Tag Archives: Maria Bailey

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)

From top: Fine Gael TD Kate O’Connell (left) with, Fine Gael Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown Councillor John Bailey and his daughter Maria Bailey, a Fine Gael TD, canvassing during the Local Elections on May 16; Eamonn Kelly

The Maria Bailey story has more legs than a bag of creepy crawlies. Though it is in danger of reaching saturation point, it is still delivering all kinds of oddities.

A commentator on Broadsheet directed us to a Wiki page on John Bailey, Ms Bailey’s father, a Dalkey publican and a Fine Gael politician who has an interesting past in terms of false claims and deceitful practises, along with defences of his actions not unlike Maria Bailey’s defence of her actions.

To win votes in the 2007 general election John Bailey apparently circulated a letter mocked up to look like a Fine Gael directive from the top, the deception reinforced by featuring a photograph of Enda Kenny, the letter instructing people to vote Bailey No 1, for party vote management reasons.

The deceit was later described by the Fine Gael director of elections as a “serious breach of party discipline and unity.”

In 2009, when constituents were protesting about building work in Dun Laoghaire golf club, Bailey wrote to the constituents to say he had objected to the planned development. An Bord Pleanala said no such objection was made. Bailey said it must have got lost in the post.

It later emerged in stories from the Sunday Business Post and the Sunday Tribune that both Bailey and his daughter Maria, had received election donations from the builders engaged in work on the golf course.  Bailey denied that these donations had any bearing on his failure to object to the development.

The point here is, that he took time to actually write a letter to constituents deliberately designed to mislead and give a false impression of where his loyalties lay.

In 2009 Bailey again set out to deceive Fine Gael with another letter, this one designed to block a rival’s daughter from involvement in the selection process for candidates for Fine Gael for the Dun Laoghaire constituency.

The selection convention was cancelled at short notice when three sitting Fine Gael candidates, Bailey being one of them, declared their unanimous view that they should be the only three candidates running in the ward.

The FG executive council agreed. The side-lined candidate sought a court injunction against Fine Gael for failing to follow its own procedures. The case was settled out of court.

In 2010 the Irish Times reported that Bailey had received donations from another building developer which he failed to declare to the Standards in Public Office Commission.

The Sunday Tribune later reported that he had also received undeclared donations from the developers involved in the Dun Laoghaire golf course development. Bailey pled innocent and characterised himself as a hard worker and straight-up Joe. A misunderstood good egg.

In 2013 Bailey created some fake news by designing a leaflet to look like it stemmed from the local Dun Laoghaire Gazette, endorsing Bailey. The Dublin Gazette group sought an apology. Bailey refused and said he didn’t see what the big deal was about.

The big deal was about breaching a newspaper’s copyright in order to deceive the public by passing off a forgery as an editorial in order to gain political advantage.

Fine Gael said they could not condone or support the attempted deceit. Nevertheless, they did accept it, and no action of any consequence was taken against Bailey.

Bailey was involved in sports administration and similar legends pepper his career in that area too, mainly around his apparent ambition to manage the Dublin football team.

He eventually did get to be appointed team manager of the Dublin Hurling team for a short time, after the manager was removed following a string of dismal performances. Bailey was installed as interim manager but the Dublin hurlers refused to train under him.

Bailey threatened to have them all barred from ever playing for Dublin again should they refuse to accept him as manager.

In other words, the good egg threatened to destroy their sporting careers unless they accepted him in a role that he clearly did not earn on sporting merit, but had politicked himself into. The players refused to accept him anyway and he was subsequently replaced.

What is striking about all this is that such a track record has gone unpunished by the Fine Gael party, self-proclaimed upholders of all that is righteous.

A party who represent the privileged and denigrate the ordinary person at every turn, both in terms of attitude and of policy, creating a society where the privileged get all the breaks, while the ordinary people foot the bills and carry the guilt and the burden for failed policies, on the often intimated charge that they have been “lazy” or “weak”.

Clearly Fine Gael are prepared to put up with the sort of moral example the Baileys provide, simply for political expedience.

Then it turns out that Maria Bailey is a second cousin of Simon Harris, the minister currently taking on the task of wrecking the Irish Health service in the interests of privatisation; and though they are said not to be close, the relationship illustrates the small world of the Irish elite. They are in a sense, our 1%.

Maria Bailey said in the RTÉ interview with Sean O’Rourke that the affidavit claiming she could not run competitively for three months after the swing fall was “a mistake”.

But was it a mistake simply because she was caught in a contradiction?

How does that sit with Leo Varadkar, after all the press he created to convince people that welfare fraud was rife? A charge roundly rejected by a former social welfare officer.

It was claimed in The Journal today that a Fine Gael ‘source’ said that they “did not envisage that she [Bailey] would be expelled from the party, stating that would be an ‘overreaction’…”

Instead, the punishment will be that she will lose the privilege of chairing a committee, on housing, of all things. This amounts to a financial loss too, since the role delivers a $9,000 stipend. Losing the chair is a kind of fine, in a way.

But in Ireland over the last couple of years, 11,000 people per year were taken to court for TV license evasion, surely a lesser offence, and often one committed by poor people as a result of straitened circumstances.

Maria Bailey said that it is a personal “tragedy” for her and her family. A family whose patriarch has himself a record in deliberate deceit.

Which begs the question, is this an isolated case, or does the Bailey saga represent a trend among the privileged?

Are the Baileys just overtly careless about displaying an attitude that may have wider, if more circumspect acceptance, among a certain class of people? Or are they freaks?

Maria Bailey supported Simon Coveney in the leadership election that saw Varadkar take the helm. These people are only a few steps removed from serious political power and influence in Ireland.

That should give everyone, including Fine Gael, pause for thought.

Eamonn Kelly is a freelance journalist,

Yesterday: Always looking For Someone’s Manager


‘Never Drink & Swing’

A topical new game by Simon Darcy.

Play NOW

Thanks Bibi Baskin


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

Fine Gael TD Kate O’Connell changed her Facebook photo mere moments after her friend and colleague Maria Bailey’s interview with Sean O’Rourke.

The Dublin Bay South TD’s ‘cover photo’ was a picture of her with her sister Mary Newman-Julian, a Fine Gael election candidate for Tipperary, and her close friend Maria Bailey.

It had been her Facebook ‘cover photo’ since March 24.

But at 10:32am on Monday morning she switched it for a group photo without the now-controversial figure.

De-profiled: Fine Gael TD Kate O’Connell removes Facebook photo featuring friend Maria Bailey minutes after RTE interview (Independent.ie)