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Wednesday 16 October 2019

'Keen runner' Bailey took part in 10k race just three weeks after her swing fall

Maria Bailey ran The Bay 10k three weeks after falling from the hotel swing
Maria Bailey ran The Bay 10k three weeks after falling from the hotel swing

Fine Gael TD Maria Bailey took part in a 10km race three weeks after falling from a swing in a Dublin hotel.

The politician lodged a personal injury claim on the basis that she suffered injuries to her head, lower back and hip after falling backwards from the swing in the Dean Hotel.

It is claimed she can no longer sit or stand for long periods without experiencing pain and discomfort as a result of the incident on July 10, 2015.

Court papers say she was a "keen runner prior to the accident but could not run at all for three months post-accident and has had to reduce her activities significantly since".

Social media posts show that on August 3 she ran The Bay 10k in Dun Laoghaire in a time of 53 minutes and 56 seconds.

"Always enjoy the race never fails to impress, and also never gets easy. A few hills at the start. Well done to all involved," Ms Bailey wrote on social media afterwards.

It has also emerged that the dates recorded in her court submission are inaccurate.

Inaccurate

The papers indicate Ms Bailey was in the hotel with friends at around 9pm on Monday, July 13, 2015.

Sources close to the TD say the incident actually took place on the previous Friday evening.

The following morning, she woke up with severe back pain at 6.30am, which prevented her from getting out of bed.

A doctor was called but was not able to attend, and 45 minutes later Ms Bailey did "extricate herself" from bed with the assistance of her mother and medication.

The papers said she was "then taken to the A&E department of the Beacon Hospital, Sandyford".

"The plaintiff was in severe pain. Her jaw was swollen and her bite was off line," her lawyers say, adding that she was "stiff and sore and had a severe headache".

Ms Bailey made a number of public appearances in the days after receiving hospital treatment, including one on TV3's Ireland AM programme to discuss her experience with migraines.

At 7.52am on July 14, she posted a message on social media publicising her appearance.

Her appearance was alongside Dr Sinead Beirne and host Alan Hughes at 8.45am. She discussed suffering from excruciating headaches before discovering exercise could reduce the pain.

She also spoke at a number of other events, including a conference on migraines in South Dublin on July 15 and a Women For Election event at Google on July 17.

The next day, she attended the Longitude Music Festival, according to a Facebook post from July 18. It includes a photo and caption saying the concert was "such a laugh, great event".

The then councillor went on to be selected as a Fine Gael general election candidate on July 29.

Court papers note she could not take time off work because she was running for election. Ms Bailey was elected as a TD in February 2016.

She has brought a lawsuit against the Dean in the Circuit Court, where damages of up to €60,000 can be awarded.

She alleged that the hotel was negligent because the swing had been "unsupervised" and there were no signs to instruct patrons on how to use it safely.

Ms Bailey's lawyers said she sat on the swing and was having her photo taken by friends "when she was caused to fall backwards".

The Dean Hotel denies negligence and says that if injury was suffered, this was due to Ms Bailey's own negligence or contributory negligence.

It claims she was holding items when using the swing, restricting her ability to balance and preventing her from holding rope grips properly.

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