Tag Archives: Maria Bailey


Hello you.

This afternoon.

Rochestown Avenue, Dún Laoghaire, County Dublin

Fine Gael TD, Maria Bailey (above right and pic 2 with Catherine Byrne TD)) joined, top from left: Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe and Minister for Health Simon Harris at the launch of the government’s publication of the HSE Capital Plan in the National Rehabilitation Hospital, in Ms Bailey’s constituency.

They write themselves.

Eamonn Farrell/Rollingnews


Minister for Health Simon Harris said the plan provides certainty for capital spending for the next three years and will deliver 250 projects.

Earlier, speaking on Today With Seán O’Rourke, Mr Harris said all of the projects promised, under Project Ireland 2040, are now secure.

He said some of the projects have already started and there were no projects delayed as a result of the increased cost of the National Children’s Hospital.

There’s genuinely no delayed projects and the reason for that is quite simple. Paschal Donohoe made a decision in the Summer Economic Statement, which has allowed me to do this, where he set aside what he called a reserve, and that reserve is to meet the cost of the children’s hospital and the cost of broadband. It allowed to me to give the HSE certainty over its funding for 2020,” he added.

250 projects covered in €2.1bn health funding plan (RTE)

Eamonn Farrell/Rollingnews

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

Ah here.

Spotted at the Courtmacsherry Festival, County Cork at the weekend.

Uncanny Séan O’Rourke, In fairness.

Previously: ‘I Found Myself On The Floor’

Pic via Barry Holland

From top: Madigan Solicitors, Molesworth Street, Dublin 2; Maria Bailey and  Minister for Arts Josepha Madigan

“I think there has been a fair degree of murkiness…. The degree of Josepha Madigan’s involvement should be fully transparent and should be clarified.

I think the Minister [Madigan] needs to make a full, comprehensive statement in relation to that.

At the moment we’re being told that the report says she hadn’t an involvement, but then we’re told she was involved in the initial documentation.

What does that mean?

Did she advise Maria Bailey to take the case?

She needs to answer the basic question: did she or did she not advise in the early stages Maria Bailey to take the case.”

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin

Josepha Madigan needs to clarify her involvement in Maria Bailey case, says Martin (Irish Times)

Last night: “There Have Been Inconsistencies In Deputy Bailey’s Account of Events”

Leo Varadkar and Maria Bailey in 2016

This afternoon.

Via Taoiseach Leo Varadkar:

“Deputy Bailey was injured following a fall from a swing in a hotel in 2015. She sustained painful injuries and incurred significant medical bills as a result.

“The accident happened and the injuries were real and were confirmed by medical reports. The inquiry states that it was not a fraudulent claim.

Minister Madigan (then a backbench TD) gave initial legal advice, guidance and assisted Deputy Bailey with her Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB) application.

This was a preliminary step which often results in amicable resolution but the hotel did not engage with the PIAB. Minister Madigan did not deal with the subsequent legal proceedings.

These were dealt with by another solicitor in the firm who acted on Deputy Bailey’s instructions.

“She was advised that she had a ‘statable’ case. However, there were concerns that a finding of contributory negligence against her was likely and this was communicated to her on several occasions.

“Deputy Bailey signed an affidavit (linked to a personal injuries summons) that over-stated the impact of her injuries on her running.

The inquiry concludes that it is unlikely that a court would conclude that she deliberately sought to mislead as other legal documents talk about her running being restricted rather than not being able to run at all.

“There have been inconsistencies in Deputy Bailey’s account of events to me and the media that I cannot reconcile.

“It is clear to me, that Deputy Bailey made numerous errors of judgement in her handling of this matter from the outset, during and even after she’d withdrawn the case.

And her approach jars with that of a Government taking action to reduce personal injury payments, claims and insurance costs to people and businesses.

“For these reasons, I am demoting her and removing her as Chairperson of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Housing.

“I hope this will send a clear message to other public representatives about taking such cases in future.”

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar this afternoon


Via Maria Bailey TD:

The Taoiseach has removed me as Chair of the Oireachtas Committee on Housing, Planning and Local Government and I accept this decision.

“I initiated legal proceedings following an incident in 2015 in which I suffered painful injuries. I acted on legal advice throughout the process, but ultimately decided to withdraw the proceedings in an attempt to end the extraordinary media and political pressure that arose from the publication of some details of the case.

I began the process leading to the taking of this case before I was a TD, in relation to an incident that took place over four years ago. I regret very much that I took the case.

“I note that the report by David Kennedy SC has found that this was not a fraudulent claim, and that it would be unlikely that a court would conclude that there was any attempt to mislead on my part. I made no attempt to mislead.

“I recognise and regret the difficulties this issue caused for the Taoiseach and my colleagues during the recent elections. I want to express sincere thanks to members of my family, friends and colleagues who have been personally supportive of me during this recent period.”

Maria Bailey this evening.

Previously: ‘I Found Myself On The Floor’

Fine Gael TD Maria Bailey

There you go now.

Previously: ‘I Found Myself On The Floor’

Twisting In The Wind

Blaine Gaffney, who lost out on a seat in Sligo in the local elections, said he was being asked on doorsteps and through social media what his position was on the controversy and on rising insurance costs.

“It did not help. If we are looking at marginal seat losses, I lost out by a swing of 33 votes and it would make you think. It is an issue, and it is on the lips of everyone in Leinster House

FG grassroots call for publication of report into Bailey compensation claim (Irish Times)

Playwright Colin Murphy’s column in the Sunday Business Post at the weekend

In the Sunday Business Post at the weekend, playwright and columnist Colin Murphy wrote about the coverage of Fine Gael TD Maria Bailey.

He wrote:

In school, we called this a pile-on. Online, it’s called a shaming. The journalist Jon Ronson wrote an illuminating book about this, So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed, where he tracked down people to whom this had happened.

This emerging culture of online shaming “felt different to satire or journalism or criticism”, he wrote. “It felt like punishment.” This punishment may not have been intended by those contributing to it, but it was real.

…Maria Bailey gave us all a laugh. For those who perceive her party as out of touch, arrogant and reeking of privilege, #SwingGate was symptomatic of a broader malaise.

But it is not a significant political or policy story. Linking it to the ‘compo culture’ issue is valid but unenlightening; most of this linking of it has merely been self-righteous political opportunism.

The newspaper failed to mention that Mr Murphy is a brother of Fine Gael TD and Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy.

Further to this…

ucancallmecaroline tweetz:

Should journalist state a conflict of interest if they have family members related to political parties when writing political articles.

It’s time to back off: Bailey has been punished enough (The Sunday Business Post)