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Pressure mounts on Taoiseach to publish internal report into Maria Bailey swing fall case

Varadakr said he cannot publish the report.

Image: Leah Farrell

PRESSURE IS MOUNTING on the Taoiseach to publish an internal Fine Gael review into the Maria Bailey swing fall case. 

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

The hotel denied any negligence, later adding that it was “satisfied with the result” when Bailey withdrew her claim against them. 

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

In an interview with RTÉ’s Sean O’Rourke, Bailey defended her claim and said she was “genuinely hurt” by the fall.

Bailey interview

Bailey was strongly critical of the media for its coverage of the story, saying it acted as “judge, jury and executioner” in the case. 

“Due to the unbelievable abuse, I wasn’t able to go home for three days last week because journalists were sitting at my home. That is an invasion of my privacy and humanity has been crossed,” Bailey said.

However, the case itself, as well as her radio interview, was criticised by her party colleagues, members of Cabinet, as well as the Taoiseach, with Leo Varadkar stating that Bailey had caused “reputational damage” to the party.

Fine Gael TDs and ministers also reacted to the radio interview with Health Minister Simon Harris calling it “unfortunate” and Social Protection Minister Regina Doherty stating that Bailey did “a disservice” to herself.

After meeting with the Bailey, Varadkar confirmed that an internal review into the matter would be carried out “to establish all facts”. The review was undertaken by David Kennedy, Senior Counsel.

Speaking to reporters today in Longford today, Varadkar said he has received the review and met with Bailey about its conclusions last night. 

However, he also confirmed that he cannot publish the report as those involved in the review spoke on condition it would not be published.

He added that he will make a statement on the conclusions of the Bailey swing case next week.

Opposition leaders are now calling on the Taoiseach to make the review public.

Labour leader Brendan Howlin said the Taoiseach “assuaged public concern by holding a review into Maria Bailey’s legal action”.

“He should now publish that review in order to meet genuine public concerns by explaining this incident in full,” he said. 

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