FINE Gael TD Maria Bailey is back at work amid controversy over her personal injury case.
Ms Bailey is chairing a meeting of the Oireachtas Housing committee this morning, her first appearance at the committee since news of her claim against the Dean Hotel first broke last month.
Key figures within the party have said the compensation case following her fall from a swing in the hotel’s bar in July 2015 played a role in the recent elections and may have cost the party vital council seats.
Controversy surrounding Ms Bailey’s case began in the final week of the campaign, with Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan conceding the “optics have not been good” after the elections.
She did not withdraw her case until the day of the election count.
Fine Gael chiefs are expecting to receive the conclusions of an ‘internal review’ into the controversy in the coming days.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar asked a senior counsel to “establish all facts” around the case.
Ms Bailey has agreed to co-operate with the probe by barrister David Kennedy as have The Dean Hotel.
The claim suggested the swing should have been supervised. Court papers also stated that the TD was unable to run “at all” for three months after the incident.
But the Irish Independent revealed last month that she competed in a 10km race three weeks after the fall.
Ms Bailey insisted she only wanted her medical expenses of between €6,000 and €7,000 paid and was not looking for any extra damages.
This is despite the fact her endorsement of claim stated she was seeking damages for personal injury, loss, damage and inconvenience in addition to her medical costs. The circuit court, where she took the case, can award up to €60,000 in personal injury matters.
Ms Bailey had missed an Oireachtas Housing Committee meeting last month after news of the claim became public.
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