Over 5000 people have signed an online petition asking for Fine Gael TD Maria Bailey to resign.
The Dun Laoghaire-based politician has been surrounded in controversy over the past week as she filed a lawsuit suing The Dean Hotel for negligence after she fell off a swing at the establishment in 2015.
“We request the immediate resignation of Maria Bailey, Fine Gael TD for Dún Laoghaire,” says the petition.
“In light of the personal injury case brought by Ms. Bailey, which has now been dropped, it is clear that Ms. Bailey does not have the sufficient capacity to adequately represent her constituents.”
Bailey did not chair the Oireachtas Housing Committee yesterday, as she was planned to do so.
In a statement released by the Oireachtas, Bailey said how the committee was “eager” to discuss the latest update on the government’s Rebuilding Ireland plan with Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy.
Speaking on Newstalk Breakfast, Sinn Féin’s housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin said it’s a question for Bailey as to why she didn’t chair the meeting “but we can all guess the answer to that.”
Bailey has since withdrawn her suit against the hotel and says she wanted to do so the day after she filed the claim.
However, Bailey says she was instructed not to do so by Fine Gael hierarchy who said it could be seen as “cynical” leading up to the local and European elections.
Speaking on RTE’s The Sean O’Rourke Show, Bailey said she was “never looking” for compensation and was only seeking the cost of her medical bills.
“This has been a hugely distressing intrusive abusive week that my family and I have succumbed to, completely unwarranted through leaked documents.”
Fine Gael Minister for Health Simon Harris responded to the interview saying: “I think when you withdraw a claim, I think that is in itself an acknowledgement of the fact that perhaps that claim shouldn’t have been proceeded.
“The interview seemed very much to be in the space of blaming lots of other people.”
According The Times Ireland, Bailey’s future with the party could be under jeopardy as Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said that the whole scenario has caused “reputational harm to the party.”
With Bailey not chairing the Housing Committee yesterday, it’s believed she sat down with the Taoiseach to discuss the latest furore.
Minister for Culture, Heritage and The Gaeltacht Josepha Madigan refused to say if she played any part in the lawsuit despite her family firm representing the TD.
“I don’t see any reason in answering a question like that. That has nothing to do with this now. This case is gone, this case is dropped. I was with Madigan Solicitors,” said Bailey when questioned by O’Rourke on her connection with Madigan.
When asked for comment on the situation, Fine Gael councillor for the Stillorgan ward John Kennedy said he didn’t wish to comment on “what I think is a personal legally-related matter for Maria Bailey TD.
No other sitting Fine Gael county councillors for Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown responded for comment on the issue.
In a response for an interview, Maria Bailey’s office said: “Deputy Bailey is not doing any interviews at the moment.”