Double victory for Healy-Raes as father and son are elected
THE Healy-Raes saw their dominance in Kerry politics strengthened once again with an impressive performance by father and son, Danny and Johnny, in the local elections.
Danny topped the poll in the Killarney area, a personal best for the Kilgarvan publican, who secured over two quotas.
His vote was almost matched by Johnny (29) – his first time to seek election – who was in after the first count in the South and West Kerry area, spreading the Healy-Rae tentacles to the west of the county.
Patriarch of the family Jackie Healy-Rae had to be content with hearing his son and grandson's success over the airwaves from the confines of his hospital bed at Kerry General, where he's recovering from a knee replacement operation – the first election count he recalled missing since childhood.
Although she denies she comes from a political dynasty, Toireasa Ferris – daughter of Kerry North TD Martin – topped the poll in Tralee, followed by her party colleague Pa Daly.
Robert Beasley (SF) won the second seat in Listowel. Newcomer Dianne Nolan was also elected.
The Springs added a new precedent to dynastic politics when Graham Spring became the fifth member of his family to be elected on to Kerry County Council – following in the footsteps of his brother Arthur, late aunt Maeve, uncle Dick and grandfather Dan.
Fine Gael TD Brendan Griffin's replacement on Kerry County Council, his cousin Matt, failed to be elected and was eliminated after the fifth count.
Another Kerry dynasty was given a slap in the face when the efforts by siblings Tom and Anne McEllistrim to both be elected failed. A move by sitting councillor Anne to the Killarney area to make room for big brother in Tralee backfired when her vote collapsed and she was eliminated in Killarney after the eighth count.
But her brother, a former Fianna Fail TD like his father and grandfather, secured one of the final seats in Tralee.
And although, like most other places, it was Independents' Day, four of the Kerry Independents are from the Fianna Fail stable, including the Healy-Raes, Dan McCarthy and Michael Cahill.
Not that it was a bad showing for Fianna Fail either. John Brassil topped the poll in Listowel; John Joe Culloty and Niall Kelleher were elected in Killarney; Norma Foley, Tom McEllistrim in Tralee; and three in South and West Kerry, Michael O'Shea, Norma Moriarty and John Francis Flynn.
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