Fine Gael TD Maria Bailey
Fionnan Sheahan, in the Irish Independent, reports:
A heave against swing fall compensation case TD Maria Bailey has begun within Fine Gael.
A motion of no confidence has been tabled against Ms Bailey within Fine Gael in her own constituency.
The Dun Laoghaire TD is a candidate for Fine Gael in the forthcoming general election.
…The motion in Blackrock was tabled by long-serving and respected Fine Gael councillor Marie Baker.
Ms Baker previously worked for Ms Bailey as an assistant in the TD’s office. But she left the post 18 months ago.
Previously: ‘I Found Myself On The Floor’
Maria Bailey (left) with Simon Coveney (right) and fellow Fine Gael TD Kate O’Connell in The Dean Hotel, Dublin – scene of Ms Bailey’s insurance matter – on May 25, 2017
This morning .
On Today with Seán O’Rourke on RTÉ Radio One.
The host asked Tánaiste Simon Coveney about the Irish Independent report…
Seán O’Rourke: “One other quick question about domestic politics, Tánaiste. Front page story by Fionnan Sheahan in today’s Irish Independent reporting that a motion of no confidence has been tabled for the Fine Gael TD for Dun Laoghaire. She was somebody who supported your candidature in the leadership election. It’s widely believed that you intervened to dissuade the Taoiseach from removing the party whip from her a few months ago. What is your view of this motion?”
Simon Coveney: “First of all the motion failed. So…that’s not covered in the story. But I would stay here is that, you know, Maria Bailey is somebody who has paid a very, very heavy price for making a mistake. And she continues to pay that price but she is a very hard working TD. She’s been selected to represent Fine Gael in the next general election. She’s looking to rebuild her political career and is working extraordinarily hard to do that.
“But what I would say is that there is a need for fairness here. When people make mistakes, particularly in politics, of course there’s a consequence for that.”
O’Rourke: “Even though it brings the party into disrepute?”
Coveney: “Sorry, we have had a detailed internal investigation into what happened here. The results of that have resulted in the Taoiseach taking disciplinary action. That action has now been taken. And so, you know, what I would say is I would encourage people to have some sense of fair play here and in terms of proportionality as regards the consequences of Maria’s decisions for her. They have taken an extraordinary toll on her personally and her family and her place in politics.
“And, you know, I think that when disciplinary action is taken, when consequences have been faced up to, there is, at some point, surely, an opportunity to allow a person to move on.”
“And, you know, I think it’s important that the Maria Bailey story is put in that kind of context as opposed to something else. Politics is a tough business and the electorate, of course, ultimately, will have their say.
“But the Maria Bailey I know is somebody who desperately would want to rewind the clock…[she’s] paid an extraordinary price for a mistake and is trying to put it behind her.”
Listen back in full here