ONE of the country's best-known political families has struck it lucky – but not at the ballot box.
Rosemary Healy-Rae, from Kilgarvan in Kerry, won €72,000 and a holiday to the Czech Republic during an appearance on RTE's 'Winning Streak' programme on Saturday night.
And while her famous father Jackie and TD brother Michael were unable to be with her during her TV appearance, she was given plenty of advice on how to maximise her winnings.
"I'm part of that very quiet political family from Kerry. You're looking at big fans, they never miss it," she told host Sinead Kennedy.
"My father gave me loads of instructions about what I should be doing.
"They're all very busy because local elections are coming up at the end of May. Himself (Jackie) and my brothers Michael, Danny and nephew Johnny are out canvassing at the moment."
Ms Healy-Rae worked for the Revenue Commissioners before qualifying as a barrister in 2003. She includes tax and employment law among her specialities on the lawlibrary.ie website, and in 2008 she co-authored a paper at the Institute of International Integration Studies on the implications for foreign direct investment of the European Court of Justice decisions on corporation tax.
Married to Corkman Tim O'Rahilly, her appointment to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Tribunal by then-Justice Minister Brian Lenihan in 2007 caused some controversy when it emerged her father Jackie had been given three positions on state boards to hand out to supporters as part of a secret deal struck with Bertie Ahern and Brian Cowen.
She was considered well-qualified for the post, and Mr Lenihan said he planned to appoint her regardless of any deal struck by her father.
"I was doing it anyway," he said. "I've known her for a long number of years and she is a very able person." Ms Healy-Rae won the bulk of her money in a game called Fantastic Five, which yielded the maximum prize of €50,000 and a €3,000 holiday in Prague.
She said she plans on spending her winnings on a trip to the US, where her sister Joan Larkin lives and she has "loads" of aunts, uncles and cousins.