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'Swing-gate' TD Maria Bailey de-selected as Fine Gael election candidate

Maria Bailey TD took a claim against the Dean Hotel after she fell from a swing in the hotel's rooftop cocktail bar
Aine McMahon, Press Association

TD Maria Bailey has been taken off the general election ticket in Dun Laoghaire following a meeting of Fine Gael's national executive council.

Ms Bailey tweeted last night that she had been "deleted as a candidate for the next general election" by taoiseach Leo Varadkar.

Fine Gael later confirmed the de-selection.

The party's National Executive Council made the decision in Dublin yesterday evening.

Fine Gael members in Dun Laoghaire had carried a motion asking party headquarters to urgently review the general election ticket in Ms Bailey's constituency two weeks ago.

That meeting heard that the party had taken a knock in the opinion polls following the controversy regarding Ms Bailey.

The Dun Laoghaire TD has been under scrutiny since her compensation case for falling off a swing at the Dean Hotel in Dublin in 2015 came to light earlier this year.

Ms Bailey was demoted following an internal review which found that she "overstated" the extent of her injuries.

Court documents lodged as part of Ms Bailey's case stated that she could not run for three months after her fall but she took part in a 10km race three weeks after the incident.

In an RTÉ radio interview in May, she said the swing had not been properly supervised at the time of her fall.

Ms Bailey has since withdrawn proceedings she filed against the Dean Hotel and was demoted by being removed as chairwoman of the Oireachtas Housing Committee.

Party headquarters could now potentially replace Ms Bailey with newly elected councillor Jennifer Carroll MacNeill, who represents Killiney-Shankill on Dun Laoghaire County Council.

Another newly elected local councillor, Lorraine Hall, has also been cited as a potential replacement for Ms Bailey on the ticket.

Ms Bailey, Minister Mary Mitchell O'Connor and councillor Barry Ward were selected last year to contest the general election for Fine Gael in the four-seat constituency.

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