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If cap fits: Michael hopes to follow Jackie into Dail

THE distinctive cap could remain a feature of the Dail, though on a different head if Michael Healy-Rae holds his father's seat in the next election.

The Kerry councillor was formally given the nod to contest the next general election by supporters in Killarney last night in place of his father, Jackie, who is to retire.

Mr Healy-Rae, who was director of elections for his father in his three general election campaigns, said there was a huge difference in being the candidate.

"It was an awful responsibility to direct an election but it will certainly be an onerous task to contest one and the only way I can take it on, and be anyway good enough, is by having the support of the massive group of people who have backed us over the years," Mr Healy-Rae told the Irish Independent.

"I'll be relying 100pc on those people again because if I didn't have them I'd be going nowhere.

"But I'm looking forward to it.

"It's a challenge but you have to fight your corner and knuckle down to it and I'm willing to do that."

Another son, Danny Healy-Rae, is also an independent member of Kerry County Council.

Irish Independent