Thursday 17 October 2019

Minister: It's a matter for Maria Bailey whether or not to withdraw swing fall personal injury claim

Fine Gael's Maria Bailey. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Fine Gael's Maria Bailey. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

MINISTER Josepha Madigan has said it's up to Maria Bailey whether or not she should withdraw her personal injury legal action against a Dublin hotel.

Ms Bailey is being represented by Ms Madigan's family's law firm in the case she has taken against the Dean Hotel after she fell out of a swing in 2015.

Ms Madigan has said she left the practice in 2017. She refused to say if she had any role in advising Ms Bailey saying it would be a "confidential matter".

Ms Bailey has been at the centre of controversy over her legal action all week amid an increased political focus on personal injuries payouts and spiraling insurance costs for businesses.

Culture Minister Ms Madigan was speaking to reporters at the RDS count centre in the wake of an exit poll that shows her proposal to cut the waiting time for divorce is set to pass by a landslide.

She was also asked if Ms Bailey should withdraw her case and replied: "I think that's a matter for Maria Bailey.

Fine Gael TDs, from left, Kate O’Connell, Maria Bailey and Hildegarde Naughton during an International Women’s day photocall last year. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Fine Gael TDs, from left, Kate O’Connell, Maria Bailey and Hildegarde Naughton during an International Women’s day photocall last year. Photo: Gerry Mooney

"I'm not going to comment on an individual case. I think that's a matter for herself."

She added that she did not know the status of the case as she no longer works for Madigan's Solicitors.

Maria Bailey. Picture: Tom Burke
Maria Bailey. Picture: Tom Burke

Ms Madigan was asked if she had any role in advising Ms Bailey.

"I don't even know the status of it and even if I did I'm not going to comment on that either. It's a confidential matter."

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

Pressed on whether she had any role in advising Ms Bailey to take the case she replied:

"Whether I did or didn't there's client solicitor confidentiality so I'm not in a position to say. I'm not involved in the firm at all. It's nothing to do with me."

She was asked if the case has been damaging to Fine Gael but didn't respond directly.

Asked about the exit poll results for the party, she said: "There's been a number of issues. You have to put this into context.

"This is a mid-term election. In the last 20 years there's no government that has made gains in a mid term election."

She pointed to increased support for Fine Gael in the European elections and said: "I think it's a recognition of the Taoiseach and Tánaiste and the work they've done in relation to Brexit so that's a positive."

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