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Dublin: 3 °C Wednesday 11 December, 2019
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Here's what happened when I asked every TD if they'd ever enjoyed a bag of cans

Do politicians enjoy bags of cans with the lads? The answers may surprise you.

LAST WEEK, FINE Gael’s Noel Rock shared a photo of Minister Shane Ross cradling a can of Dutch Gold at the testing of the new Luas line.

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Rock later clarified that the can was handed to Minister Ross by a construction worker and that he wasn’t openly imbibing cheap beer in the street.

The sight of a government minister holding a scaldy can got me thinking: do politicians enjoy bags of cans as much as the rest of the general populace?

To find out, I e-mailed every single TD to ask them two questions:

  • Have you ever enjoyed a bag of cans?
  • If so, what is your can of choice?

In total, just 20 TDs responded to my desperately important query. Heroes, all of them.

Here are their responses.

Anne Rabbitte

Anne-Rabbitte Source: Fianna Fail

Fianna Fáil’s Anne Rabbitte was the first TD to respond to my query. She informed me that, as a non-drinker, she had no opinion on cans, but had some stern words for Minister Ross.

Believe it or not, I am an Irish person who does not drink so I am unable to give you the answer you had hoped for. I hope Minister Ross was not condoning the consumption of alcohol on O’Connell Street and is adhering to Dublin City Council bylaws.

Brendan Howlin

PKaHeFiB_400x400 Source: Brendan Howlin/Twitter

The Labour Party leader likes to keep it local.

I’d always prefer to drink my beer in Simon’s in Wexford Town.  Thankfully, their Yellowbelly beer is now also available in cans for when I’m enjoying a barbecue at home.

Brendan Smith

Brendan-Smith-1 Source: Fianna Fáil

The Cavan/Monaghan deputy kept his response short and sweet.

No.

Charlie Flanagan

Jwk6Kasu_400x400 Source: Charlie Flanagan/Twitter

The newly installed Minister for Justice can’t even think about cans right now, thank you very much.

Too busy in my new Dept of Justice to even contemplate ‘bag of cans’. Alas my summer holidays will be considerably shorter than in previous years.

But if he was to have a drink…

If I was making time for a beverage I’d go for a cold bottle of 12 Acres.

Declan Breathnach

Declan-Breathnach (1) Source: Fianna Fáil

Fianna Fáil’s Declan Breathnach wants to bridge the divide between those who drink a huge bag of cans with the lads and those prefer to crack a cold one with the boys.

 As a TD for Louth and East Meath, I represent a diverse group of people, so although I have been partial to a “huge bag of cans with the lads” in the past I feel like it is also important that we reach out to members of the community who like to “crack a cold one with the boys”.
Too long have I seen our community, and the local, split down these sectarian lines. Hopefully, one day, the lads will see fit to share their bag of Prazky, Karpackie, Dutch or Bav and share a cold one with the boys.

YES WE CAN! YES WE CAN! YES WE CAN!

Donnchadh Ó Laoghaoire

EFhWnLED_400x400 Source: Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire/Twitter

The 28-year-old Sinn Féin TD proved he’s a man of the people by namechecking two quality beers…

I have gone in for the time honoured tradition of bag of cans on occasion My choice of premium beer was Karpackie (4 for a fiver!) or Prazsky.

Finian McGrath

Minister of State Finian Mc Grath2 Source: Department of Justice

The Independent Alliance TD confirmed he was known to enjoy a bag of cans in his youth.

Yes. In my younger days and I was the guy with the guitar and the cans, and long hair, of course.

And his tipple of choice?

I suppose Heineken or Carlsberg. In my younger days when I wasn’t too busy!

James Lawless

James-Lawless Source: Fianna Fáil

Here’s what the Kildare North TD had to say.

I was a student at Trinity in the early noughties and lived in “flat-land” around Rathmines and Ranelagh most of that time. Deveney’s off licence was a popular stop before a party and even Hynes pub on the odd Thursday night.
When I went onto study Law at Kings Inns I moved up in the world with wine served at the dining hall and Latin grace before meals! These days the Dáil bar is often visited but it’s more for soup and a sandwich than pints of porter I am afraid! “

And his drink of choice?

When at home my local Lock13 brew-house does a fine range of its own craft beers and in an idyllic canal-side location in Sallins.

