There are a million reasons you could give for why the Dáil was empty today during today’s statements on Mental Health services.
We’ve heard them all before.
We know that TDs have local duties to attend to; we know that others have to carry on with the important (but endless) business of forming a Government; we know that there’s more to being a TD than sitting in a chamber during every single debate.
But sometimes, putting your arse on that seat – the seat you battled so hard for, and which you claim to value so highly – is exactly what the job is all about.
It’s a statement of priority; a declaration of intent; a signal to the people of Ireland that you actually give a damn about the subject at hand.
And that’s what makes this picture – screencapped today while the house heard statements on cuts to mental health services – makes for such a dismal visual.
— Niall Breslin (@nbrez) April 26, 2016
Some members of the Dáil even took to Twitter to lambast their own colleagues.
I’m in chamber currently, turnout isn’t good enough. No more than 3 from any party. 0 Soc Dems now, 0 Labour, 1 SF.. https://t.co/YZY4HiB8rg
— Noel Rock (@NoelRock) April 26, 2016
Activists, meanwhile, are asking the public to enquire with their local TDs as to whether or not they were in attendance:
— Ruairí McKiernan (@ruairimckiernan) April 26, 2016
As Bressie says: Remember this view if we have another election.