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Thousands pay final respects to Jackie Healy-Rae at family pub

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Mourners queue  from  early in the day to pay their respect to the late Jackie Healy-Rae in Kilgarvan in Conunty Kerry on Sunday

Mourners queue from early in the day to pay their respect to the late Jackie Healy-Rae in Kilgarvan in Conunty Kerry on Sunday

Jacjkie Healy Rae on O'Connell Street in 1997

Jacjkie Healy Rae on O'Connell Street in 1997

Jackie Healy-Rae,TD  with three of his children  from left...Michael,Danny ,Rosemary  and supporters  at Leinster House for the first day of the 30th Dail in 2007

Jackie Healy-Rae,TD with three of his children from left...Michael,Danny ,Rosemary and supporters at Leinster House for the first day of the 30th Dail in 2007

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Mourners queue from early in the day to pay their respect to the late Jackie Healy-Rae in Kilgarvan in Conunty Kerry on Sunday

THEY queued from the top of the Bog Road, patiently waiting for the doors to open to pay their final respects to former Independent TD Jackie Healy-Rae.

When the doors opened a steady line of people started to make their way into the parlour of Danny and Eileen Healy-Rae's home where he was laid out.

The signature tartan cap on his head, Jackie also wore the familiar badge on his left lapel, 'Vote No 1 Jackie Healy-Rae'.

His mobile phone, the Nokia he got in 1997, looking battered and well worn now lay silent.

At the bottom of the coffin lay his hurley, the one he used when he was part of the Kilgarvan team that were Kerry County Champions in 1953, 56 and again in '58.

Danny Healy-Rae, a councillor, said they were overwhelmed by the numbers who had turned up to pay their respects.

"We're amazed all together with the amount of people that he touched everywhere that have come back to pay their final respects to him.

"You knew that he knew so many people and so many people appreciated him and you could never quantify that," Danny said.

"But I suppose for me, I've been with him the whole time and to see him go out the door for the last time," he said, voice cracking with tears as he spoke.

"And all the battles, and there were so many, and the many roads he travelled that this is it now and he's at the end of the road."

But he said his father had achieved so much in politics and in his other passions - music, hurling and welding.

But he'll also miss his guidance.

"We were in serious trouble at one time and I remember what he said to me. He said, 'I came down the Bog Road there in a donkey and car with my mother and the worst that will happen to me is I'll go up there again'.

"He had no fear," Danny added.

He will be laid to rest in Kilgarvan today.

hnews@herald.ie


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