Tuesday 21 May 2019

District judge accepts jurisdiction in Healy-Rae sons' assault case

(L) Kevin Healy-Rae and his brother Jackie Healy-Rae Jr (right) pictured arriving with their solicitor Padraig O'Connell at Kenmare Court
Photo: Don MacMonagle
(L) Kevin Healy-Rae and his brother Jackie Healy-Rae Jr (right) pictured arriving with their solicitor Padraig O'Connell at Kenmare Court Photo: Don MacMonagle

Ralph Riegel

A DISTRICT Court judge accepted jurisdiction in dealing with assault charges levelled against two sons of Kerry TD Michael Healy-Rae and their friend.

Jackie (23) and Kevin (22) Healy-Rae, both sons of the Independent TD, and their friend, Malachy Scannell (34), appeared before Judge David Waters at Kenmare District Court today in respect of charges including assault causing harm brought over an alleged incident in the south Kerry town in December 2017.

Both Jackie and Kevin Healy-Rae are grandsons of Jackie Healy-Rae Snr, the late Independent TD for Kerry South whose election in 1997 began the Healy-Rae political dynasty.

Jackie Healy-Rae Snr served until his retirement from the Dáil in 2011.

Charges: Jackie and Kevin Healy-Rae on their way to the Dáil following their father’s election in 2016
Photo: Don MacMonagle
Charges: Jackie and Kevin Healy-Rae on their way to the Dáil following their father’s election in 2016 Photo: Don MacMonagle

The young men's uncle, Danny Healy-Rae, is also an Independent TD for Kerry.

Judge Waters was told the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) had consented to all matters being dealt with on a summary basis before the district court.

However, the judge asked to read the medical report in respect of the matters involving the charges of assault causing harm before deciding on jurisdiction.

Having studied the report, Judge Waters agreed that the matter could stay before the district court rather than be referred to Kerry Circuit Criminal Court.

No details of the alleged assaults was given.

He also asked for details on a criminal damage charge against Mr Scannell.

Judge Waters was told this involved alleged damage to a pair of glasses "knocked off following an altercation."

Having accepted jurisdiction, he granted an application by defence solicitor, Padraig O'Connell, for disclosure orders in respect of all State evidence including witness statements.

Mr O'Connell indicated, on behalf of the defendants, that all charges will be "vigorously and fully defended."

"These matters will be fully contested so a hearing date will be required at the June court," he said.

Mr O'Connell said his clients had denied all the charges from the very outset.

Judge Waters adjourned all matters until the June 7 sitting of Kenmare District Court when a date for the hearing will be set.

All three defendants were remanded to appear again on that date.

Jackie Healy-Rae Jnr - who is a candidate in next May's Local Government elections in the Castleisland area - faces a number of assault charges arising from alleged events in Kenmare 17 months ago.

One count is of alleged assault causing harm to Kieran James at Main Street in Kenmare on December 28 2017 contrary to Section 3 of the Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Act, 1997.

A second count is of alleged assault to Mr James at East Park Lane in the south Kerry town on the same date contrary to Section 2 of the same Act.

Kevin Healy-Rae is charged with alleged assault causing harm to Mr James in Kenmare on the same date.

Mr Scannell, who has an address at Inchinacoosh, Kilgarvan, Co Kerry, is charged with alleged assault causing harm to Mr James in Kenmare on December 28.

He also faces a charge of alleged assault causing harm to Cornelius 'Neily' O'Sullivan on Main Street, Kenmare.

Mr Scannell faces a third charge of alleged criminal damage to a pair of prescription eye glasses belonging to Cornelius 'Neily' O'Sullivan at Main Street, Kenmare contrary to Section 2 of the Criminal Damage Act, 1991.

The Director of Public Prosecutions, having considered the case file, indicated to gardaí that the matter can be disposed of at district court rather than circuit court level.

None of the three defendants addressed the court beyond confirming their identities.

Jackie Healy-Rae Jnr is an aspiring politician and is deeply involved in election campaigns for his father and uncle.

He is a candidate in the Kerry Co Council election on May 24.

His brother, Kevin Healy-Rae, operates a successful disc jockey business in Kerry.

Both brothers have an address at Sandymount in Kilgarvan, Co Kerry.

Mr Scannell is a close friend of the brothers.

The district court can impose sentences of up to 12 months in prison for people convicted of assault causing harm.

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