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'You voted for me because you get good value for your vote' - Jackie Healy Rae's 2007 election night speech

It’s on the back of a lorry. Of course.

Source: Ronan Leonard/YouTube

IRISH POLITICS LOST a larger-than-life character yesterday when Jackie Healy Rae passed aged 83.

While the independent TD’s particular brand of politics was derided as “parish pump”, he never shied away from the fact that he worked for the people who voted for him, people who he felt had been left behind.

Nowhere is that more evident than in this speech from 2007.

Healy-Rae had come under severe pressure from his old party Fianna Fáil for the seat he held for a decade. However, strong transfers in later counts saw him beat Tom Fleming for the second time in five years.

Speaking that night in Kenmare (on the back of a lorry), Healy Rae told the crowd of over 100 that because they had voted for him, they “had three people working for them”, referencing his councillor sons Danny and Michael (now himself a TD).

God knows I know a lot more about it than I did a few months ago. Many’s the house I went to in the west who said “of course you’ll get our vote. If it wasn’t for Michael Healy Rae, we wouldn’t have planning permission for this house, this turn wouldn’t be taken or the potholes wouldn’t be filled.”

Read: Funeral of Jackie Healy-Rae to take place on Monday

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