Mishandling drags on and on: Maria Bailey affair far from settled

Mishandling drags on and on: Maria Bailey affair far from settled

HAD the Maria Bailey affair been dealt with as it should have been it would, in time, warrant a half a sentence in this administration’s history.

Had Taoiseach Leo Varadkar shown a scintilla of the ruthlessness Boris Johnson displayed to remake the Tory cabinet then a line, as Mr Varadkar must wish, would have been rightly drawn under the affair. Not so.

Prevarication and a clumsy attempt at evasion — commissioning but not publishing a report to “establish the facts” — have given the affair life long after it should have been finalised. Fianna Fáil has rattled the cage pointing to unanswered questions, one of which is the role, and the extent of it, played by Culture Minister Josepha Madigan.

Ms Bailey, who was not charged much less convicted of anything, was sacked by Mr Varadkar as chair of an Oireachtas committee yet remains a FG candidate for the next general election. A final decision on that will not be made before September when Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe completes his review of candidates. It is likely, or at least it should be, that a grassroots revolt within Ms Bailey’s constituency, when local members demanded she be dropped from the ticket, will be influential. If it is not further questions arise.

This black-or-white affair has been mishandled badly but it offers lessons — one of which is that Mr Varadkar, should he ever find himself negotiating with Mr Johnson, may have to be far more ruthless than he has been in this shabby episode.

More on this topic

Maria Bailey resigns as chair of two more Oireachtas committeesMaria Bailey resigns as chair of two more Oireachtas committees

Maria Bailey has paid the price for political foot in mouth, it’s time to move onMaria Bailey has paid the price for political foot in mouth, it’s time to move on

Boss of insurer FBD says lessons for Government from Maria Bailey case soon forgottenBoss of insurer FBD says lessons for Government from Maria Bailey case soon forgotten

Bailey originally sought €20k from hotel in swing fall caseBailey originally sought €20k from hotel in swing fall case

More in this Section

The intolerant are a minority... for nowThe intolerant are a minority... for now

Serious questions for Siri on contracts, workSerious questions for Siri on contracts, work

Alcohol really is no excuse for bad behaviour – research reveals you're still the same person after a drinkAlcohol really is no excuse for bad behaviour – research reveals you're still the same person after a drink

Why we care more about a cathedral than a rainforestWhy we care more about a cathedral than a rainforest


Lifestyle

IF you are the parent of a child who is about to venture forth into the hallowed halls of Primary education, or ‘Big School’ as every Irish mammy refers to it since the dawn of time; well, chances are you’ve probably been very active in your Google searches looking for tips and advice on how to ease your child, and yourself, into this next chapter.Out of curiosity, I searched online for ‘Back to school advice’

More From The Irish Examiner