'Maria is expected to rally the troops for the meeting'

A Fine Gael move to review how many people run for the party in the next general election in Dun Laoghaire, south Dublin, is expected to see embattled TD Maria Bailey face open criticism tomorrow night after her controversial injury claim against a hotel for falling off a swing.

'Maria is expected to rally the troops for the meeting'

A Fine Gael move to review how many people run for the party in the next general election in Dun Laoghaire, south Dublin, is expected to see embattled TD Maria Bailey face open criticism tomorrow night after her controversial injury claim against a hotel for falling off a swing.

Ms Bailey, since before May’s local and European elections, has been at the centre of a political storm, when it was confirmed she had taken the case against the Dean Hotel.

Ms Bailey dropped her legal case after a backlash. But the controversy rumbled on, leading to Taoiseach Leo Varadkar demoting her after a party inquiry.

A constituency motion has been tabled for Halloween night on whether changes should be made to the party ticket in the south Dublin area which could see support for two candidates as opposed to three on the ticket.

Currently, Ms Bailey, junior minister Mary Mitchell O'Connor and local councillor Barry Ward have been chosen to contest the next election for Fine Gael in the four-seat constituency. However, tonight's motion could see calls for Ms Bailey to stand down from an attempt to retain her seat.

A motion of no confidence against the former housing committee chairwoman was ruled out of order earlier this month. Fine Gael sources also say the party's national executive has the option to change, reduce or increase the number of candidates for the constituency.

In an e-mail to Fine Gael members for tomorrow night's motion, the party said a meeting would be held in the Royal Marine Hotel and the issue would be tabled by party member Joe Lawlor.

The motion reads: “The Dún Laoghaire constituency executive calls on the Fine Gael executive council to urgently review the ticket for the general election and to make any changes necessary in order to improve our prospects in the election.”

Ms Bailey did not respond to queries from the Irish Examiner.

Party sources say consideration is now being given to running just two candidates in the next election in Dun Laoghaire. This follows polling in the constituency for Fine Gael over the last month.

“They are trying to take the heat out of this. But Maria is expected to rally the troops for the meeting. And even if the constituency does or does not decide to change the ticket, the national executive will do what they want anyhow,” said an informed party source about the constituency row.

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