal.

Strict new rules to be introduced by the Oireachtas could signal the end of Mick Wallace's bright T-shirts, Luke 'Ming' Flanagan's cords and Richard Boyd Barrett's patterns.

Even Gerry Adams' short-sleeved shirts won't be dapper enough, while Joan Collins' nose piercing may cause problems.

The Dail Committee on Procedure and Privileges has decided that the TDs will have to scrub up or get out.

An official dress code is to be introduced for the Dail chamber after older members felt uncomfortable beside their hipster counterparts.

The guidelines will require TDs to wear "business attire" and jeans will be banned.

Men must wear a suit or jacket and trousers with a long sleeved shirt, but a tie will remain optional.

A high standard will also be expected by female politicians but already one has told the Herald that she will pay "no heed" to the new rules.

Failure to live up to the standards of Ceann Comhairle Sean Barrett will result in a TD being asked to leave the chamber.

They will be given the opportunity to make a short jaunt to Grafton Street to pick up something more suitable -- but repeated offenders could face suspension.

The only objection to the new rules at last night's meeting came from Kildare North TD Catherine Murphy.

Deputy Murphy told the Herald today: "Here's the country going down the tube and we're talking about what we wear."

And People Before Profit TD Joan Collins says that she won't be told what to wear. She said: "I've been wearing my nose ring for 25 years and I won't be taking it off. My constituents elected me for who I am."