Maria Bailey – Fine Gael TD for Dun Laoghaire – made a claim against the Dean Hotel for injuries she claimed to have sustained in 2015, when she fell off a swing in the hotel. She was not holding said swing at the time as both hands were occupied with drinkies. On her affidavit she swore that she was not able to run for three months after her fall. The only problem being, that on her social media she was seen completing a 10km run in a speedy time, only three weeks after the accident. She requested €20,000 in compensation from the hotel as an out of court settlement which the hotel refused. In a car-crash radio interview with Sean O’Rourke, she claimed that she only asked for €7,000 compensation for medical expenses. That is €7000 (or 20,000 in reality) for medical expenses for a woman with comprehensive medical insurance? How very scamtastic. Had the blatantly fraudulent case gone to court then damages of up to €60,000 could have been awarded. Bailey dropped the case because of public outrage at her lies, greed, and scam tactics in the run up to the local and European elections.
She was given legal advice by the law firm of her party colleague and current Minister for (compo) Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Josepha Madigan – Fine Gael TD for Dublin Rathdown. Josie was working for her family firm Madigan Solicitors at the time – only leaving the practice in 2017. Madigan’s family firm stood to earn thousands of euros from Bailey’s dodgy claim. Madigan point blank refuses to answer questions on what advice she gave to Ms Bailey while she was still at the firm, citing client-solicitor confidentiality. Unless Bailey was lying to Madigan’s firm it would appear that Madigan was party to the fraud and she is therefore an ambulance-chasing huckster. If this is the case then she needs to be sacked from her ministerial position. No investigation has been launched by her party as to her involvement in the Bailey saga. She has not even been suspended pending investigation. One wonders why?
Alan Farrell is the Fine Gael TD for Fingal in Dublin. Farrell took Hertz Rent A Car to court after one of its cars knocked against his Audi A6 in April 2015.. He claimed to have experienced neck and shoulder injuries. In 2018, a photograph – showing Farrell at the time he was supposed to have been injured holding a poster of himself on an electricity pole while standing on a ladder in Skerries – was shown in Dublin District Court. The judge disapproved of the personal injuries claim, ruling that Farrell had not sustained a “significant injury” as he was claiming. He was however awarded €2,500 in compensation. Judge Coghlan also noted in court that a separate claim by Farrell for material damage to his car had been withdrawn since the accident. Photographs taken by the driver at the scene (none were produced by Farrell) were shown to the court and some difficulty was had in locating the precise damage to Farrell’s motor. It was almost as if he was making the whole thing up. The case raised questions about Mr Farrell’s honesty considering past remarks he had made on Ireland’s supposed “compo culture”. Farrell continued playing for his football team after receiving his alleged ‘significant injuries’. He has received no censure from his party for his opportunistic claims.
Mairead McGuinness is a Fine Gael MEP from Monaghan. She made an insurance claim after a car crash in September 2003 in Castleblayney. She now says she has forgotten the details of the insurance settlement, despite claiming at the time that she sustained severe and debilitating injuries. She took the case against a car-hire firm after the car she was travelling in, driven by her husband, was in a collision with a rental car driven by an American tourist. She claimed she suffered severe injury to her neck and back.
In the civil case, issued on 14 May 2004, the MEP said her injuries were not only severe and debilitating and but “interfered with her enjoyment of life and all routine and other activities”. At the same time as she initiated the compensation claim, she was actively knocking on doors on the campaign trail, fighting for a seat representing the North Midlands. Her claim has not been internally investigated by Fine Gael.
In Ireland ‘compo culture’ – whereby people make dodgy insurance claims – is closing businesses who cannot afford the escalation insurance premiums. Yesterday Oktoberfest in Dublin announced it would not be running its event this year because of the cost of insurance premiums. Ireland’s ‘socially awkward’ Taoiseach (prime minister) Leo Varadkar has claimed that Fine Gael will tackle this issue.
Yet somehow Alan Farrell, Josepha Madigan and Mairead McGuinness face no investigation for their sleazy insurance shenanigans. Maria Bailey was subject to an internal party investigation (for PR purposes) and had her wrists slapped slightly. She has not been expelled from the party.
To paraphrase the unlovely Leo’s phrase ‘insurance cheats cheat us all’. Insurance fraud appears to be the Fine Gael way however.