Dabbing in the Dáil: Richard Boyd Barrett explains dance move during drugs debate

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Media captionRichard Boyd Barrett did the dab during a drugs debate in the Dáil

It's a global dance craze born out of US hip-hop culture that's swept the world over the last year.

From nightclubs to sports grounds to television studios, it seems almost everyone's had a dip at doing the dab.

But in a surprising new development, it has worked its way into the stuffy world of Irish politics.

In an attempt to get down with the kids, Richard Boyd Barrett brought the dab to the Dáil - the Irish parliament.

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Image caption Juventus footballers Paul Pogba and Paulo Dybala celebrate their goals with the occasional dab

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


In his speech he said politicians "need to start to listen to young people", adding that some in his Dún Laoghaire constituency in County Dublin had asked him: "Do you have any idea what's going on?"

And he said they asked him to dish out a "bit of street language, from the street" to his fellow parliamentarians in the Dáil.

"When kids are trying to make a positive statement on the street they do a thing called a dab," he said.

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Image caption US teen band The Jonas Brothers saw in 2016 by dabbing at a new year's eve party in Las Vegas

"I don't know if you've ever seen it.

"I don't know what it means.

"But we need to learn what it means, learn what young people are talking about, what matters to them, what they consider positive activity."


Speaking to The Ryan Tubridy Show on RTÉ Radio 1, Mr Boyd Barrett said "we need more" hip-hop in the Dublin parliament.

"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," he said.

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Image caption Tennis star Victoria Azarenka dipped for a dab during a win at the Australian Open earlier this year

"Hip-hop, for a lot of teenagers these days, is the language they speak - it's the cultural language of teenagers."

He added that it's "very obvious" that many young people "are completely alienated from politics".

"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."

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Image caption American footballer Cam Newton is credited with kickstarting the dab craze