I drove back to Dublin from the midlands on Wednesday thinking I’d never been as hot at mid-day in Italy. Having *filed my copy* to the Indo (so love saying that) I made my way into the Dail for what was to be the night of #lapgate and the #Daildawnchorus.
When I arrived in Kildare Street the sitting was adjourned for two hours and, damn, I had nobody to meet, it was way too sunny to go inside so I found myself engrossed in watching the protesters from a safe distance. It wasn’t very comfortable to be honest, seeing these two factions being kept in line by the Gardai, shouting Father Ted slogans at each other. This is supposed to be about dignity for women, not a side show. A crowd gathered around my side of the street, the army was mobilising from the well-funded, expensively t-shirted campaign group. It was time to retreat to the dark depths of Buswells and have a *healthy* salad and chips. What on earth was I doing in the city centre on a sunny Wednesday evening alone in Buswells? There is a back garden and a good book as an option, Mad Ted. I realised I was in deep; and deeply committed to changing something if I can. Changing a man-made law that would ease the trauma on women and men of a double tragedy.
The vote on the Protection of Life during Pregnancy Bill was supposed to be decided by 10pm, it was extended until 2am and while I sat in the gallery, I heard a furore from the benches and a bluster from Gerry Adams. The doors opened, all and sundry piled in, most interesting was the press gallery, the narrow overhang filled to the brim, 21 journo’s jammed in a row. The doyenne, Miriam Lord, took her seat, delightful Lise Hand beside her. The silver glint of David McCullagh’s hair flashed in the harsh light. David Davin Power nestled between the smart glossy locked girls from the other papers.
The majority decided to extend the vote until 5am. There was a quick exodus, I checked my Dublin Bus App and went home. I assumed they were all having late committee meetings elsewhere, perhaps a nap on a trolley in the corridor, provided by Minister Reilly. They could hardly be drinking in the bar with such a serious issue going on? Drinking at work?
Back home, with the magic of Twitter I discovered the live link to the chamber, much to my amazement I actually watched until 5am. I looked outside, shocked, I haven’t been up ‘til that hour without revellers in my house trying to find the stash of duty free sambuca or whatever remained from the old days, me hoping they wouldn’t wake the sleeping children, who by now were revelling somewhere themselves. Plus ca change.
Well, at least I’d enough to write about for the Irish Times next day and, surprisingly, a radio interview with the lovely Matt Cooper. On Friday evening, I sat in FM104 with an ice bucket of cool beers and baskets of tortilla chips in view, times have changed since I worked in a *real office*. As I waited to go into studio I stuck my tongue in my broken tooth, chipped during the Dail Chorus by a diversionary caramel, for once, I wished I was in a dentist’s waiting room. It’s awful having to recall a very unhappy time, again and again.
In between Druids and Dail Debates, I’m interviewing new tenants for landladyhouse. Stalwart gentleman lodger #1 is still with me, just trying to find someone to match him.