A former minister for justice has criticised a Fine Gael TD for suing a Dublin hotel after she fell off a swing at the property.

It has been reported that Dún Laoghaire TD Maria Bailey is taking a personal injury legal action against The Dean Hotel on Dublin's Harcourt Street for an alleged incident where she suffered injuries to her head, back and hip.

In Circuit Court proceedings she has accused the hotel of negligence as the swing was unsupervised at the time of the incident in 2015, the year before she was elected a TD.

It has been reported that the hotel is denying liability and claiming that Ms Bailey had items in both hands when she fell off the swing.

Independent Senator Michael McDowell raised the issue during Order of Business in the Seanad this afternoon.

Mr McDowell said: "As somebody who has been careless enough to lose my seat on three occasions in the other house, I was struck by reading in today's Irish Independent about a member of that House who lost her seat while on a swing in a hotel in Harcourt Street."

He was warned to "tread carefully" by Cathaoirleach of the Seanad Denis O'Donovan as the case, which was mentioned at Dublin Circuit Civil Court, could be "sub judice."

Mr McDowell said he would not comment on the merits of the case but added: "It would appear that 55 years after Belfast City Council unlocked the swings on Sundays, the proposition is being put in court that there should be supervisors for swings when adults are using them and that it is a matter of civil liability if there isn't."

He said: "It does occur to me that we live in a strange world where civil liability can exist in such circumstances but maybe we are only hearing a portion of the evidence."

Mr McDowell added that "if the Government is serious about driving down the claims culture, we cannot stand idly by when adults lose their seat with two objects, one in each hand, and fall off a swing and then claim there should have been a supervisor looking after them.

"Especially when it comes from somebody who has so much public influence and clearly influence over Government policy in these matters," he added.

The leader of the Seanad, Fine Gael Senator Jerry Buttimer, said that as the issue of the swing is before the courts, he would not comment on it.

He acknowledged the issue of civil liability in the wider insurance debate is one that needs to be addressed.