Michael Healy-Rae says weekend scenes in Killarney wouldn’t have happened if pubs were open
Raucous scenes filmed in Killarney went viral on social media yesterday.
Michael Healy-Rae said that the type of scenes witnessed in Killarney at the weekend would not have happened if all pubs in Ireland were permitted to reopen.
Speaking on Morning Ireland on RTE Radio One Monday morning, the Kerry TD was responding to footage of large crowds of people on the streets of Killarney in the early hours of Sunday morning.
The video, in which some men can be seen scaling a phone box that houses a defibrillator and dancing on top of it, was shared on social media on Sunday by, amongst others, Kerry councillor, Jackie Healy-Rae, who described the scenes as “crazy irresponsible”.
Crazy irresponsible scenes in Killarney last night.
The government on about giving extra powers to Gardaí to break up house parties, this is the Main Street in Killarney, where were they ?? https://t.co/F0TR4nEDTv
— Jackie Healy-Rae (@Jackie_HealyRae) August 30, 2020
Jackie’s father, Michael Healy-Rae, described the scenes as “most unfortunate” when speaking to Morning Ireland on Monday, but argued that they should be used as an argument to persuade the government to reopen all pubs and not just those serving food to customers.
“That is why I would use that scene in Killarney on Saturday night as an argument in persuading Government to allow all public houses to open,” Healy-Rae said.
“Because if our public houses are open, people will get alcohol in a measured and principled way, by responsible people who go before our courts every 12 months and who run what I call respectable public houses.”
Healy-Rae has been vocal on the plight of rural publicans in particular since the closure of pubs in March as part of measures to combat the spread of Covid-19 in Ireland.
While acknowledging the fact that his brother, fellow independent TD Danny, runs a pub in Kilgarvan in Kerry, Healy-Rae said he “didn’t agree” with public health advice on pubs and was sceptical about the difference between so-called ‘wet’ pubs (pubs not serving food) and pubs serving food to customers.
“There are a lot of anomalies,” Healy-Rae added.
“Of course I will adhere to and go along with the advice, but that doesn’t mean to say that I have to blindly agree and say they’re 100% right in everything they say.
“That is not life.”