Saturday 19 October 2019

TD Bailey ran 10km race three weeks after swing fall

Court papers say TD could not run at all for three months

Fine Gael TD Maria Bailey. Picture: Damien Eagers
Fine Gael TD Maria Bailey. Picture: Damien Eagers
Busy: Bailey on Ireland AM

Kevin Doyle and Shane Phelan

Fine Gael TD Maria Bailey took part in a 10km race three weeks after falling from a swing in a Dublin hotel.

The politician lodged a personal injuries claim on the basis that she suffered injuries to her head, lower back and hip after falling backward off the swing in the well-known Dean Hotel.

It is claimed Ms Bailey can no longer sit or stand for long periods without experiencing pain and discomfort as a result of the incident on July 10, 2015.

Eight days later she attended the Longitude music festival.

Busy: Bailey at Longitude
Busy: Bailey at Longitude

Court papers describe her as a "keen runner prior to the accident but could not run at all for three months post-accident and has had to reduce her activities significantly since".

Social media posts show that on August 3, she ran 'The Bay 10k' in Dún Laoghaire. She recorded a time of 53 minutes and 56 seconds, according to the Racetimer website.

Busy: Bailey running The Bay 10k
Busy: Bailey running The Bay 10k

"Always enjoy the race never fails to impress, and also never gets easy. A few hills at the start. Well done to all involved," she wrote on social media afterwards.

It has also emerged that the dates recorded in her court submission are inaccurate.

The papers indicate Ms Bailey was in the hotel with friends around 9pm on Monday, July 13, 2015.

Sources close to the TD say the incident actually took place on the previous Friday evening.

The following morning she woke up with severe back pain at 6.30am which prevented her from getting out of bed.

A doctor was called but was not able to attend and 45 minutes later Ms Bailey did "extricate herself" from bed with the assistance of her mother and medication.

The papers say she was "then taken to the A&E Department of the Beacon Hospital, Sandyford".

"The plaintiff was in severe pain. Her jaw was swollen and her bite was off line," her lawyers say, adding that she was "stiff and sore and had a severe headache".

Ms Bailey made a number of public appearances in the days after receiving hospital treatment, including one on TV3's 'Ireland AM' programme to discuss her experience with migraines.

At 7.52am on July 14 she posted a message on social media publicising her appearance. Her appearance, alongside Dr Sinéad Beirne and host Alan Hughes, was at 8.45am. She discussed suffering from excruciating headaches before discovering that exercise could reduce the pain.

Ms Bailey also spoke at a number of other events, including a conference on migraines in south Dublin on July 15 and a Women For Election event and a gathering in Google on July 17.

The next day she attended the Longitude music festival, according to a Facebook post from July 18.

It includes a photograph and caption saying the concert was "such a laugh, great event".

The then-councillor went on to be selected as a Fine Gael general election candidate on July 29.

Court papers note that she could not take time off work because she was running for election. Ms Bailey was elected as a TD in February 2016.

She has brought a lawsuit against the Dean Hotel in the Circuit Court where damages of up to €60,000 can be awarded. She alleges the hotel was negligent because the swing was "unsupervised" and there were no signs to instruct patrons how to use it safely.

Ms Bailey's lawyers say she sat on the swing and was having her photograph taken by friends "when she was caused to fall backwards", suffering injuries to her head, lower back and hip.

Fine Gael did not respond to a request for comment last night.

However, sources have told the Irish Independent that senior figures within the party are unhappy with the unwelcome attention on the eve of the local and European elections.

The Dean Hotel denies negligence and says that if injury was suffered, this was due to Ms Bailey's own negligence or contributory negligence.

It claims she was holding items in both hands when she sat on the swing, restricting her ability to balance and preventing her from holding rope grips properly.

Irish Independent

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