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Healy-Raes to 'look at circumstances' as video shows alleged Covid breaches at Kerry pub

The footage was posted online this morning.
Aug 5th 2021, 2:17 PM 84,618 0

Updated Aug 5th 2021, 5:05 PM

A RELATIVE OF Danny Healy-Rae has said the family is to ‘look at the circumstances’ after a video was published on social media showing alleged breaches of Covid-19 restrictions at the Kerry TD’s pub. 

The Snapchat videos and clips shows a group of mainly young people dancing on tables at the Kilgarvan premises, some of whom are topless.

In the footage, which was posted by Radio Kerry on Twitter this morning, customers are shown without masks and getting bar service – both of which are prohibited under the remaining Covid-19 restrictions.

Customers are currently still required to wear masks indoors at a pub unless they are seated.

Danny Healy-Rae has not responded to requests for comment.

Radio Kerry reported that Danny Healy-Rae told the radio station he was “not aware” of the gathering at his pub.

His son, Councillor Johnny Healy-Rae, has told RTÉ that the family are examining the situation but would not be commenting for now.

“We are looking at the circumstances and may have a comment later”, he told RTÉ.

Danny Healy-Rae, who runs the pub which previously belonged to his late father Jackie Healy-Rae, previously declined to say if he would ask his staff to check a customer’s vaccination status as part of indoor dining arrangements.

In a statement to The Journal this afternoon, the Vintners Federation of Ireland (VFI) would not comment on the specific incident but said that obligations being put on publicans are “onerous”. 

“While the VFI is unable to comment on individual pubs, we note the extremely high level of compliance in regard to the Failte Ireland reopening guidelines among the wider pub sector. Our view is that some of the guidelines, such as having to check a customer’s vaccine status, are onerous and impractical but these are the rules we must work with for the time being,” the statement said. 

The VFI added that added that if publicans do not follow the rules it will have adverse consequences for the entire industry: 

It’s important to remember the further easing of restrictions will occur only if pubs are seen to be following the current guidelines. Refusing to implement those guidelines could have huge consequences not just for an individual pub found transgressing but for the entire trade.

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Kerry recorded 305 cases of Covid-19 in a seven day period between 27 July and 2 August according to the latest figures. It has a 14-day incidence rate of 356 cases per 100,000 people.

Today’s story drew a reaction from listeners for Radio Kerry, as some criticised Deputy Healy-Rae for the apparent breach. Others pointed their ire at whoever had supplied the radio station with the footage.

Tom Randles, a Kilvarvan resident and veteran Fine Gael activist, told The Journal that the behaviour was “irresponsible and reckless”.

“Since it [the restrictions] opened up, people are after completely forgetting that the virus can be rampant. There isn’t enough care shown.”

Randles, who added that he is a teetotaler, said he has seen similar scenes at other pubs in Kerry: “People are not taking it as seriously now.”

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Eoghan Dalton


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