From  left: Maria Bailey, Kate O’Connell and her sister Mary Newman-Julian

This morning.

On RTÉ’s Today with Miriam, Fine Gael TD Kate O’Connell commented on why she changed her Facebook photograph moments after her friend and party colleague Maria Bailey did an interview with Sean O’Rourke on RTÉ about swinggate in May.

Ms O’Connell’s ‘cover photo’ on Facebook had been a picture of her with her sister Mary Newman-Julian, a Fine Gael election candidate for Tipperary, and Ms Bailey.

Her comments on RTÉ this morning follow Minister for Communications Richard Bruton saying yesterday that he would support Ms Bailey if she decides to run in the next election and reports that Fine Gael are considering adding two councillors to the ticket in Ms Bailey’s constituency of Dun Laoghaire.

Ms O’Connell couldn’t confirm if it is the case that Fine Gael are planning this strategy – saying she’s not on the national executive.

But she added it would be “bizarre to have that many people on the ticket”.

She said, in terms of the “democratic process”, that “if anybody thinks somebody shouldn’t, anybody in Ireland isn’t allowed to run for parliament, I think you’re actually cutting into democracy”.

But she refused to give her opinion on whether or not Ms Bailey should run again.

Ms O’Connell then had this exchange with Ms O’Callaghan:

Miriam O’Callaghan: “And Kate, remember, you Kate, I think, took Maria Bailey down off your Facebook page, hours after Seán’s interview on this show was heard.”

Kate O’Connell: “Well, actually I discussed that with Maria and such was the level of abuse my social media page was getting, it wasn’t actually, I never commented before now, but it was more to protect what my staff were facing.

“I spoke to Maria Bailey pretty much every day, every few days, since this crisis, if you want to call it that, happened. Yes, she made an error of judgement. Yes, obviously, that Seán O’Rourke interview…but I would very much echo Richard Bruton’s words yesterday, you know, are we going to have, you know, a tick box list of who can and who can’t run for Dáil Éireann.”

O’Callaghan: “So were your staff getting abuse?”

O’Connell: “My staff?”

O’Callaghan: “Yeah.”

O’Connell: “Of course, my staff were. And as for the people working with Maria Bailey. They have endured a huge amount of abuse. And these are people who are working, as you know Daragh [O’Brien, Fianna Fáil TD] they’re not on great wages, Dáil staff, and they are dealing with, and they have to get up and go to work every day and get huge social media abuse.

“So I laughed at how it could make a story in a newspaper – my profile picture. But it was very much to protect staff and I think if Maria Bailey wants to run, it’s her decision. She’s a hard-working TD, she had to resign from an awful lot of committees, she does an awful lot of work in Leinster House.”

Listen back in full here

Previously: Time Waster Of The Day

Eamonn Kelly: Not Far From The Tree

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14 thoughts on “Sister Act

  1. Mr.Fart

    “an awful lot of work” .. yea? like what? go on.. tell us all the great work Bailey has done and who has benefitted from it.

    1. GiggidyGoo

      And, as reported last week, there’s been no official advice to the Dail about her being removed from committees, (or resigning from them as far as i’m aware).
      So is she still collecting payment?

      1. postmanpat

        HUSH now, lets just blindly take the lady’s word for it. Don’t dig to darn much!! …(sorry Giggidy, that was harsh sarcasm on my part , I don’t mean to online abuse you here . online abuse , as we know, is the same as physical assault and I’m sorry, it was uncalled for… I hope you can forgive me and maybe one day ..I can .sniff….forgive myself. )

  2. Ian-O

    Of course she will be running again for FG, she typifies them and their behaviour.

    Hopefully her attempt to defraud that hotel will be shoved in her face at every opportunity.

    As for O’Connell, typical Leo style engagement – bring up a point that sounds ominous but nobody actually mentioned:

    She said, in terms of the “democratic process”, that “if anybody thinks somebody shouldn’t, anybody in Ireland isn’t allowed to run for parliament, I think you’re actually cutting into democracy”.

    Who said Bailey ‘isn’t allowed’. Is there some shadowy deep fried state out there stopping her? No? Of course there isn’t but an unimaginative clown like O’Connell likes to play to her brain dead base, much like Herr drumpf does with his fear mongering and lies.

    Also, like very politician who ever lived, she has to bring up ‘how hard they work’.Everybody works hard, but the only people who continuously bang on about it are politicians, because in this case the lady is protesting far too much. Again.

      1. Bertie Theodore Alphege Blenkinsop

        Are the stars out tonight?
        I don’t know if it’s cloudy or bright,
        I only have eyes for you….

  3. Termagant

    Is there no politician out there who understands the immense respect they’d win from the Irish people if they just said “Maria Bailey is an awful wagon and no I don’t think she should run again the concept is ridiculous”

    1. V

      I don’t think she should run again
      Regardless of her character

      She’ll get landed handily enough on the CEO circuit
      Which will be far cosier and way more lucrative than a tainted TD scavaging for nixers and good press

      The best she can expect from professional politics now is a backwater Junior Ministerial under a second or third next FG Taoiseach

      Bailey has to accept that she will never have the recovery that Francie had

      If she’s 10 years plus and a spell at the table behind her

      All she has to fall back on is that swing

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