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Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to speak to Maria Bailey over dropped swing claim against Dublin hotel

The TD dropped her case against the hotel following controversy over it this week.

Maria Bailey (file photo)
Maria Bailey (file photo)
Image: Eamonn Farrell/Rollingnews.ie

TAOISEACH LEO VARADKAR says he will speak to Fine Gael TD Maria Bailey after a now-dropped compensation claim against a Dublin hotel attracted controversy this week.

The Dún Laoghaire TD drew criticism this week after it emerged that she had filed legal proceedings against the Dean Hotel after she fell from a swing at the venue.

She had claimed she suffered injuries to her head, lower back and hip in the alleged incident, and court documents lodged as part of the case stated she could not run for three months after the fall.

The claim was made before Bailey was elected in 2016, and she told the Irish Independent that she was only seeking to be compensated for her medical expenses arising from her alleged fall.

However, she dropped her claim yesterday after the Irish Independent also reported that she had participated in a 10km race just three weeks after the alleged incident occurred.

It is understood many Fine Gael TDs were unaware that Bailey was taking the legal case, with one telling TheJournal.ie they were “livid” when they found out.

Varadkar initially avoided commenting on the story after Bailey officially dropped her personal injury claim against the hotel, telling reporters that the case was “a private matter”.

But speaking on the This Week programme on RTÉ Radio 1 this morning, he confirmed that a number of election candidates had raised concerns with him about the case.

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However, while he also played down suggestions the case harmed the party’s chances in the local and European elections, the Taoiseach confirmed that he would discuss the matter with Bailey this week.

“A lot of our candidates have said to me that it came up on the doors and did us some reputational damage. It’s hard to quantify that though,” he said.

“But I think she’s now withdrawn the case and I’ll have a chance to speak to her next week. I haven’t had a chance to do that this week, so I’d prefer to do that first.”

Varadkar also moved to distance Fine Gael from Bailey’s case, and re-stated that the claim was a “private matter” which had been lodged without the party’s consultation.

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