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Healy-Rae brothers' appeal against chip van assault conviction adjourned

The two brothers and their friend were handed down suspended sentences in December.

The incident took place in Kenmare in December 2017. File photo.
The incident took place in Kenmare in December 2017. File photo.
Image: Shutterstock/gabriel12

A FULL APPEAL BY two sons of Independent TD Michael Healy-Rae and their Kilgarvan friend, relating to convictions for assault, has been adjourned.

The appeals had been listed for Killarney Circuit Court today, however, the court was told that there was an application to adjourn by the State with consent from the men’s solicitor. The court heard that the application had been raised earlier in the week but declined.

State solicitor Ed O’Sullivan told Judge James O Donohoe: “It is important to remember Mr Padraig O’Connell, solicitor for them, has consented to the application.”

The three men were in court and the position was the injured party was living in London with his wife and the court had been notified by the wife’s doctor, O’Sullivan said.

The hearing of the case took two full days and the appeal would also take two full days, the court heard.

Returning to the matter later, Judge O’Donohoe said the lady was in an advanced stage of pregnancy and, in view of the medical report handed into court, the hearing would not be going on.

He adjourned the appeals to the call over list under Circuit Court Judge Tom O’Donnell on 30 March to fix a date.

The judge granted an application by defence barrister Brian McInerney to excuse the attendance in court by the three accused on the date.

Garda Adrian Brennan said the hearing would have to be in Tralee court room – to facilitate the showing of CCTV.

No courthouse in Kerry other than the Tralee Circuit room has the necessary faciliites.

Jackie Healy Rae, (24) a county councillor and a member of the county Joint Policing Committee overseeing policing in Kerry was convicted late last year and given a suspended prison sentence for assaulting an English visitor to Kenmare during the 2017 Christmas period.

Healy Rae, of Sandymount, Kilgarvan, denied assaulting Kieran James, causing him harm on 28 December, 2017, on Main Street, Kenmare.

The independent councillor for the Castleisland area, who works as parliamentary assistant to his father, also denied assaulting James at East Park Lane in the town on the same date.

His brother Kevin Healy-Rae (22), also of Sandymount, Kilgarvan and their friend Malachy Scannell (34), of Inchinacoosh, Kilgarvan, were also convicted of assaulting James (30) on the same date. They too had denied the charge.

The incident happened after Kevin Healy Rae was accused of skipping a long queue at a chip van, the hearing was told.

James’ wife Lauren gave evidence in September that her husband had done nothing to provoke the assault and said it was she who took issue with Kevin Healy Rae barging to the top of the chip queue.

She also said that her husband’s face was “almost unrecognisable” after the three men attacked her husband, on Main Street and she had appealed to them to stop. 

In December at Kenmare District Court Judge David Waters Judge Waters convicted all three and sentenced Jackie Healy Rae to eight months in prison, Kevin Healy Rae to seven months and Malachy Scannell to six months. The judge suspended all sentences.

About the author:

Anne Lucey

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