Minister gives tepid thumbs up to running with constituency colleague Maria Bailey
Fine Gael minister Mary Mitchell O'Connor has given her constituency and party colleague Maria Bailey lukewarm backing to run for the party in the next general election.
Ms Bailey has faced growing calls from within Fine Gael not to run for re-election in the Dún Laoghaire Dáil constituency following the swing-gate controversy.
But Ms Mitchell O'Connor said she understood Ms Bailey would still be joining her on the Fine Gael ticket in the south Dublin constituency at the next general election, which is expected before the summer of next year.
"Well look, that decision has been made now by An Taoiseach and that's it, as far as I am concerned," the Higher Education minister said yesterday.
"I am supportive of whatever decision is made by the Fine Gael party in headquarters and also for this constituency."
Ms Bailey was sacked as chair of the Oireachtas Housing Committee last month over her now-withdrawn personal injury claim for falling off a swing at The Dean Hotel in Dublin in 2015.
Ms Mitchell O'Connor repeatedly declined, when asked, to explicitly say if she was supportive of Ms Bailey remaining on the Dáil ticket in Dún Laoghaire.
"As I said the Taoiseach has made that decision and that's it," she said when pressed.