Sunday 18 August 2019

Taoiseach won't publish report into Bailey compensation claim as those interviewed 'wanted it to remain private'

Dropped the case: Maria Bailey had made a claim alleging she was injured falling from a swing in a bar of a hotel. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Dropped the case: Maria Bailey had made a claim alleging she was injured falling from a swing in a bar of a hotel. Photo: Gerry Mooney

Kirsty Blake Knox and Gabija Gataveckaite

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said he will not publish the report into the Maria Bailey compensation claim controversy, as those interviewed insisted it remain private.

The Taoiseach said he received the report in recent days and had met with Deputy Bailey on Thursday night. He will respond to the report next week.

Fine Gael appointed barrister David Kennedy SC to "establish all the facts" around Ms Bailey's now withdrawn action against the Dean Hotel in Dublin, where she alleged she suffered injuries after falling from a swing in July 2015. She later withdrew her claim.

The Taoiseach said some of the individuals interviewed as part of the report had done so under the condition it would not be made public. As a result, the Taoiseach feels he would be unable to publish it.

"In terms of publishing the report... it's not normal for a political party, or a media organisation or an employer to publish an internal report," he said.

"I did consider making an exception in this regard but when I met with David Kennedy he pointed out that he sought the co-operation of those who were interviewed for the report on the basis that it wouldn't be published. And he gave them that commitment in writing so I don't feel I could possibly override that."

Meanwhile, Minister Michael D'Arcy has declined to say whether he believed the report should be published. Speaking on RTÉ's 'Morning Ireland' yesterday, Mr D'Arcy, Minister of State for Finance, declined to answer questions regarding whether the internal report should be published.

"I won't be commenting on the Maria Bailey case, I've never commented on an individual insurance case," he said.

"It's a matter for the Taoiseach."

The Irish Independent first reported on May 20 that a case recorded as "Maria Bailey Ryan v Holtend Limited trading as The Dean Hotel" was listed for mention in the Circuit Court County Registrar that day. Compensation awards in this court can be as high as €60,000.

It was established that the first-time TD's claim was based on an incident which occurred while on a night out with friends in July 2015.

Ms Bailey fell backwards out of an indoor swing at the hotel. She was holding a drink in one hand and reaching for a friend's drink at the time. In the circuit court proceedings, she accused the hotel of negligence, saying the swing was "unsupervised" and there were no signs telling patrons how to safely use it.

The Irish Independent later reported that Ms Bailey ran a 10km race three weeks after the fall.

She formally dropped the case later.

Irish Independent

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