Sunday 18 August 2019

Timeline: How the Maria Bailey 'swing-gate' controversy unfolded

Maria Bailey (Niall Carson/PA)
Maria Bailey (Niall Carson/PA)
Maria Bailey, who dropped court case
Maria Bailey is chairing a meeting of the Oireachtas Housing committee
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

Fine Gael TD Maria Bailey has been demoted by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar from her position as chair of the Oireachtas committee over 'swing-gate'.

Here's how it unfolded.

2015

July 10: Maria Bailey falls off a swing in The Dean Hotel on Dublin’s Harcourt Street while on a night out with friends.

July 11: Ms Bailey attends the Beacon Hospital.

July 18: The then-councillor posts a message on Facebook including pictures of her attending the Longitude music festival.

Busy: Bailey at Longitude
Busy: Bailey at Longitude

July 29: She is added to Fine Gael’s election ticket.

August 3: Ms Bailey runs ‘The Bay 10k’ in 53 minutes.

Maria Bailey after completing ‘The Bay 10k’ in 2015, weeks after the indcident in The Dean
Maria Bailey after completing ‘The Bay 10k’ in 2015, weeks after the indcident in The Dean

2019

May 20: The Irish Independent reveals the Dun Laoghaire TD has lodged a compensation claim against The Dean Hotel after falling

May 21: It is revealed Ms Bailey’s lawsuit includes a claim the hotel is liable for the accident because the swing was ‘unsupervised’. Legal papers lodged by the hotel show it has counter argued that she was holding items in both hands at the time of the fall.

May 22: Senator Michael McDowell raises the controversy on the floor of the Seanad, suggesting it undermines Fine Gael efforts to reform the compensation system.

May 25: Fine Gael underperforms below Taoiseach Leo Varadkar’s expectations in the local elections.

May 26: The Irish Independent reveals details of the 10km run which Ms Bailey did despite insisting she couldn’t run “at all” for three months after the fall.

May 27: Ms Bailey tells the Sunday Independent she will drop the case.

13 NEWS Maria Bailey TD p.jpg
Maria Bailey. Photo: Gerry Mooney

May 28: The TD takes part in a now infamous radio interview with Sean O’Rourke. It causes utter dismay within Fine Gael.

May 29: Taoiseach Leo Varadkar hires senior council David Kennedy to investigate “all the facts” around Ms Bailey’s claim. He is even given permission to interview Culture Minister Josepha Madigan about the legal advice she provided to her colleague.

July 23: Mr Varadkar ‘demotes’ Maria Bailey from her position as chairperson of the Oireachtas Housing Committee. The job comes with a top-up of €9,500. However, the Taoiseach stops short of removing the Fine Gael whip from the deputy.

Capture.png
Maria Bailey is chairing a meeting of the Oireachtas Housing committee

READ MORE: Maria Bailey to lose €9,500 Oireachtas role as Taoiseach demotes TD following 'swing-gate' controversy

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