Pressure grows on Maria Bailey to step down from Oireachtas committee

Cabinet and FG colleagues critical of TD’s personal injury claim and radio interview

Fine Gael TD Maria Bailey: her radio interview was “unfortunate”, said Minister for Health Simon Harris. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Fine Gael TD Maria Bailey: her radio interview was “unfortunate”, said Minister for Health Simon Harris. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

 

Fine Gael TD Maria Bailey is under pressure to resign her chairmanship of a key Oireachtas committee following backlash from party colleagues and Cabinet members over a personal injury claim.

Ms Bailey was criticised by Cabinet members for an interview on RTÉ radio where she defended her decision to sue the Dean Hotel for injuries she received after she fell off a swing. She has since decided to withdraw the claim.

While Ms Bailey said she did not think she would be thrown out of the party, multiple sources within Fine Gael have indicated that she is under pressure to resign her position as head of the Oireachtas Committee on Housing in order to avoid losing the party whip.

Varadkar meeting

She is due to meet with the Taoiseach in the “near future”, a spokesman said on Monday night.

Minister for Health Simon Harris described her radio interview as “unfortunate” and said that in withdrawing the claim it was an acknowledgment that it “should not have proceeded”.

He said Fine Gael members would have appreciated if she had withdrawn it before the local and European elections.

Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan said he accepted the “optics have not been good” and the issue was raised on the doorsteps during the course of the election campaign.