Updated: 24/03/18 : 05:36:10
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Piece of ‘eight’ fails to budge it for Tony

By Eugene McGloin
Political Editor

IN HISTORY ‘pieces of eight’ were the magic pass, the world’s first global currency and the Spanish treasure could open most gates.

Sligo TD Tony McLoughlin was not nearly so lucky in the Dáil on Thursday afternoon.

His card, with number eight written on it, failed to impress Leas Ceann Comhairle Pat The Cope Gallagher in a discussion on promised legislation.

Earlier in the same debate two Sligo TDs, Eamon Scanlon and Deputy McLoughlin, had combined forces to argue the case for western farmers in the current fodder price crisis.

Two Bites

Then, Pat The Cope called the final question of the day:-

“An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Finally, I call Deputy James Browne.

Deputy Tony McLoughlin: I am No. 8.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: You do not get two bites of the cherry here. Deputy McLoughlin has had his opportunity.

Deputy Tony McLoughlin: I wanted to ask a question.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle:  The Deputy took his opportunity to do that.

Deputy Tony McLoughlin: I have been waiting for the past half hour.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: I cannot create a precedent. What is the question? Is it on agriculture?

Deputy Tony McLoughlin: No.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Members cannot come in on one question and then come in a second time.

Deputy Tony McLoughlin: This is a different question. What is the point of waiting for a half hour? If I did not have a card the Leas-Cheann Comhairle would not let me up at all.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: As all Members know, if a Deputy does not have a card he cannot come in on another question so by having a card he took his opportunity. As a result, he is excluded,” said the speaker.

Shouting Match

The numbers system, which is being used on a trial basis, led recently to a full scale shouting match between Sligo TD Marc MacSharry and the Healy Rae brothers, Michael and Danny, from Kerry.

The incident got hourly coverage on Sky News later that evening.

Alls well that ends well: The warring trio of TDs voted together earlier this week on all issues in opposing the holding of a referendum on the Eighth Amendment.