Friday 20 April 2018

Healy-Rae son recuperates at home after row over gate lock

Ralph Riegel

A LOCK on a galvanised iron gate was the spark for a bizarre Kerry land dispute that has remarkable echoes of John B Keane's 'The Field'.

Cllr Danny Healy-Rae was discharged from Kerry General Hospital (KGH) in Tralee yesterday after being treated for face, neck and back injuries following an alleged altercation last Saturday at Fossa outside Kilgarvan.

Mr Healy-Rae is now recuperating at his home. He was unavailable for comment on the matter yesterday.

The confrontation with a local man occurred over the erection of double galvanised iron gates across a laneway and a disputed right of way.

Last night, Mr Healy-Rae's brother, Michael, said his brother will make a full recovery and will return to Kerry Co Council in due course.

Danny Healy-Rae -- a father of six -- was hospitalised after sustaining multiple injuries in the alleged altercation.

He runs a pub in the area and is part of the renowned Healy-Rae political machine which has helped return his father, Jackie, as an independent TD for Kerry South since 1997.

The incident occurred at 1pm last Saturday and gardai are now investigating the precise circumstances of what happened.

Gardai are now set to speak to both men over the coming days about what happened. Cllr Healy-Rae owns a small plot of land in the area but there has been an ongoing dispute for some time over an alleged right of way.

Michael Healy-Rae, also a councillor, confirmed that his brother was working at a plot of land he owns but refused to comment on the specifics of precisely what happened.


"Work was ongoing when the altercation took place and I think it would be better for me not to say anything more about exactly what happened," he said.

Michael Healy-Rae was in Cork when he got a phone call to say his brother had been hurt and he should return immediately to Kerry.

"The gardai were there and he was taken away in an ambulance. The net result is that (Danny) is in hospital being treated for injuries and that is unfortunate," he said.

He added he was relieved that his brother only needed to stay in hospital for two days.

"We are glad that he is home. Unfortunately he missed a council meeting today. He was unable to attend because of the fact that he was in hospital. It is the first time that any of us ever missed a council meeting. We hope now that he will make a quick recovery," he added.

But Michael Healy-Rae said he had no idea when his brother would be able to resume his political duties.

"I honestly don't know the answer to that even though I was there (in hospital) with him," he said. "The doctors are great but we are still waiting for an assessment as to what way he is going to be. We don't know what treatment he will need when he gets out," he added.

Michael said his brother's injury and his inability to attend key Kerry Co Council votes this week will be a major setback for people of his electoral area.

"We take our votes very seriously. That is what we are elected for -- to represent people and we feel very hard done by today that he (Danny) is not able to do what he is good at today as a local representative," he added.

Members of the Healy-Rae family visited Danny throughout yesterday but he is understood to be in pain, particularly from his back injury.

He may now require a substantial period of physiotherapy following his release from hospital.

Irish Independent

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