Healy-Rae brothers and their friend appeal convictions for assault

Three given suspended sentences for attacking man after row in queue for Kenmare chip van

Two sons of Kerry TD Michael Healy-Rae, and their friend, who were given suspended prison sentences for assaulting a visitor to Kenmare during the 2017 Christmas period have lodged appeals.

Jackie Healy-Rae (24),of Sandymount, Kilgarvan, Co Kerry, and his brother Kevin Healy-Rae (20) of the same address, were sentenced at Kenmare District Court last Friday.

They had denied assaulting Kieran James, causing him harm on December 28th, 2017, on Main Street, Kenmare.

Their friend Malachy Scannell (34), of Inchinacoosh, Kilgarvan, was also sentenced for assaulting Mr James (30) on the same date. He also denied the charge.


Prior to the handing down of sentences by Judge David Waters, the men's solicitor, Pádraig O'Connell, said the actions were "regretted". The solicitor also said whatever sentence would be imposed by the court, would be accepted.

But Mr O’Connell confirmed on Wednesday that appeals had been lodged against “both conviction and sentence” in all three cases.

The solicitor also reiterated that Jackie Healy-Rae would not be resigning his seat on Kerry County Council or on the county's Joint Policing Committee.

The 24-year-old, who was elected to Kerry County Council last May, works as parliamentary assistant to his father.

Chip van

The court heard the incident happened after Kevin Healy-Rae was accused of skipping a long queue at a chip van, of which Mr James and his partner Lauren were part. The couple took issue with Kevin Healy-Rae “barging” to the top of the queue and placing an order.

In response to being told there was a queue, he replied: “This is my town, this is my chip van”.

Kevin Healy-Rae came back to the chip van soon after with Jackie Healy-Rae and Scannell. Jackie Healy-Rae held Mr James in a headlock, which he said stopped him from breathing, until friends of the English man pleaded that he be let go. The court heard that moments later the Healy-Raes and Scannell “charged” up the town’s Main Street in pursuit of Mr James, who then received multiple blows. The court heard the beating left his face almost unrecognisable, with his nose swollen and pushed to one side.

The judge sentenced Jackie Healy-Rae to eight months in prison, Kevin Healy-Rae to seven months and Scannell to six months, but suspended the sentences.