Wednesday, October 31, 2007


There are three political correspondents' rooms in Leinster House, all at the top of the House. The Indo and RTE are in one room; the Times and TV3 in the second and the third room is the Craggy Island one - housing us from the Examiner, the Irish Daily Mail, one half of the Sunday Business Post political team and the Sunday Times.

Well, we in the third room were given the bum's rush out of Leinster House last week. The floor in our room was collapsing (yep, all those porkie pies!) and the Office of Public Works Engineer told us that we had to get out by the end of the week.

We are now on the fourth floor of a (relatively) modern office block behind the Kilkenny Design shop on Nassau Street. It takes about six minutes to get to the chamber from here. But for all the world we could be at the North Pole. We are completely isolated.

The reporters from the different papers were in different rooms but were on the same floor. And contiguity is important; for briefings; for co-ordination and to keep your antennae up to pick up vibes that your rivals might have a story that you haven't. Missing a trick (and then getting a kicking from the editor) is the greatest fear and motivator of all journalists!

We felt a bit like the hind rump when shifted last week. But then the OPW condemned the entire floor. It means that all political correspondents are now to be shifted outside of the Leinster House campus.

This is going to be difficult for some of our colleagues. And naturally there are worries that once we are all out of Leinster House, we will stay out.

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