Noel Rock replaces Maria Bailey as Chair of Oireachtas Housing Committee

Noel Rock replaces Maria Bailey as Chair of Oireachtas Housing Committee
Noel Rock

Fine Gael has promoted TD Noel Rock to replace Maria Bailey as Chair of the Oireachtas Housing Committee.

Deputy Bailey was demoted from the job after the swing gate controversy earlier in the year.

Galway West TD, Hildegarde Naughton, has also been promoted to fill Ms Bailey's role as head of the Oireachtas Group of Committee chairs.

Mr Rock stated that: "Housing, planning and local government are vitally important issues.

"I look forward to tackling it with all the energy I have."

The promotions of Mr Rock and Ms Naughton came after Ms Bailey last month resigned as chair of three Oireachtas committees in the wake of a still unpublished internal Fine Gael investigation into her now dropped legal case against the Dean Hotel.

In a statement last month Ms Bailey - who left as chair of the housing, committee of committee chairs and members interest committees - said she was making the decision "in the interests of the smooth running" of the political groups due in part to the ongoing attention over the scrapped case.

In a letter to Oireachtas committee secretariat Charles Hearne last month, Ms Bailey said: "I now feel that in the interest of the smooth running of the select committee on members interest it would be best for me to resign as chair of the committee."

After two months of delays, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar released a damning statement against Ms Bailey in July and removed her as housing committee chair in response to a still unpublished internal Fine Gael review into her swing fall case.

While accepting Mr Varadkar's view, which included a reference to "numerous errors of judgement", Ms Bailey defended her decision to take the case by saying it was based on legal advice.

- additional reporting by Fiachra Ó Cionnaith

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