The disappointment provoked by the findings of the internal Fine Gael inquiry into Maria Bailey’s personal injury claim are exacerbated by the fact that the report will not be published.
All too conveniently, barrister David Kennedy was able to tell Taoiseach Leo Varadkar that “he sought the co- operation of those who were interviewed for the report on the basis that it wouldn’t be published”.
This, amazingly, allowed Mr Vardakar to respond: “And he gave them that commitment in writing so I don’t feel I could possibly override that.”
It requires spectacular gullibility to imagine Mr Kennedy had the independence, tacit or otherwise, to offer that blanket protection to witnesses, a protection that has once again been used to treat the idea of accountability in public life and the electorate with contempt.
If that protection was not contrived it highlights mere misjudgment — as this is, no matter how FG bleat and would have us believe, a matter of grave public interest.
Despite that details of the report came to light in yesterday’s Sunday Independent and it shows that Ms Bailey’s personal injury claim “overstated” the impact of injuries she suffered falling from a swing in a Dublin city centre hotel.
This seems to leave Fine Gael with limited options.
One of those, the most important, centres on the party’s next selection convention for Dún Laoghaire where Ms Bailey is one of three Fine Gael deputies. She should not be on the ticket.