Minister backs Bailey for election run
Minister Richard Bruton is backing controversial 'swing-gate' TD Maria Bailey and supports her run for Fine Gael in the next election.
He said he "absolutely" supports Ms Bailey remaining on the party's ticket in Dún Laoghaire.
In recent weeks, a number of Cabinet ministers have been lukewarm in backing Ms Bailey's candidacy in the wake of her personal injury claim against a Dublin hotel.
Ms Bailey took legal action against the Dean Hotel after a fall from a swing on a night out. She has since dropped the case.
Mr Bruton said: "I have great confidence in Maria Bailey.
"She may have made a mistake - what one of us have not made a mistake?
"She has admitted her mistake and she is offering herself for election by the electorate.
"The electorate will make this decision but Maria Bailey is someone that I strongly support to be on the ticket."
Mr Bruton said it "remains to be seen" what impact her inclusion may have on the party's support in the constituency. He said a lot of people understand people make mistakes.
"I think making a mistake and being bold enough to admit it and to move on is a strength in a character and I fully endorse her candidacy," he said.
Business Minister Heather Humphreys - who was outspoken about Ireland's claims culture after Ms Bailey's case was revealed - said she believes her colleague has "paid a high price".
She added: "I feel that ultimately it is up to the electorate in that constituency to decide whether Maria Bailey is elected to the Dáil in the next election or not."