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Danny Healy-Rae apologises for 'to hell with planet' comment after confrontation with Green Party candidate

Cleo Murphy approached Danny Healy Rae yesterday about his comments.

Image: RollingNews.ie

Updated Feb 10th 2020, 2:45 PM

KERRY TD DANNY Healy-Rae has apologised for dismissing climate change and saying “to hell with the planet” in an interview yesterday. 

Healy-Rae made his comments about how he is a politician for the people, not the planet, sparking criticism. 

“Vote for the people, stay with the people, and to hell with the planet and the fellas that says we must save the planet and forget about the people – I’m not one of those people, I make no apologies to anyone anywhere for that and I stay with the people as long as the people want me,” Healy-Rae told Virgin Media News reporter Zara King.

In a statement to Radio Kerry this afternoon, Healy-Rae said: “If my comments offended anyone, I want to sincerely apologise for that.

Obviously I care about the planet as much as the people in it, the point I was trying to get across is as much as we must mind the planet, we must be fair to the people. Again I apologise and withdraw these remarks.”

Following the interview, Kerry Green Party candidate Cleo Murphy confronted Healy-Rae over his comments – after it emerged their road home was impassable after a landslide.

Cleo Murphy and Healy-Rae had words after news came through that the main road, the R569 between Kilgarvan village, Kenmare and Killarney, was closed due to a land slippage alongside the Flesk River in the wake of Storm Ciara.

The council closed the road and all traffic to and from Kilgarvan was being diverted via Kenmare and the Moll’s Gap on the Ring of Kerry – although it later emerged that Moll’s Gap was also flooded.

Healy-Rae had just given a TV interview dismissing climate change when the pair spoke.

Murphy was already annoyed about Danny’s interview on Virgin Media where the Kilgarvan TD said: “To hell with the planet.”

 

Murphy approached Healy-Rae and before an audience asked him:

“So how are we going to get home Danny. How are we going to get home?”

“Foiladonn, past Glenflesk Church. I got the river cleaned there,” Danny told her, referring to a tiny road off the N22.

“The whole place is flooded and you are saying to hell with the planet!” Murphy pressed.

“The Flesk River was cleaned because of my representation,” Danny Healy-Rae insisted.

He did not believe in climate change and the reason roads flooded was because people were not cleaning rivers, he said.

“We can’t rise up the houses. We have to clean the rivers,” he insisted.

Murphy afterwards remarked:

“It’s ironic in the wake of Storm Ciara on a day when it’s flooded around the Moll’s Gap Road and the Loo Bridge is closed that Danny Healy Rae would see fit to say ‘To hell with the planet’.”

On Saturday, a woman dressed as a stick of celery was ejected from a polling station in Kilgarvan, Co Kerry, as she attempted to accompany Danny Healy Rae into vote in his home village.

Danny Healy Rae looks set to get a seat in his constituency.

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About the author:

Anne Lucey

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