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Healy-Rae Jnr got €16,500 compensation from GAA after 'clash of heads'

Compensation paid out for banging heads in junior training


Jackie Healy-Rae Jnr, pictured right, convicted of assault last week earlier won compensation

Jackie Healy-Rae Jnr, pictured right, convicted of assault last week earlier won compensation

Jackie Healy-Rae Jnr, pictured right, convicted of assault last week earlier won compensation

Jackie Healy-Rae Jnr received €16,500 in compensation from the GAA after a clash of heads with another player during a training session in his local club.

Mr Healy-Rae took legal action against the sporting body after he collided with another player while playing hurling in Kilgarvan GAA Club.

The Kerry county councillor, who was last week convicted of assault, lost consciousness following the incident and was taken to Cork University Hospital (CUH) by ambulance where he received treatment for a head injury.

The 23-year-old politician was an under-age player at the time of the incident and the personal injury claim was lodged with Tralee Circuit Court by his mother, Eileen Healy-Rae. Jackie is also the son of Independent TD Michael Healy-Rae.

The clash of heads between Mr Healy-Rae, who was 15 at the time, and the other young player happened on April 5, 2011. A personal injury claim was lodged in the Circuit Court on February 25, 2013 against the named trustees of Kilgarvan GAA Club.

A well-placed source said the settlement was €16,500. The source said €3,000 of this covered medical expenses and the legal fees amounted to around €1,000.

Yesterday, Jackie Healy-Rae Jnr said he sustained a "serious head injury" while training with Kilgarvan Junior GAA team and was taken to hospital.

"I was discharged from CUH the following day but I continued to suffer constant loss of balance and difficulty walking," he added.

Mr Healy-Rae said he was readmitted to Cork University Hospital and stayed there for a "few weeks"

"I continued to experience a loss of balance and I was unable to walk unassisted. As a result I had to undergo an intensive course of physiotherapy," he said.

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"As I was a minor at the time, my mother issued legal proceedings on my behalf seeking compensation for my pain and suffering and to recoup the medical costs incurred which had not been reimbursed."

Mr Healy-Rae said the case was settled by the GAA's insurers in 2014 for a "sum substantially below the maximum jurisdiction of the Circuit Court".

"The sum was approved by the court as being appropriate compensation given the nature and extent of my injuries and to cover the medical costs involved," he added.

The maximum award payable by the Circuit Court is €60,000.

Legal documents relating to Mr Healy-Rae's personal injury case suggested the clash happened while Mr Healy-Rae was "pucking around prior to training commencing".

The same documents also highlight concerns about Mr Healy-Rae and his team mates wearing helmets prior to training.

A personal injuries claims assessor working on behalf of the GAA questioned a number of Kilgarvan club officials who witnessed the incident and attended to Mr Healy-Rae.

A Kilgarvan GAA Club spokesperson said: "A player got injured and the GAA insurance covered it."

The GAA did not respond to request for comment.

Kilgarvan is one of few GAA clubs in south Kerry with a strong hurling tradition.

Jackie Healy-Rae Jnr's grandfather of the same name won two senior Kerry hurling championship medals with the club in 1956 and 1958. The club held a guard of honour outside the local church for Jackie Healy-Rae's funeral in December 2014.

Jackie junior and his brother Kevin were convicted of assaulting British tourist Kieran James in Kenmare two years ago.

The two brothers and their friend Malachy Scannell will be sentenced on Friday over their involvement in the assault, which resulted in Mr James receiving a broken nose.

Tralee District Court heard last night the assault stemmed from an incident in a queue beside a chip van in the Kerry town.

Judge Dave Waters said he convicted the three men based on witness credibility and CCTV evidence.

In a Garda statement, Kevin Healy-Rae claimed he felt intimidated by Mr James who he alleged was staring at him in a queue for the chip van. He later claimed derogatory remarks were made before the altercation about his father, Michael Healy-Rae.

"I believe it all started due to my family's political background," he told gardai.

"There are people all over the country who hate our family. This county is not alone in that. [But] you just smile and walk away."

Mr James told gardai he did not know either of the Healy-Rae brothers.

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