Michael Healy-Rae urged to explain how he claimed Dáil expenses when he was in Kerry

Kerry TD was in Sneem on June 21st last year, yet Dáil records show his ID tag was used to clock him present for Juncker speech

Michael Healy-Rae: he attended a funeral in Sneem, Co Kerry, at 11am on June 21st last year

Michael Healy-Rae: he attended a funeral in Sneem, Co Kerry, at 11am on June 21st last year

 

Minister for Social Protection Regina Doherty has said Independent TD Michael Healy-Rae should explain how he claimed Dáil expenses for a day when he is now known to have been in Kerry.

The Kerry TD attended a funeral in Sneem, Co Kerry, at 11am on June 21st last year, but Dáil records show that an ID tag held by Mr Healy-Rae was used to clock him as present for the visit of European Commission president Jean Claude Juncker, whose speech began shortly after noon.

On Friday, Mr Healy-Rae’s parliamentary assistant, 24-year-old Jackie Healy-Rae, who is now a member of Kerry County Council, refused to comment, and said that his father would not be commenting either.

The controversy about Mr Healy-Rae was raised last year when fellow Kerry TD, Fianna Fáil’s John Brassil criticised him for not being present in the Dáil chamber for the Juncker speech, especially since he is chair of the Oireachtas Committee on European Affairs.

Responding on Radio Kerry on June 22nd last year, Mr Healy Rae snr said he had been absent from the Dáil because of a bereavement following the death of the uncle of his son-in-law.

Questioned at Government Buildings, Ms Doherty said the Kerry TD has questions to answer.

“I’m not too sure how you can be in two places at the same time, as much as many of us would like to do it, so I think this probably has a bit to run,” she said.