Ministers refuse to back ‘swing gate’ TD Maria Bailey

Ministers refuse to back ‘swing gate’ TD Maria Bailey

Fine Gael ministers have refused to back embattled colleague Maria Bailey as a candidate in the next general election following her controversial injury claim for falling off a hotel swing.

Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe, Fine Gael’s director of organisation for the next election, declined to back Ms Bailey yesterday when pressed by media.

He said: “She has been selected as a candidate [locally] and I don’t want to make any further comment on the mater.”

However, he refused to say if she would be placed on the Fine Gael ticket for Dun Laoghaire, and declined to say he had confidence in her.

“Deputy Bailey has been selected as a candidate,” he said.

She has the backing of her constituency organisation to be and did have the backing of her constituency organisation. I’m not going to comment on what her future intentions will be until I’ve had an opportunity to talk to her about it.

Ms Bailey recently withdrew legal proceedings she had filed claiming she had been injured when she fell from a swing in a Dublin hotel.

She did suffer injuries but it later emerged she had taken part in a 10km run weeks after the incident.

She was demoted by Leo Varadkar after an internal party report and has since resigned from other roles. Mr Varadkar said she had signed a court affidavit overstating the impact of her injuries on her running.

Arts Minister Josepha Madigan, who gave Ms Bailey initial advice on her case, yesterday declined to say if Ms Bailey should seek re-election.

“That’s a matter for Maria Bailey to decide,” she said.

“From my own perspective, my own role is beyond reproach and I’ve always maintained the highest professional standards.”


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