Belfast Telegraph

‘Swing-gate’ TD Maria Bailey taken off General Election ticket

The Dun Laoghaire representative says she is disappointed and will now take time to reflect on the decision.

Fine Gael politician Maria Bailey could be removed from the General Election ticket (Niall Carson/PA)
Fine Gael politician Maria Bailey could be removed from the General Election ticket (Niall Carson/PA)

By Aine McMahon PA

TD Maria Bailey has been taken off the General Election ticket in Dun Laoghaire.

The decision was taken at a meeting of the Fine Gael Executive Council on Thursday evening following a recommendation from leader Leo Varadkar.

Ms Bailey said she was disappointed, adding she will now take time to reflect.

The executive council added Councillor Jennifer Carroll MacNeill to the ticket in Ms Bailey’s place.

Minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor along with councillors Barry Ward will join her to contest the Dun Laoghaire constituency for Fine Gael at the next General Election.

In a statement posted on Twitter, Ms Bailey said she feels she has been sanctioned twice, adding: “I had hoped to be able to move on and work hard to rebuild my reputation.”

Fine Gael members in Dun Laoghaire carried a motion asking party HQ to urgently review the General Election ticket in Ms Bailey’s constituency two weeks ago.

That meeting heard that the party had taken a knock in the opinion polls following the controversy regarding Ms Bailey.

The Dun Laoghaire TD has been under scrutiny since her compensation case for falling off a swing at the Dean Hotel in Dublin in 2015 came to light earlier this year.

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Taoiseach and Fine Gael leader Leo Varadkar would have to approve any move to remove Maria Bailey from the ticket (Brian Lawless/PA)

Ms Bailey was demoted following an internal review which found that she “overstated” the extent of her injuries.

Court documents lodged as part of Ms Bailey’s case stated that she could not run for three months after her fall but she took part in a 10km race three weeks after the incident.

In an RTE radio interview in May, she said the swing had not been properly supervised at the time of her fall.

Ms Bailey has since withdrawn proceedings she filed against the Dean Hotel and was demoted by being removed as chairwoman of the Oireachtas Housing Committee.

PA

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