Maria Bailey takes action against newspaper over ‘swing gate’ coverage

Defamation proceedings lodged by former Fine Gael TD against publishers of Irish Daily Mirror

Former Fine Gael TD Maria Bailey. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Former Fine Gael TD Maria Bailey has lodged High Court defamation proceedings against the publisher of the Irish Daily Mirror .

It is understood the proceedings against MGN Ltd alleged defamation arising out of coverage of the so-called swing gate controversy, the personal injuries case she took against the Dean Hotel, on Harcourt Street, Dublin, which she later withdrew.

Ms Bailey was de-selected by Fine Gael prior to the last general election and eventually announced she would not be standing as an independent candidate.

The former TD for the Dún Laoghaire constituency had spent 12 years as a local councillor and four as TD, but was dragged into the controversy when she took a personal injuries case against the hotel arising from a fall from a swing type seat within the hotel.


A month after party members in her constituency asked headquarters to review its general election ticket, the party leader, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, removed her from the ticket.

An interview she gave on the Sean O’Rourke show on RTÉ Radio 1 about the case was widely considered to have been a public relations disaster.

In the case, which was taken in the Circuit Court, Ms Bailey claimed damages over injuries she alleged she suffered to her head, back and hip, after falling off a swing in the hotel premises on a night out in 2015.

The hotel lodged a full defence of the claim and alleged Ms Bailey had items in both her hands when she sat on the swing.

Colm Keena

Colm Keena

Colm Keena is an Irish Times journalist. He was previously legal-affairs correspondent and public-affairs correspondent