"I did nothing wrong" - Maria Bailey hits back over injury claims in heated RTÉ interview
Bailey said she wants to draw a line in the sand on the issue.
Fine Gael TD Maria Bailey spoke to Sean O'Rourke on RTÉ Radio 1 on Monday about the now-dropped case she had brought against a Dublin hotel, which generated a lot of attention in the last week.
It was revealed last week that Bailey had lodged a personal injuries claim against The Dean hotel in Dublin after she fell off a swing in the well-known Sophie's Bar on the fifth floor. It was announced over the weekend that the case had been dropped.
During a heated interview, Bailey revealed that she decided to withdraw claim last Tuesday but was advised it might be viewed as cynical in the run up to the elections on Friday.
She said that she had endured a "hugely distressing, intrusive, abusive week" from the media and online.
"Someone has tried to character assassinate me and my family," Bailey told Sean O'Rourke. "I am so passionate about my job and will not be bowed by keyboard warriors."
Former Minister for Justice and current member of the Seanad Michael McDowell also came in for criticism from Bailey, who she said "should know better, it was a live case", following his comments on the case in the Seanad last week.
Bailey also said that she only wanted her medical expenses recouped for injuries she sustained in the fall, and had a legitimate claim.
On the night in question, Bailey said she had one glass of wine before going to the hotel where she purchased one drink, which she did not consume.
She said she she had a bottle of beer in one hand when she sat on the swings upstairs, she then reached for her friend's bottle of wine as her friend was getting her camera out of her bag when she slipped to the ground.
She said she went to a hospital emergency department the following morning and attended intensive physiotherapy for the next three weeks.
Bailey added that the hotel had been very helpful to her and agreed to cover her medical bills. Bailey said she went to the emergency department and had to undergo three weeks of physical therapy following the incident.
When quizzed by Sean O'Rourke about her running a 10k race three weeks after the incident, Bailey said she posted about it on social media because she had nothing to hide.
She said she regretted that she ran the race afterwards because she "paid the price for it that night" but she had run it because she wanted to dip her toe in the water to see if she was able.
Bailey said she was not a legal person but she took legal advice on the issue and was told she had a "a clear cut case".
She said she wanted to "draw a line" in the sand over the issue and said she'd learned a lot about people and politics over the past week, saying that details of her case were leaked to cause maximum damage in the week before an election.
Commenting on Bailey's interview on the programme, her party colleague Regina Doherty said: "I think it's a tremendous pity that Maria Bailey came on your show this morning."
"I think she did herself a disservice this morning," Doherty added.
You can listen to the interview in full below.
Main image via Twitter