Hotel hands over file on Maria Bailey swing case to FG reviewer

Group co-operating with review into TD’s now-abandoned personal injury claim

Maria Bailey: claim on radio last week that she was only seeking €7,000 from the hotel to cover her medical expenses. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Maria Bailey: claim on radio last week that she was only seeking €7,000 from the hotel to cover her medical expenses. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

 

The hotel sued by Fine Gael TD Maria Bailey is handing over its file on her legal claim over a swing fall to the lawyer reviewing the case for the party. Ms Bailey has since withdrawn the claim.

David Kennedy SC, who was appointed by Fine Gael to “establish all the facts” around Ms Bailey’s action, will have access to the case papers from the Dean Hotel in Dublin as he reviews the events around the case.

The hotel gathered CCTV footage for its file – a basic technical support used by businesses to assess the veracity of personal injury claims taken by members of the public – that could assist Mr Kennedy for the Fine Gael review.

“We are co-operating with an official government review and we believe that this is the correct way for us to provide any further information,” said a spokeswoman for Press Up Entertainment Group, owner of the Dean.

The CCTV footage was a reason why the company contested the action and denied liability in Ms Bailey’s case.

The Fine Gael TD took the legal action after she claimed she fell from a swing in the hotel’s bar, Sophie’s, in July 2015. The hotel and hospitality group has disputed aspects of her claim.

The hotel said the politician had her hands full when she fell.

The 43-year-old Dún Laoghaire TD told RTÉ’s Today with Seán O’Rourke radio programme last week that she had a bottle of beer in her hand while she was on the swing and was reaching for a friend’s bottle of wine.

Medical expenses

The review is expected to assess Ms Bailey’s claim on radio last week that she was only seeking €7,000 from the hotel to cover her medical expenses incurred from the treatment of her alleged injuries as a result of the swing fall.

Ms Bailey brought her personal injury claim in the Circuit Court, which has the authority to make awards of up to €60,000, rather than the District Court, where awards are capped at €15,000.

The case papers may reveal further details on the involvement of Madigans Solicitors, the Dublin law firm that represented Ms Bailey in her case and where her Fine Gael colleague, Minister for Culture Josepha Madigan, worked.

A spokesman for Ms Madigan said last night that she worked in the firm until June 2017 but declined to say whether she was involved in Ms Bailey’s legal action.

Ms Madigan, who was a colleague of Ms Bailey’s on Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council in July 2015, would not be commenting further until Mr Kennedy’s review was complete, the spokesman said.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has admitted the legal action caused “reputational damage” to Fine Gael, while Minister for Health Simon Harris said the case had done damage to the party in the run-up to last month’s elections.