Professor John Crown calls for a “change of culture” in relation to the consumption of alcohol by Oireachtas members before entering the Seanad or Dí¡il

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Professor John Crown, speaking in the Seanad, said:

“There is a need for a code of conduct within the precincts of this building. That code should be based around not closing bars but rather on the notion that it is not acceptable to drink alcohol before entering either House.

“In the same way that it became unacceptable to have martini-laden business lunches ten years ago or for drug representatives to bring wine to lunches with young doctors 30 years ago, it is not acceptable that Deputies and Senators should debate critical issues with a blood alcohol level of anything other than zero.

“I am not advocating that we should close the bars or breathalyse anyone but a change of culture is certainly required. I ask the Leader to contact the party Whips and the representatives of the Independent Senators and impress upon them that there is a real need – in the context of the decorum, good name and reputation of this House – for people to start complying with a code of practice such as that to which I refer.”