LAST WEEK, I was sitting at my desk, minding my own business, when it occurred to me that I didn’t know what any of our politicians thought of Beyoncé.
Do they like her? Do they know who she is? Do they engage with her music? Do they own ‘I CAME TO SLAY merchandise?
Politicians were getting away with keeping their views on Beyoncé to themselves and it was up to me to get to the bottom of it.
On Monday afternoon, I set about contacting all 158 TDs. In my e-mail, I explained that I was getting in touch with every TD to collate their views on Beyoncé. I posed three questions:
- Do you like Beyoncé?
- If you answered YES, what is your favourite Beyoncé song?
- If you answered NO, why don’t you like Beyoncé?
Within an hour or so, I had contacted all members of Dáil Éireann. I didn’t know what to expect or how many, if any, would reply to my query. This was as much an exercise in finding out what they thought of Beyoncé as it was in seeing who would actually take the time to respond.
All in all, 37 TDs replied to my query.
Here are the full, unedited responses.
Brassil, a Fianna Fáil TD from Kerry, seemed only delighted to be asked.
Hi Amy what a pleasant questionnaire of course I like Beyoncé my favourite song is Halo.
The Fianna Fáil TD from Louth sees a lot of himself in Beyoncé’s music.
Like most people I’m a huge fan of queen B, to paraphrase Kanye she’s “one of the best of all time”. After a long day in the Dáil, putting my feet up and treating myself to some old school Destiny’s Child is one of my favourite ways to unwind. ”Survivor” would have to be my favourite song of hers, what an anthem! It almost describes the life of a politician “I’m not gon stop, I’m gon work harder, I’m a survivor”
The Fine Gael TD for Dublin South West counts himself as a member of the Beyhive.
The answer is yes I do like Beyoncé and my favourite song is Crazy in Love.
Tommy Broughan, the Independent TD from Dublin Bay North, was diplomatic in his response and declined to single out a particular Beyoncé song as his favourite.
Many thanks for your email. Yes I do like Beyoncé. I would find it difficult to pick my favourite song as I enjoy all her music. I very much enjoyed Beyoncé’s former group Destiny’s Child music as well.
Sinn Féin’s Pat Buckley was critical of Beyoncé and her clothing line Ivy Park’s manufacturing practices.
I’d like her a lot better if she paid the Sri Lanka women who sew her clothing line a decent wage while she enjoys a personal wealth of over a quarter of a billion dollars.
Last year, it was found that the activewear line, which is co-owned by Beyoncé and Sir Philip Green, was being made in the MAS Holdings factory in Sri Lanka, a factory that isn’t exactly known for paying its workers high wages.
Sean Canney, an Independent Alliance TD from Galway East, kept it short and sweet.
1) Yes. (2) Single Ladies.
Barry Cowen, a Fianna Fáil rep for Offaly, was the first TD to respond to my query. He described himself as being “indifferent” to the singer.
Can’t say I dislike Beyoncé but am somewhat indifferent I suppose. As regards favourite song by her, can only think of ‘if I were a boy’ so that may qualify as the one.
The Sinn Féin TD isn’t too pushed on Beyoncé.
Not particularly. I’m not too familiar with her songs.
A spokesperson told me that the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform is apparently a “big Beyoncé fan”. No surprise given his love of Kanye.
His favourite song?
Crazy in Love
The government chief whip is responsible for getting TDs in formation, so no surprise that she’s a fan.
The Fine Gael TD prefaced his answers by saying, “This is a strange one.”
I neither like her nor dislike her.
He cited At Last as his favourite Beyoncé song. (As in, the Etta James song.)
Michael Fitzmaurice, Independent TD for Roscommon-South Leitrim, wasn’t too familiar with Beyoncé and was therefore unable to comment.
I don’t know much about Beyonce so unfortunately I cannot comment good, bad or indifferent.
In a twist I did not see coming, Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan not only likes Beyoncé, but actually saw her perform in Central Park. He also had not one, but three favourite Beyoncé songs.
Amy, as it happens I’m a big Beyoncé fan. Fave songs Drunk in Love, Halo & If I were a boy. Saw her Central Park New York – memorable !!
You think you know someone.
There was no beating around the bush from Fianna Fáil TD Sean Fleming.
Yes. Single ladies.
Or from Fine Gael’s Josepha Madigan for that matter.
(1) Yes(2) Listen
An assistant to the Green Party TD sent us the following comment:
She does like Beyoncé and she has picked “Halo” as her favourite song. She was going to go with “If I Were I Boy”, but has been informed that Eamon Ryan already selected that.
Great minds, eh?
The Fine Gael TD is such a Beyoncé fan that she saw her in Croke Park last summer.
I do like Beyoncé, I was even at her concert last July. My fave song is “Irreplaceable”.
The Independent TD acknowledged that Beyoncé was “very talented,” but concluded that she just wasn’t for him. Different strokes, etc.
