September date in Healy-Rae case

Castleisland councillor on assault charges

Sinead Kelleher

Newly elected Kerry County Councillor Jackie Healy-Rae will appear before Kenmare District Court on September 6 to face assault charges after a date was set for the case at Kenmare District Court last Friday.

Cllr Healy-Rae didn't attend the sitting of Kenmare District Court as it coincided with his first council meeting.

The son of TD Michael Healy-Rae had been excused from attending the hearing by Judge David Waters after he made a formal application to dispense with his attendance last week.

The 24-year-old councillor - who topped the poll with more than 2,600 first-preference votes in the Castleisland LEA - is facing a charge of assault causing harm and assault arising out of an incident in Kenmare town on December 28, 2017.

Kenmare District Court was told a formal application had already been made to dispense with CllrHealy-Rae's attendance for council matters, and this was granted. A hearing date has now been set for the case for September 6. A previous court hearing heard that Jackie Healy-Rae was pleading not guilty, as were his two co-accused, and that the charges would be 'vigorously contested'.

His co-accused - including his younger brother, Kevin Healy-Rae, and another Kilgavan man, Malachy Scannell - attended the brief hearing.

Jackie and Kevin Healy-Rae - both with addresses at Sandymount, Kilgarvan - are charged with assault causing harm to Kieran James on December 28, 2017, on Main Street Kenmare.

Jackie Healy-Rae is further charged with the assault of Mr James at East Park Lane, Kenmare, on the same date.

A third defendant in the assault case is Malachy Scannell of Inchinacoosh, Kilgarvan, who is facing a charge of assault causing harm to the same victim, Kieran James, also at Main Street.

Mr Scannell is also charged with assault causing harm to Cornelius O'Sullivan on the night. He is futher charged with criminal damage of the glasses of Mr O'Sullivan.

Kevin and Jackie Healy-Rae are the grandsons of the late TD Jackie Healy-Rae and the son of sitting TD Michael Healy-Rae. Jackie made history at the local elections by becoming the sixth family member elected to the local authority. He works as a parliamentary assistant for his father.

Solicitor Conor Murphy told the court that he was keeping an eye on proceedings for solicitor Pat Mann in Tralee.

Defence solicitor Padraig O'Connell said the defendants were 'anxious' that the case be disposed of. He added he received disclosure for the case, including CCTV, but was not satisfied he had all disclosure.

Judge David Waters also raised concerns about the viewing of CCTV in Kenmare District Court for the case which he said that was not set up for the viewing of such evidence. He said the CCTV would have to be shown a number of times so everyone involved could see it.

Sgt Miriam Mulhall Nolan said the CCTV footage would be played on a laptop, and the court heard it was only between three and four minutes long.

A previous court hearing heard that the DPP had directed that the case be heard at District Court, and Judge David Waters had accepted jurisdiction. The case was adjourned to September 6.