'I was Mary's pupil - but I hope to teach her a lesson'
Published 14/02/2016 | 02:30
Fianna Fail's Mary Hanafin was her history teacher at school, but as a student Maria Bailey was much more taken by the legacy of Michael Collins than Eamon de Valera.
Decades later, the Fine Gael candidate is running directly opposite her former educator in the race for the Dail in Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown.
Speaking to the Sunday Independent, Ms Bailey - a councillor for Killiney-Shankill - said the pair's paths have crossed on local doorsteps.
"There's no rivalry, but there's a natural competitiveness and respect between us. We're talking about the next generation of new opportunity and realism, and I think that's what I bring," she said.
The 40-year-old mother of two said childcare and incentivising parents to get back to work are central to her campaign issues.
"I have young children so I'm fully aware of the difficulties there - most families don't work nine-to-five any more," she said, voicing her support for rolling out private childcare in schools.
It is her first time running for the Dail.
"I've a lot to offer, I'm not somebody to stand back, I'm very focused," she said.