Kerry county councillor facing assault charges has case adjourned

A Kerry county councillor facing assault charges has had his case adjourned.

Independent councillor Jackie Healy-Rae was one of three men who were denying assault charges today in Kenmare District Court.

Councillor Healy-Rae and his brother Kevin Healy-Rae, both from Sandymount, Kilgarvan, are sons of Independent TD Michael Healy-Rae, with the former currently employed as his father’s parliamentary assistant.

Jackie Healy-Rae, who topped the poll in the Castleisland Electoral Area in May’s elections, is facing two charges: the first is assault causing harm to Kieran James on Main Street, while the second is a charge of assault on the same man at East Park Lane, Kenmare, both on the 28th December 2017.

Kevin Healy-Rae is facing one charge of assault causing harm to the same man, while Malachy Scannell of Inchacoosh, Kilgarvan, also denies a single assault charge.

The injured party, Kieran James, gave evidence this afternoon: he said that, prior to the incident, Kevin Healy-Rae had jumped a queue at a chip van and, when admonished for skipping, began pacing around aggressively.

He said that Jackie Healy-Rae strangled him for up to 30 seconds at the chip van and, along with the co-accused, punched him six or seven times shortly after on Main Street.

His wife, a witness, said that following the assault, her husband’s face was almost unrecognizable; the victim had earlier told the court he suffered a broken nose, a cut to his face and an injured shoulder.

Earlier, defending barrister Brian McInerney said it’s his case that both Healy-Raes were acting in self-defense and that Mr Scannell was not involved.

The injured party denies that he was the aggressor.

A large screen TV was brought into the courtroom this afternoon to facilitate the showing of CCTV footage.

Judge David Waters listed the case for mention in Kenmare District Court, which will sit in Tralee Courthouse on the 25th September to set a date for a later concluding hearing.