Fine Gael set to take TD Maria Bailey off general election ticket

Dún Laoghaire deputy in spotlight after controversy over personal injuries claim

Maria Bailey: has been in the spotlight following the negative publicity surrounding her decision to pursue, and later withdraw, a personal injuries claim over a fall from a swing in Dublin’s Dean Hotel.  Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Maria Bailey: has been in the spotlight following the negative publicity surrounding her decision to pursue, and later withdraw, a personal injuries claim over a fall from a swing in Dublin’s Dean Hotel. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

 

Fine Gael is set to take TD Maria Bailey off its Dún Laoghaire general election ticket at a meeting of its executive council on Thursday.

Senior party sources said the executive council is likely to take action following a vote in the Dún Laoghaire constituency late last month calling for the election ticket to be changed.

There are currently three candidates selected to run for Fine Gael in Dún Laoghaire: Ms Bailey, Minister of State for Education Mary Mitchell O’Connor and local councillor Barry Ward.

Ms Bailey has been in the spotlight following the negative publicity surrounding her decision to pursue, and later withdraw, a personal injuries claim over a fall from a swing in Dublin’s Dean Hotel.

Local Fine Gael members voted at a meeting on Halloween night for a motion asking the party hierarchy to urgently review the constituency’s general election ticket, putting pressure on Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to strip Ms Bailey of the party candidacy.

While the motion did not name Ms Bailey, a number of speakers at the meeting criticised her, while other stressed they did not want Mr Ward removed from the ticket.

Ms Bailey has made little comment since the meeting of the Dún Laoghaire constituency executive.

Well-placed sources said the executive council will act on the wishes of the members in Dún Laoghaire.

Potential replacements

Potential replacements for Ms Bailey on the party slate for the four-seat constituency include councillors Jennifer Carroll MacNeill and Lorraine Hall.

The meeting of the executive council had initially been scheduled to take place on Tuesday evening but was postponed.

Any such move to remove Ms Bailey would have to have the approval of Mr Varadkar. The Taoiseach and a number of senior Fine Gael Ministers have all said they would be guided by the wishes of the members.

The executive will meet at the Fine Gael headquarters on Mount Street. It is usual that election preparations and tickets are discussed at most meetings.