Solicitor says Kerry County Councillor intends to appeal assault conviction

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A solicitor for a Kerry County Councillor found guilty of assaulting a man in Kenmare two years ago says they will be appealing the conviction.

Brothers Jackie and Kevin Healy-Rae, who are sons of Independent Kerry TD Michael Healy-Rae, both of Sandymount Kilgarvan and Malachy Scannell of Inchacoosh, Kilgarvan had denied all charges arising from an incident in Kenmare on December 28th 2017.

Today, Judge David Waters found the trio guilty of all charges facing them.

In handing down the guilty verdicts, Judge David Waters said he was satisfied that the evidence showed Kevin Healy-Rae was intoxicated and took issue with victim Kieran James by a chipper van on the night in question and assaulted him.

Jackie Healy-Rae chose to be the third man and get involved, the judge said, and held Mr James in a headlock and smiled at passers-by.

CCTV show the brothers and Malachy Scannell running up Main Street after the group Mr James was with where another assault occurred.

Mr James’s wife previously told the court his face was almost unrecognisable after the assault.

Both Healy-Rae brothers had claimed they acted in self defence with Kevin telling Gardai he believed the whole incident was initiated by politics.

However, Judge David Waters said Mr James was an extremely credible witness with no axe to grind and was very measured in his evidence.

Jackie Healy-Rae and his brother Kevin were both found guilty of assaulting Mr James causing him harm at Main Street and assaulting him at East Park Lane.

Mr Scannell was found guilty of assaulting Mr James causing him harm and guilty of assaulting another man Cornelius O’Sullivan causing him harm and criminal damage, namely breaking Mr O’Sullivan’s prescription glasses.

Sentencing in the case will take place in Kenmare District Court on December 6th when Mr James’s victim impact statement will be read to the court.

Solicitor Padraig O’Connell said his clients accept the judge’s decision but do not agree with it and will be appealing all convictions in full.