Maria Bailey may lose committee chair over swing-gate

Fine Gael TD Maria Bailey could have her role as chair of the Housing Committee removed this week over her swing-case controversy.

Maria Bailey may lose committee chair over swing-gate

Fine Gael TD Maria Bailey could have her role as chair of the Housing Committee removed this week over her swing-case controversy.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, who has received the independent report on the issue, is due to meet Ms Bailey again this week before revealing what sanctions he will take against her.

Mr Varadkar has the option of taking the party whip away from the Dun Laoghaire TD which would see her temporarily suspended from Fine Gael. However, it is unlikely that he will take this course of action.

Instead, Fine Gael sources say Mr Varadkar is more likely to remove her as chair of the Oireachtas Housing Committee which is seen as a position of privilege.

Some party members believe that regardless of the sanction Ms Bailey has already paid a significant political price for initiating legal action against the Dean Hotel in Dublin, which she withdrew in May.

“Maria will pay a huge price for this even if no sanction is taken, she has been damaged by her own foolish actions,” one source said.

It has been reported the investigation has found that Ms Bailey overstated her injuries after she fell from a swing in the Dublin hotel.

Opposition parties have called on the Government to publish the internal report carried out by senior counsel David Kennedy.

The Taoiseach said he will not be publishing the report as those interviewed spoke on the basis it would remain private.

“It is not normal for a political party or even a media organisation or an employer to publish an internal report. I did consider making an exception in this regard, but when I met with David Kennedy he pointed out to me that he sought the co-operation of those who were interviewed for the report on the basis that it would not be published.”

Social Protection Minister Regina Doherty said the Taoiseach is “caught between a rock and a hard place”.

“He is caught between a rock and a hard place because he got the review done so that he could assess and maybe make a decision and obviously he will have to do that,” she told RTÉ’s The Week in Politics.

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