Brian Hayes is a controversial politician. Some people love him. Others hate him. But all sides agree that his performance in the Dail debate on ABA services was exceptional, with his unscripted speech at the end of the debate regarded across the Dail as a tour de force. With his party's TDs all on the Fine Gael benches (Fine Gael's turnout was in dramatic contrast to the government's empty benches) he delivered a rousing speech that drew cheers from the public gallery and also was listened to intently by those Fianna Fail TDs there.
Hayes's performance was widely spoken of the moment he went from being a controversial middle-ranking performer to being a first ranker, delivering a speech that produced a reaction of "wow. That was extraordinary" among politicians from all parties in the Dail bar afterwards.
Was last night the day Hayes turned into a very credible politician?