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Healy-Rae: voters won't hold dad's FF support against me

THE son of independent TD Jackie Healy-Rae last night insisted that he would not be punished by voters for his father's support of the Fianna Fail-led Government.

Michael Healy-Rae yesterday confirmed he would run in the next General Election in Kerry South, in place of his father.

The 79-year-old cap-wearing TD has consistently voted with the Government on cost-cutting budgets and major bank bailouts in exchange for funding for projects in his constituency.

But his son last night claimed that voters wouldn't hold his father's support for Fianna Fail against him at the election.

And he pointed to his own record in the local elections only last year, when he topped the poll in the Killorglin area.

"My father has extracted from this Government things that nobody else would have been able to," he said.

"At the same time, he had to vote with them in return for that. All he is doing is his best for Kerry. I don't think the people will blame him for that."

The former Kerry mayor categorically ruled out joining Fianna Fail either side of the election, saying he and his family had ruled it out since 2007.

Thirteen years ago, his father failed to win the nomination to run as a Fianna Fail candidate, leaving him to stand as an independent.

He has since been elected to the Dail in 1997, 2002 and again in 2007.

Next time around, his son Michael is likely to be battling it out for the last seat in the constituency against Fianna Fail TD and former Ceann Comhairle John O'Donoghue.

Irish Independent