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Dublin: 14 °C Monday 17 June, 2019
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'A private matter': No comment from Taoiseach as TD drops swing claim against Dublin hotel

The Irish Independent reports today that TD Maria Bailey has dropped her claim against The Dean hotel.

Maria Bailey had claimed she suffered head, back and hip injuries after a fall off a swing at the hotel.
Maria Bailey had claimed she suffered head, back and hip injuries after a fall off a swing at the hotel.
Image: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

THE TAOISEACH HAS said the withdrawal of a compensation claim by a Fine Gael TD against a Dublin hotel is a private matter for her and not something his party is involved in.

Earlier today, Irish Independent journalist Shane Phelan reported that Maria Bailey has dropped her personal injuries case against the Dean Hotel. The newspaper had previously reported details of the action before the Dublin Circuit Civil Court, in which Bailey alleged negligence or breach of duty against the Dean Hotel over a fall from a swing at the venue.

She had claimed she suffered injuries to her head, lower back and hip in the alleged incident. 

Court documents lodged as part of the case stated the TD could not run for three months after the fall, but the Irish Independent reported this morning that she had participated in a 10km race just three weeks after the incident. 

Bailey later told the Irish Independent she has decided to withdraw her case because “the past week has been very difficult for my family”.

“I had nothing to hide. I had an accident, I was hurt and I had medical bills as a result of the accident,” she said. 

When asked about the issue today, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said: 

“I think in the first instance it is a private matter for her. It’s an incident that occurred before she was even elected to the Dáil and isn’t something the party has been involved in.”

He said he hadn’t had a chance to talk to Bailey about it yet but he is sure he will next week.

‘Livid’

Earlier this week, Senator and former Minister for Justice Michael McDowell said he was “struck” by the case. 

“It also occurs to me that if the government is serious about driving down the claims culture, we cannot stand idly by when adults with two objects, one in each hand, lose their seat and fall off a swing and then claim that there should have been a supervisor looking after them, especially when it comes from somebody who has so much public influence and clear influence over government policy in these matters.”

It is understood many Fine Gael TDs were unaware that their colleague was taking the legal case. One told TheJournal.ie they were “livid” when they heard. 

Minister for Social Protection Regina Doherty, when asked about the case, said every individual has a right to take a case. 

However she said the government’s job was to ensure that when claims go to court, that they are “sensible”. 

“We are incredibly serious. We don’t want to stop anybody from going to court and making a claim if they feel that they have a right to do so but what we absolutely cannot have and tolerate is exorbitant claims being given to people off the back of previous records of exhorbitant claims that are putting people out of business. We can’t have that.”

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