Jackie Healy-Rae: from parish pump to Dáil plinth

The veteran Kerry politician, who has died aged 83, was a master at extracting the maximum resources from Dublin for his home patch, writes Owen O’Shea

30th December, 2014
Jackie Healy-Rae specialised in old-style politics Picture: Don MacMonagle

By the time Jackie Healy-Rae finally rocketed to national prominence, when the melodeons from Kilgarvan ushered him down Molesworth Street and into Leinster House in the summer of 1997, he had already been a political colossus in Kerry South for more than a generation.

From the 1960s onwards, an election in the Kingdom wasn’t an election without Healy-Rae’s ebullient and boisterous campaigning style.

If ever Neil Blaney, the veteran Fianna Fáil campaigner...

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