Sunday 21 July 2019

'Statement over compo claims was clumsiness' - says former Fine Gael election candidate

Psychotherapist Stephanie Regan
Psychotherapist Stephanie Regan
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

A former Fine Gael election candidate who suggested we all know somebody who has lodged a compo claim says her comment was as a result of "clumsiness".

Clinical psychotherapist Stephanie Regan insists she never intended to defend the actions of Dún Laoghaire TD Maria Bailey but was concerned the online criticism had gone too far.

Ms Bailey has dropped a personal injuries case against the Dean Hotel over a fall from a swing she had claimed should have been supervised.

Ms Regan, who is no longer in Fine Gael, called for the "lampooning" of the backbencher to stop.

However, her tweet also stated: "Is there one person who does not know a family member or friend who got compo for a slip, a fall or a whiplash? It was always wrong. Now let's move on."

Ms Regan now says her concern "in this context was with the continuous public shaming and vilification of the individual and the impact on their mental health".

She added: "I believe that we need to have a line and a code when it comes to how we treat each other in this very public space."

Ms Regan accepted part of the tweet was "an awkward reference to the compensation culture in Ireland".

"Not my best writing and it made my point badly," she said. "I meant that the compensation culture is so present that we all know someone who has had compensation for something. It was never that we all knew a series of fraudsters.

"But I accept and apologise for the wrong inference that could be drawn from it and take responsibility for the clumsiness of the English."

Irish Independent

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