Fine Gael TD Maria Bailey has said she was only concerned about having her medical bills recouped for injuries she sustained after falling from a swing in a Dublin hotel.

Ms Bailey initiated a personal injury legal action against The Dean Hotel on Harcourt Street in Dublin for an alleged incident where she suffered injuries to her head, back and hip.

Speaking on RTÉ's Today with Sean O'Rourke she said she was "never looking for compensation".

In Circuit Court proceedings she accused the hotel of negligence as the swing was unsupervised at the time of the incident on 10 July 2015, the year before she was elected to the Dáil.

On the night in question she said she had had a glass of wine in her friend's house before going to the hotel where they purchased one drink each.

She said she purchased one drink, which was not consumed, before going with her friends to see the swing. 

She explained that she sat on the swing - which had a highly polished wooden seat - while holding a bottle of beer and reaching for her friend's bottle of wine 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.


Read more:
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Ms Bailey said the hotel was helpful at all times and agreed to pay her medical bills. 

The Dún Laoghaire TD, who is the chairperson of the Committee on Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government, has withdrawn her legal action.

Ms Bailey ran a 10k race three weeks after the incident with the swing. She posted on her social media accounts that she had taken part in the race as she said 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, like any athlete, she wanted to "dip her toe" into the water and see if she was capable of doing it.

She added that she never denied that she had run the race and had put it on social media.

She said: "I had to lock myself away for three days this week and I couldn't go home" because of the media attention over the story.

She said she could not drop her children to school and has had to come off social media.

Ms Bailey said her family has endured a "distressing, intrusive and abusive week" as a result of documents leaked last Sunday.

"Humanity has been crossed", she said.

She said details of her case were leaked to cause maximum damage in the week before an election.

However, she added, an election is not won or lost in the last week and she did not believe her case had a negative effect on the elections.

She said she was "drawing a line" on the issue today, adding that she had learned a lot about people and herself. 

She described herself as the subject of "click bait" and the story only gained traction because she "handed them a fantastic headline".

Ms 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 criticised Senator Michael McDowell and Fianna Fáil Leader Micheál Martin for commenting on the case, while it was still before the court, saying "they should know better".

Meanwhile Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection Regina Doherty said she thinks it '"is a tremendous pity"  that Ms Bailey went on RTÉ's Today with Sean O'Rourke show this morning and that she "did herself a disservice".

Ms Doherty said the issue did have an impact on the election campaign and it came up on the doorsteps.

She said Taoiseach Leo Varadkar was an incredibly fair and loyal man and had no doubt that the issue would be managed in a fair manner.

Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan says he believes Maria Bailey's interview on RTÉ Radio 1 this morning was "ill-judged in both tone and content".

Minister Flanagan also added that Maria Bailey's case seeking damages was an issue on the doorsteps in the run-up to the elections, adding "I accept that the optics have not been good".

"I have to say it was an issue that was raised on the doorsteps. I wouldn't like to overegg it or overplay it, but I know that it had been mentioned," he said.

Yesterday Mr Varadkar said the controversy over Ms Bailey's legal proceedings had caused some reputational damage to Fine Gael.

He said the incident occurred before she became a TD and he said: "it was a case that she took without any consultation with the Fine Gael party".

The Taoiseach said he hopes to speak to Ms Bailey this week about the incident.

The owners of The Dean Hotel have issued a statement saying: "Technically this matter is still before the courts.

"Until such time as we receive a notice of discontinuance, we will not be in a position to make comment."