Jan O’Sullivan

qDhQ0-q6_400x400 Source: Jan O'Sullivan/Twitter

Jan O’Sullivan is a fan of the black stuff, but not from a can.

No I’m a draft Guinness woman.

John Brassil

John-Brassil (1) Source: Fianna Fail

Fianna Fáil’s John Brassil has enjoyed “a six pack or two” in his time.

Hi Amy of course I’ve drank a six pack or two in my time. I gave two stints in university one in my late teens/ early twenties and again in my thirties so like all students who enjoy a drink  a six pack as it was known in my time was a popular choice. The good old fashioned six pack of Heineken was my tipple of choice.

John Paul Phelan

twGN6S3k_400x400 Source: John Paul Phelan/Twitter

Fine Gael’s John Paul Phelan, meanwhile, prefers to keep it classy and stick to bottles and pints.

I’m more a bottle or draught man!

Kate O’Connell

kate-oconnell-233x300 Source: Fine Gael

The Fine Gael TD told DailyEdge.ie that she was a fan of Stella Artois back in the day, a choice she made based on alcohol percentage and price. A woman after our own heart.

Yes, certainly during my college years in Brighton, I was partial to enjoying a bag of cans with friends on the beach. That was back in the early noughties when I was studying pharmacy.
Putting our studies to good use, we would drink cans of Stella Artois, as far as I can remember…as it was the most milligrammes of alcohol per millilitre of liquid, for the least amount of money at the time.

Kevin O’Keeffe

Kevin-OKeeffe Source: Fianna Fail

Kevin O’Keeffe is more of a pint man if truth be told.

I’d be a pint man myself if truth be told.

Maureen O’Sullivan

n0RANqzy Source: Maureen O'Sullivan/Twitter

Maureen O’Sullivan isn’t gone on cans in general… with one exception.

No – to bag of cans; don’t really drink cans – 7Up maybe?

Maurice Quinlivan

maurice-quinlivan Source: Sinn Fein

HAVING BAGS OF CANS IS THE ESSENCE OF BEING HUMAN.

Of course I have, I’m human. You can’t bate Bulmers.

Michael Healy-Rae

90417549_90417549 Source: Sam Boal

Like Maureen O’Sullivan, Michael Healy Rae is fond of minerals.

Yes, I have of course enjoyed a bag of cans. My can of choice, 7Up.

Noel Rock

noel_rock_thumbnail Source: Fine Gael

Fine Gael’s Noel Rock loves his cans! Sure, didn’t he drink them with the lads at the Euros?

Absolutely – Euro 2012 would’ve been a lot tougher without them. I like Punk IPA or Metalman – not always easy to get though! You never go too far wrong with Heineken either.

Pat Casey

Pat-Casey1 Source: Fianna Fail

Pat Casey has never drank. “You’re better off, Pat,” says you.

As I have never drank I do not have a “bag of cans” preference unless soft drinks count?

Peadar Tóibín

peadartoibin Source: Sinn Fein

Peadar Tóibín loves beer so much that he once contemplated opening a brewery until he realised he was too ahead of his time.

I have indeed enjoyed a bag of cans in my student days. Fosters or which ever can was on offer was my choice. I’m a fan of craft beer now. I was very close to opening a craft brewery in Navan in the year 2000, I even undertook a brewing course in Tipperary. However the market  was not ready for Craft beer at the time. Delighted that there is such growth in the sector now.

Willie O’Dea

Willie-ODea-Website-Headshots Source: Fianna Fail

And finally, Willie O’Dea has never had a bag of cans, but that’s not to say he doesn’t like the odd drink every now and again.

I can say I have never enjoyed a “bag of cans” but enjoy a pint of beer socially.

Same, Willie. Same.

Miscellaneous responses

  • A spokesperson for Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin told DailyEdge.ie, “The Party Leader, Micheál Martin, won’t be in a position to answer these questions, but best of luck with your piece.”
  • A spokesperson for Social Democrats’ Catherine Murphy told DailyEdge.ie, “Deputy Murphy does not want to participate in this particular item.”
  • A spokesperson for Minister Shane Ross, the man who inspired this whole thing, told DailyEdge.ie, “Unfortunately he will not be in a position to engage with this particular survey!” :(
Conclusion? It doesn’t matter if you’re a civilian or a politician – cans are for everyone.

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About the author:

Amy O'Connor

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