No. I’m not a huge fan even though my daughters are. It must be an age thing. She’s very talented but I just don’t get her. I’m an old fashioned rock n roller.
The Fine Gael TD told us that he’s more of a hip-hop aficionado, but respects Beyoncé nonetheless.
Yes I think Beyonce is a great singing and performing talent. I listen more to hip hop so my favourite would be Bonnie and Clyde from Jay-Z, which features Beyonce.
The Sinn Féin TD for Offaly was matter of fact in her response.
I do like Beyonce and my favourite song is Halo.
But her party colleague Jonathan O’Brien went above and beyond.
I am republican, but Beyoncé is the only queen I have time for. Of course I like Beyoncé.
If I had to pick just one (which is unfair) it would be “Irreplaceable.” Apart from the general good advice from Beyoncé that we should move “to the left, to the left,” it would behove us all as elected members of the Dáil that we should never for a second get to thinking we’re irreplaceable.
That said, I always felt “Bills, Bills, Bills” from Beyoncé’s days in Destiny’s Child was a good allegory for what has faced the Irish working class. Enda Kenny really is a good for nothin’ type of brother.
A spokesperson for the Fine Gael TD said “she loves Beyoncé and her favourite song is Run The World (Girls).”
Willie O’Dea likes Beyoncé and doesn’t care who knows it.
Good Afternoon Amy. Yes I like beyonce and my favorite song is Halo.
Sean Ó Fearghail
Keep Crazy in Love. You can have Halo. The Ceann Comhairle told us that he’s more of a a fan of Beyoncé’s forays into country music.
Yes I do. My favourite song is Daddy Lessons from the Lemonade album.
The Fianna Fáil TD for Kildare South responded to my query on International Women’s Day and picked a song for the day that was in it.
To be honest, Beyonce is only on the slightest periphery of my radar, and I don’t have strong feelings on her either way. I note that one of her songs is called Run the world (Girls) so on International Women’s Day, as a female TD, I would have to say that’s my favourite song of hers!
The Kildare North TD can see your halo.
I like Beyonce, my favourite song is Halo………………!!!
Labour’s Jan O’Sullivan listens to Beyoncé with her baby granddaughter. Beyoncé: bringing generations of women together since 1997.
Yes, I like Beyoncé. My favourite is 7/11, I dance to the video with my 1 year old granddaughter and we have a great time.
The Dublin Central TD admitted to being unfamiliar with Beyoncé’s oeuvre. That’s okay, Maureen. We won’t hold it against you
I don’t know any of Beyoncé’s songs!!!
John Paul Phelan
The Fine Gael TD told me that he didn’t like Beyoncé, but only because he doesn’t get the chance to listen to much music.
The answer is no. I just don’t get to listen to music much. Sad life I lead!
Thomas Pringle was one of the few dissenting voices and seemed to ponder if there was a place in society for non-Beyoncé fans.
Lol. The answer to the question is no I don’t like Beyoncé. Well I’m not sure if I do or not I’ve never listened to her stuff. Should we all like Beyoncé? It seems from your question that it would be surprising if we didn’t.
I advised him to listen to Beyoncé before rushing to judgment. He did not respond.
Sinn Féin’s Maurice Quinlivan straight up trolled me and gave three Adele-themed answers.
Well played, Maurice.
Labour’s Brendan Ryan is not as enamoured with Beyoncé as he once was.
I’m not a big fan of Beyoncé anymore. I felt she was at her most musically creative when part of Destiny’s Child.
The Green Party leader confirmed that he was a fan of Beyoncé and said his favourite song was…
If I Were A Boy
Labour’s Sean Sherlock expressed his admiration for both Beyoncé’s work as a solo artist and as one third of Destiny’ Child.
Yes I like Beyoncé. My favourite old school Beyoncé song is Survivor (with Destiny’s Child). Solo wise I would say Crazy in Love.
Fianna Fáil’s Brendan Smith seemed appalled at the notion that someone wouldn’t like Beyoncé. We hear you, Brendan.
OF COURSE, WHO DOESN’T
As for his favourite song…
The Cavan-Monaghan TD is a Single Ladies fan.
Yes I like Beyoncé. Single Ladies is my favourite song.
The Sinn Féin TD declined to commit one way or the other and replied, “Yes and no,” when asked if he liked Beyoncé.
Like many of his colleagues, he went with Crazy in Love as his favourite song.
- Fine Gael’s Leo Varadkar was unable to answer my questions due to his “busy diary”.
- Sinn Féin’s Gerry Adams could not comment due to “time constraints”.
- A spokesperson for Frances Fitzgerald advised me that they would bring the query to the attention of the Tánaiste and her officials, but I never heard back :(
- I received automatic acknowledgments from Mary Lou McDonald and Micheál Martin, but no response.
Conclusion? Politicians may have their differences, but there is one uniting force: Beyoncé.
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