Taxpayers to continue bank-rolling the Healy-Rae dynasty?

22 Nov

Another hungry mouth for the taxpayer to feed

In one of the most nauseatingly opportunist of political moves, Fianna Fáil supporting TD Jackie Healy-Rae has finally said he may not support the government anymore. Coming as it did right after the Green’s had announced that they were withdrawing from coalition with Fianna Fáil anyway, Healy-Rae’s sudden dose of cold feet is a spectacle of shamelessness. “The time has come for integrity and honesty and political leadership,” he opined in his recent press  release. Can this be the same person who less than a year ago refused to say whether he would support the government in future cuts, who claimed that he had no power?

While Jackie is not running for the Dáil next time out, his extended clan have been calmoring to distance themselves from the most incompetent government in living memory. Announcing recently that he will run for his father’s seat in the Dáil at the next election, Michael Healy-Rae made the laughable claim that voters wouldn’t hold Jackie’s support for the Fianna Fail/Green government against him.

Of course, Jackie’s cowardly propping-up of the most unpopular government in Irish history at the expense of the Irish economy is only one of a long list of reasons why the Healy-Rae dynasty should be in for a nasty shock come the next election.

Jackie had claimed only last week that he had “a lot of other things cooking at the present time” – the same gombeen bluffing he specializes in. Whether it’s a “new” hospital, a town bypass or whatever, Jackie’s always there to claim that he’s the one who got the taxpayer to shell out. Remember the 2 million euro extension to Kenmare hospital that Jackie and Michael claimed to have secured in the election season of 2002? Whatever happened to that?

Or how about the “new” hospital that turned out to have been on the cards for almost a year before the Healy-Rae’s claimed the credit? Or the Castleisland bypass that Jackie claimed to have landed, to the annoyance of local councilors? The list goes on.

One thing the Healy-Rae clan has been indisputably successful at is greasing their own palms. Jackie managed to rack up €89,705 in expenses on top of his €100,000 salary in 2008, with all kinds of shenanigans involving “free” train travel, sharing cars with unnamed politicians and who knows what else.

And that’s not counting the €24,900 political donations he also managed to secure. Needless to say, the fact that Danny and Michael Healy-Rae, as Kerry County councilors, rezoned land for some of these same benevolent donors is completely coincidental. Needless to say.

Brother Danny should have no trouble juggling his job as director of elections for the Dáil bid with his position on Kerry County Council. After all, when he’s not brawling with neighbours, he manages to combine Council membership with  €679,000 of annual contract work with the same Council for plant hire and haulage.

Ironically enough, Micheal went to great lengths attacking the Kerry Public Service Workers’ Alliance and public servants generally on Radio Kerry earlier this year after our protest at his father’s clinic. “It’s the private sector who pay the funds that pays the wages for the public servants” Michael ranted. Somehow, the fact that the Healy-Raes are a prime example of a private company sucking voraciously off the public corpse seemed to have completely passed him by.

But then again, irony is obviously not one of Michael’s strong points. After all, he sees nothing wrong with charging the taxpayer €1,300 every time he attends a meeting of the Citizens Information Board, which is supposed to inform the community on public services they can avail of. At more than six times the weekly job seekers’ allowance, these expenses show that Michael obviously knows a thing or two about maximizing welfare entitlements.

In fairness, he and his brother are used to the taxpayer annually forking out over €200,000 to them for their membership of Kerry County Council, so who can blame him for squeezing out a few thousand more, here and there? As one Kilgarvan resident put it “the Healy-Raes never did anything for anyone unless it benefited themselves …they’re mé féiners.”

The issue is not really their irony-deficiency – its their complete and utter hypocrisy.

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One Response to “Taxpayers to continue bank-rolling the Healy-Rae dynasty?”

  1. mary gordon December 5, 2010 at 9:32 pm #

    Hello Jackie ,thank you for all the fantistic work that you and your family have done in the past for the people of south Kerry. At this time of economic unrest I am appealing to you not to support the Government if they decide to cut the widows pension as we are such vunerable members of society .I and my fellow widows who do not have payeable employment outside the home are depending on you to fight our case many thans, looking forward to your email asap regards Mary

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