Luke Ming Flanagan had done his research. He knew that the word ‘piss’ was not a banned word within the rarified and sensitive environs of Dail Eireann. He had checked out the Consumer Act in order to bolster his political point.
He then planned and carried out a very clever and effective political stunt to guarantee maximum publicity.
Flanagan wanted to highlight the fact that the Government was planning to charge people for the ‘privilege’ of drinking contaminated water.
To make his point he walked across the chamber and placed a glass of what he described as ‘glorified piss’ in front of junior minister Fergus O’Dowd and challenged him to drink it.
Brilliant theatre, brilliant politics.
But Ceann Comhairle Sean Barrett was not amused. It was, he thundered:
An act of vandalism.
Feck, call out the guard, the barbarians are at the gates.
He went on:
Never before in the history of this chamber have I seen such behaviour by a member in walking down and handing a glass of dirty water to a minister. That is just outrageous and unacceptable behaviour. I’ve asked for an immediate meeting of the Committee on Procedures and Privileges to deal with this matter.
My god, handing a glass of dirty water to a minister to make a political point; surely a crime without precedent, surely a crime against humanity?
And ‘immediate action’, no less?
Never in the annals of our glorious history has immediate action ever been taken against those alleged to have sullied the good name of Ireland.
Has the Ceann Comhairle suddenly woken up to the true nature of the cowboy outfit he regulates? Are we to soon see him take ‘immediate action’ against the many reprobates who regularly abuse and insult the national parliament?
Citizens are not advised to hold their breath.