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Fine Gael TD Maria Bailey. Leah Farrell/
Swings and roundabouts

Swing fall TD Maria Bailey says she won't 'bow down to keyboard warriors and bullies'

The Fine Gael TD today defended her now-dropped legal action against a Dublin hotel.

FINE GAEL TD Maria Bailey says the media “have crossed the line of humanity and invasion” in the controversy over her now-dropped personal injury claim against a Dublin hotel.

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

The hotel denies any negligence.

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 this morning, Bailey defended her claim and said she was “genuinely hurt” by the fall.

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.

As a state we need to decide who our judicial system is here, is it the media or is the courts? The media were judge, jury and executioner in a leaked document.

“I have medical expenses. Nobody questioned that here. And the reason it took such great traction Sean is, I am the subject of clickbait, so it was trending so well and I have to say well done I handed them a tremendous headline, I accept that.”

RTÉ Radio 1 / SoundCloud

During the interview, Bailey was asked about the specifics of her fall, which occurred before she was elected as a TD in 2016.  

“We purchased a drink each at the bar, which we didn’t consume,” she said. 

We went up in the lift, we saw the swings. Nobody was drunk, nobody was messing. They’re like polished woods these seats, I sat in them, I did have a bottle of beer in my hand and next I knew I was on the floor.

“I had my beer in my hand and I was reaching for my friend, who had a bottle of wine, she was taking her camera out of her jacket. I then found myself on the floor, I was mortified,” she added. 

Bailey was specifically asked whether she had things in both hands when she fell off the swing. The TD responded that this was not for her to answer.

“Sean, that would have been a case for the judge to adjudicate on…. Sean I am not opening a trial here.”

The TD was also asked about a 10 km run she competed in three weeks after the fall.

Court documents lodged as part of the case stated she could not run for three months after the fall, the Irish Independent reported 

“I went through intensive physio and like any athlete I wanted to dip my toe in it and I paid the price for it that night and I regretted doing it,” she said. 

Bailey said that she decided on Tuesday that she would drop her case against the hotel but that she was advised that it would look cynical for her to drop the case in the week ahead of Friday’s elections. 

“I am so passionate about my job and I am not going to bow down to keyboard warriors and bullies,” she said.

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