Maria Bailey: The oldest swinger in town

Maria Josepha

(Maria Bailey left; Josepha Madigan right)

This is a tale for my foreign readers. Everyone in Ireland is already well aware of this story as it has been front page news for over a week.

There is a Fine Gael party TD (Teachta Dala or member of parliament) in the Dun Laoghaire constituency in Dublin called Maria Bailey. She was elected to the national parliament (Dail) for the first time in 2016. A year prior to that she had been drinking at a friend’s house before heading into town to continue her session in the Dean Hotel on Harcourt Street. This is a salubrious establishment, as would befit a member of the Tory Party (Fine Gael is a right-wing party that closely resembles the Conservative Party in the UK). Bailey and her pals took the lift upstairs and saw a set of swings in a room. Now what the swings were doing indoors in a hotel is anyone’s guess. But Bailey decided to try them – understandable I guess. She climbed into said swing holding a bottle of beer in one hand, and a bottle of wine in the other. She fell backwards off the stool and says she hurt her head, back and hip from the fall.

She hired the legal firm of Madigan solicitors (which is owned by her party colleague Josepha Madigan – the current minister for arts, heritage and the Gaeltacht) and took a personal injury case against the Dean Hotel to the circuit court claiming compensation for medical expenses to the value of up to €60,000. She claimed that there should have been written instructions on how to operate a swing, and a supervisor to ensure that no person would try to use the swing while both hands are holding booze. Clearly a forty year old needs this explained to them as only children can operate a swing without instruction.

She claimed that her injuries meant that she was unable to run for three months after the fall. The only trouble was that according to her social media, three weeks after the fall she completed a 10K run in 54 minutes. She also rejected an offer of €600 by the hotel to settle out of court. She refused. She claimed that her medical expenses were in the region of €6,000 (although she doesn’t know how much of that was covered by her health insurance) but rather than take the case to the district court who can authorise pay-outs up to €15,000, she went to the Circuit Court where the threshold is €60,000.

The media and social media have had an absolute field say over the swinger Bailey. So much so that she has dropped her claim the day after the local elections where her greed was said to be a factor for people when voting against the Fine Gael party.

The prevailing opinion seems to be that she is a con artist trying to embezzle money from a hotel because of greed and malice.

It’s massively embarrassing for the government to have an apparently fraudulent person like Bailey in the party. Questions about Josepha Madigan’s involvement are also being asked. Fine Gael claims be a party that wants to crack down on insurance fraud so to have both a sitting (or indeed swinging) TD and a government minister allegedly involved in such a crooked scheme is damaging to its reputation.

So in her infinite wisdom Bailey took to the airwaves this morning to be interviewed on the country’s most popular current affairs radio show. To say that it was an unmitigated disaster would be an understatement. She portrayed herself as a whiny, dishonest, self-pitying, corrupt imbecile. Naturally she hadn’t sought the opinion of her party to do the interview. Common sense is clearly not her strong point.

Then again her Dad is a local Fine Gael councillor notorious for fake endorsement letters; crooked behaviour on planning permission; and fake newspaper endorsements. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree when it comes to the Bailey family.

Maria Bailey has previous form – she sued her former employer Aer Lingus for personal injury in 2004. She won’t discuss the details but the papers know a good story so I expect there will be further revelations. It is all so thoroughly enjoyable. I would guess her ‘retirement’ from politics is imminent. It couldn’t happen to a nicer political party.

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