Fine Gael’s Michelle Mulherin said she is disappointed Maria Bailey was removed from the General Election ticket but does not believe it is the end of her political career.
The Dun Laoghaire TD has been under scrutiny since her compensation case for falling off a swing at the Dean Hotel in Dublin in 2015 came to light earlier this year.
"I’m very disappointed for Maria. As a colleague in the party, I know she worked really hard in her constituency and all the portfolios she had, including housing, and tonight has to be very difficult for her," Ms Mulherin told the Tonight Show yesterday.
Senator Mulherin said the media coverage of Ms Bailey was "incessant" and she believes a man would not have received as much attention in her situation.
"I think the coverage of what has happened to her isn't proportionate or fair. This is going on since last May and it has been incessant, the coverage she's got, the abuse she's got. I seriously wonder if she was a man if she would have got it."
"Well I think the coverage of what has happened to her hasn't been proportionate or fair"@MulherinFG is disappointed for Maria Bailey having being dropped from the @FineGael General Election ticket. #TonightVMTV pic.twitter.com/Qs2DSCgfTN— The Tonight Show (@TonightVMTV) November 14, 2019
Senator Mulherin said she believes Ms Bailey will not step away from politics.
"I'm speaking from my own personal view and I know a lot of people would share it. Maria has to consider her position but she’s a strong performer and I wouldn’t be writing Maria off."
The decision to take Ms Bailey off the General Election ticket in Dun Laoghaire was made at a meeting of the Fine Gael Executive Council yesterday evening following a recommendation from Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.
Ms Bailey said she was disappointed, adding she will now take time to reflect.
The executive council added Councillor Jennifer Carroll MacNeill to the ticket in Ms Bailey’s place.
In a statement, Ms Bailey said she feels she has been sanctioned twice, adding: “I had hoped to be able to move on and work hard to rebuild my reputation.”
Ms Bailey was demoted following an internal review which found that she “overstated” the extent of her injuries.