Maria Bailey receives apology from media group over 2019 articles

Maria Bailey Receives Apology From Media Group Over 2019 Articles
Maria Bailey became tearful as she thanked her family and friends for their 'unwavering support' during a 'very difficult' few years. Photo: PA
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High Court Reporters

A media group has apologised in court to former Fine Gael TD Maria Bailey and accepted it falsely claimed she mounted a “dodgy” insurance claim.

The apology from MGN Ltd, which publishes the Irish Mirror, related to two articles it published in 2019.


In the pieces, MGN (Mirror Group Newspapers) said, it “accused Maria Bailey of mounting a ‘dodgy’ insurance claim and of ‘telling fibs’ in relation to her injuries”.

“We accept that these allegations were false. We are happy to clarify the position and apologise to Maria Bailey for the distress caused.”

It came to light in May 2019 that the former Dún Laoghaire deputy brought a personal injuries action against the Dean Hotel on Harcourt Street over a fall from a swing seat in the hotel in 2015. She withdrew her claim after it received significant media attention.

The apology was read out in the High Court on Tuesday by MGN’s barrister, Shane English, as part of the settlement of Ms Bailey’s defamation action against the group.


Her senior counsel, Declan Doyle, instructed by Eamonn Denieffe of OMD Solicitors, said other terms of the settlement have been implemented. The case could be struck out, added Mr Doyle, appearing with Jennifer Goode BL.

Outside court, Ms Bailey became tearful as she thanked her family and friends for their “unwavering support” during a “very difficult” few years.

“I am really happy to receive the apology this morning. It has been a long road and there have been a lot of people involved in this process,” she said.

Her family and friends were also “greatly affected” by everything surrounding this situation.


During this time, her late father was dying of motor neurone disease, and she “was not at a capacity to deal with such a situation”, but her father’s close friends Brendan Brady and his wife Dairine, stepped in.

Ms Bailey thanked her former team and staff at Leinster House who have “stood with me the entire time” and politicians “who were not afraid to stand and support me in my right to access the courts”.

Her lawyers treated her case with “incredible compassion”, she added.

Ms Bailey was de-selected by Fine Gael prior to the 2020 general election. She told RTÉ radio in 2021 that the controversy “destroyed” her.


She went from being a “very outgoing person” to someone who was fearful doing a weekly shop or bringing her kids to the playground, she said. Ms Bailey said she received “toxic” and “vile” abuse online.

She said hindsight showed her decision to issue proceedings against the hotel was “a bad one”.

“Hindsight is a great thing and when you’re in a role as a politician you make a lot of judgement calls and this was obviously a bad one,” she said.

“When the incident occurred, I was not a national politician. I was injured. Taking legal action was not my first port of call. There was about five or six months of going back and forth before that happened.”

Her High Court defamation case against MGN Ltd was settled and struck out on Tuesday.

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