Politics

Maria Bailey steps down from Oireachtas ethics committee in aftermath of 'swing-gate' case

Fine Gael TD Maria Bailey has stepped down as chair of two more Oireachtas committees in the aftermath of the controversy surrounding her personal injury case.

Ms Bailey resigned as chair of the Select Committee on Members Interests, which provides TDs with guidelines on ethical matters, and also stepped down as chair of the Working Group of Committee Chairs.

She was not receiving any payment for either of theses roles.

The Dun Laoghaire TD was sacked as chair of the Oireachtas Housing Committee by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar following an internal Fine Gael investigation into the personal injury claim she took against a Dublin Hotel after falling from a swing.

The Housing Committee position came with a €9,500 salary top up.

Last Friday, in a letter seen by Independent.ie, Ms Bailey wrote to Oireachtas committee secretariat Charles Hearne announcing her decision to resign from two the committee roles.

“As you are aware the Taoiseach made a decision to demote me and remove me as Chair of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Housing, Planning and Local Government, I now feel that in the interests of the smooth running of the Select Committee on Members Interests (Dáil Éireann) it would be best for me to resign as Chair of the Committee,” she said.

“Therefore, as I will not (sic) longer be a Committee Chairperson I would like to formally resign as Chair of Working Group of Committee Chairs,” she added.

Read more here: Swing-gate: Maria Bailey facing growing calls from within Fine Gael not to run in next general election

Ms Bailey apologised for “any inconvenience” caused by her decision to resign and thanked the committee secretariat and his staff for their assistance.

The Taoiseach removed Ms Bailey from the Housing Committee amid increasing public anger over the personal injury case she took against the Dean Hotel in Dublin.

Mr Varadkar said he demoted the TD because she made “numerous errors of judgment” in her handling of the case and insisted her approach to the legal action jarred with the Government’s action on the cost of insurance.

He said Ms Bailey overstated the impact of her injuries and said there were inconsistencies in her account of the case.

Ms Bailey said she now regretted taking the case but insisted she acted on legal advice throughout the process.

Read more here: Taoiseach bombarded with over 140 messages in the wake of ‘Swing-gate’ saga

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