Anthony McIntyre thinks Maria Bailey should resign her Dail seat.
The brazen arrogance, sense of entitlement and chutzpah of some of those serving in public office is breath-taking. The downside of the electoral process is that it allows the voter to elect these charlatans, adding authenticity to the old maxim that people get the government they deserve and ballast to Frank Dane’s witticism about getting all the fools on your side and you will be elected to anything. The upside is that we get to elect our own crooks rather than have them imposed on us by some bishop or colonel.
Think of the Donegal councillor who thought “ten grand would be a start” and “I want loads of money”. At the time he was exposed Simon Coveney stated that he was glad that Hugh McElvaney had left Fine Gael. Would he be equally glad if his party colleague TD Maria Bailey left as well?
Bailey has at last been put in a position where she had little choice but to withdraw her claim against the Dublin hotel, The Dean, for injuries she sustained from falling off a swing while on a night out with friends in 2015.
I have instructed my solicitor to immediately withdraw these legal proceedings to ensure that the focus is not on me, but on the issues that matter to the people in my constituency.
That she injected a little hyperbole into the effect of her injuries also seems beyond doubt. In court papers she was described as a "keen runner prior to the accident but could not run at all for three months post-accident and has had to reduce her activities significantly since". This just failed to gel with her having taken part "in a 10km race three weeks after falling from a swing in a Dublin hotel."
All of which caused Fianna Fail leader, Michael Martin to sum up: “this seems to fly in the face of everything we are trying to do to bring insurance costs down.”
Maria Bailey is a TD in a party whose leader launched the “Welfare Cheats Cheat Us All.” Perhaps this backdrop has lead to the Taoiseach's embarrassment which prompted the comment that Bailey's actions had caused Fine Gael reputational damage in the eyes of the voters in this week's elections.
Now Bailey wants to draw a line in the sand: "As far as I am concerned this matter is now closed." Basically, Her Haughtiness is telling people to move along peasants, nothing to see here, no further scrutiny, no charges for making what might be a fraudulent claim, no garda investigation into whether perjury happened or not. She might well be entirely innocent of any such allegations but the last word on the matter should not be hers.
A fairer outcome would be for her to move along, run the next 10k away from the Dail and seek employment quite some distance from public office.