Fine Gael’s Maria Bailey gives car-crash interview after withdrawing legal action

It was a regular swing, with two ropes and a wooden slat, but when Maria Bailey fell off it a farce ensued which embarrassed Ireland’s government, pushed election results off the front pages, and set a new standard in political hara-kiri.

It began with a scene worthy of Mr Bean. Bailey, a TD (member of parliament) from Ireland’s ruling Fine Gael party, was on a night out with friends in the bar of Dublin’s Dean hotel in July 2015. The bar had a swing which Bailey sat on it while apparently clutching a beer in one hand and a friend’s wine bottle in another. Arguably this impeded her ability to balance. She toppled over.

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