Thursday 19 September 2019

Paschal Donohoe refuses to say if he supports 'swing-gate' TD Maria Bailey running for Fine Gael in election

Fine Gael TD Maria Bailey
Fine Gael TD Maria Bailey
Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe. Photo: Niall Carson/PA
Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

Minister Paschal Donohoe has refused to say if he supports Fine Gael TD Maria Bailey running for the party in the next general election.

Mr Donohoe also passed up an opportunity to say he had confidence in Ms Bailey in the wake of the controversy over her 'swing-gate' personal injury claim.

The finance minister is Fine Gael's director of operations and he has been involved in reviews of the party's election line up in all constituencies.

READ MORE: Decision on new election bid ‘a matter for Maria Bailey’, says minister

He was asked if he would offer a guarantee that Ms Bailey will be a candidate in Dun Laoghaire at the next election.

He replied: "Deputy Bailey has been selected to be a candidate for Fine Gael in the general election whenever that is."

Asked if he still supported her running he said: "She has been selected as being a candidate and I don't want to make any further comment."

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Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe. Photo: Niall Carson/PA

He said he wouldn't comment on the status of any candidates when asked if there was any prospect that she could be removed from the ticket.

Put to him that he wasn't offering a guarantee that she'll remain a candidate he repeated that she had been selected as a candidate.

He said: "She was selected by her own constituency organisation and I don't think it's appropriate for me to comment any more on that, not least of which I want to talk to Deputy Bailey. She has been selected."

READ MORE: Maria Bailey steps down from two committees amid swing case fallout

Asked if he had confidence in Ms Bailey he again repeated that she has been selected as a candidate with the backing of her constituency organisation.

"I'm not going to comment on what her future intentions will be until I've had an opportunity to talk to her about it."

He confirmed that Dun Laoghaire was among the constituencies being reviewed by Fine Gael. "We review all constituencies," he said.

READ MORE: Flanagan refuses to back 'Swing-gate' TD Bailey for re-election

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