Bad rap | 

TD Thomas Pringle stuns Dail as he quotes rapper Coolio's Gangsta's Paradise

Thomas Pringle

Eoin Murphy

WHEN it comes to quoting pop music in the Dáil, Donegal TD Thomas Pringle just can’t stop.

The elected official stunned parliamentarians in yesterday’s chambers by extensively quoting lyrics from rapper Coolio’s pop hit Gangsta’s Paradise while calling out lobbying in politics.

The Independent TD spoke in Leinster House on Tuesday where he supported a Sinn Fein bill seeking to amend the Regulation of Lobbying Act 2015.

Deputy Pringle believes the Act in its original form is an example of the government "paying lip service" to an important issue.

The Bill was brought forward after the appointment of former Minister of State with Responsibility for Financial Services, Michael D’Arcy as the new CEO of the Irish Association Of Investment Managers.

It was also brought on after Leo Varadkar faced a Dail vote of no confidence over the leaking of confidential documents earlier this month.

However, it was Deputy Pringle’s choice of words and not the content of the bill which grabbed attention yesterday.

"Power and the money, money and the power. Minute after minute, hour after hour…," he said.

"Coolio might have been rapping about a “Gangsta’s Paradise” back in 1995 but he could have been referring to politics around the world, including Irish politics and lobbying.

"Power and money tend to go hand in hand.

"We used to see it in the Galway races tent, we still see it at fancy Covid-restriction-breaking-golf-dinners, the Golden Circle, the inner sanctum, the revolving door of politics, lobbyists, Attorney-Generals and Supreme Court Judges.

"It’s all about who knows who and who can influence policy. It’s such a shame really, Minister, isn’t it?

"Politics was supposed to have become more transparent and accountable.

"The days of the brown envelopes were supposed to have been behind us, while corporate interests were expected to document and detail their meetings with public officials when seeking to influence policy.

"But, of course, many loopholes exist in our Regulation of Lobbying Act 2015."

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