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Irish politician Richard Boyd Barrett does his best attempt at a 'dab' in the Dáil

By Meadhbh McGrath

Published 08/07/2016

Richard Boyd Barrett showed off his dabbing skills during a debate on the Misuse of Drugs Bill in the Dáil on Thursday.

For those unfamiliar with the Internet’s favourite dance craze, it involves a single move where you tuck your head in the crook of one arm while extending the other.

Originating in hip-hop culture in Atlanta, Georgia, dabbing was popularised by Vine videos and a cringe-inducing performance by US presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton on the Ellen show earlier this year.

The viral dance has now made its way into the Dáil.

The Anti-Austerity Alliance People Before Profit TD pulled the move during a debate on the Irish government's Misuse of Drugs Bill on Thursday.

He prefaced his dab by explaining it was “something I promised some of the young people in my area that I’d do in the Dáil”.

“They asked me, ‘what do you guys do in there? Do you have any idea what’s going on?’ They asked me to do something, it’s a bit of street language from the street,” he said, before showing the room how to dab.

“When kids are trying to make a positive statement on the street, they do something like that.”

He added: “I don’t know what it means, but we need to learn what it means. We need to learn what young people are talking about, what matters to them, what they consider positive activity.

"We need to support them and fund them, instead of this misguided nonsense.”

Mr Boyd Barrett later told The Ryan Tubridy Show on RTÉ Radio 1 that "we need more" hip-hop in the Dublin parliament.

He said: "I don't pretend to be an expert on these things, but it's more from my own kids and young people that I've kind of learnt about these things. Hip-hop, for a lot of teenagers these days, is the language they speak - it's the cultural language of teenagers.

"In any election, it's clear that the biggest demographic that don't vote and don't engage with politics are young people.

"I think it's our responsibility to engage with young people."

Irish Independent

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