A date has been set for the late night assault case involving the newly elected Kerry County Councillor Jackie Healy-Rae, who is alleged to have assaulted a 30-year-old English visitor to Kenmare, causing harm, in December 2017.
Kenmare District Court heard that, because of a lack of facilities in the courthouses in Kerry, CCTV footage will have to be shown a number of times on a laptop so everyone in court can view it.
Mr Healy-Rae, who is one of five children, works as a parliamentary assistant for his father the TD Michael Healy-Rae. A younger brother, Kevin, is a co-accused, along with a third man.
Their first appearance before the court in Kenmare was in April and the matter had been adjourned for mention to today’s monthly court to set a date for the hearing.
When the matter the DPP v Jackie Healy-Rae was called today in Kenmare, solicitor Padraig O’Connell reminded the court a formal application to have his client’s attendance dispensed with “in relation to council matters” had been made earlier this week.
This was in reference to the fact the first meeting of Kerry County Council - its annual general meeting - was taking place in Tralee today.
Jackie Healy-Rae was elected to Kerry County Council last month, topping the poll with over 2,600 first preference votes in the Castleisland local electoral area.
Following a written application, he was excused from attending today’s court in Kenmare on Wednesday.
Both other accused, including Mr Healy-Rae’s younger brother Kevin, were in court in Kenmare today.
All three are denying the charges and are contesting the case.
Mr O’Connell said he had received disclosure and this included CCTV footage, but he was not satisfied he had all the disclosures in what the solicitor has already described as “an enormous file”.
However, he was happy to have the case set for the September Court. His clients were “very anxious to have the matter dealt with”, the solicitor said.
In the meantime, if he did not receive all the disclosures necessary he would make an application before September, the solicitor said.
Judge David Waters enquired of the State how they proposed to show the CCTV and how long it would be. There was still no proper set up in the District Courts in Kerry for the showing of such footage and the courts were “still waiting for our new facilities", the judge said.
Ideally, everyone should be able to view the CCTV footage, the judge said after
Sgt Miriam Mulhall-Nolan, prosecutor, informed him a laptop would be used.
Kenmare Sergeant Derek Fleming said the footage was short, “just one portion, three to four minutes at most.”
The footage will have to be shown a few times, because of the lack of facilities, the judge said.
Jackie Healy-Rae is accused of assaulting Kieran James (30) causing him harm on December 28, 2017 at Main Street, Kenmare contrary to Section 3 of the non-fatal Offences Against the Person Act. He is also accused of a common or Section 2 assault on Mr James, at East Park Lane, Kenmare.
Kevin Healy-Rae (22) is accused of assaulting Kieran James causing him harm at Main Street, Kenmare. Both Healy Rae brothers have addresses at Sandymount, Kilgarvan.
A third man, Malachy Scannell (34) of Inchinacoosh, Kilgarvan, is also accused of a Section 3 assault against Mr James on the same date at Main Street, Kenmare. He is also accused of assaulting another man, Cornelius O’Sullivan, and damaging a pair of prescription glasses belonging to Mr O’Sullivan.
Sergeant Miriam Mulhall Nolan told the April court the DPP, had directed “summary disposal”.
Judge David Waters accepted jurisdiction after viewing the medical reports
The judge had enquired as to the nature of criminal damage allegation and the sergeant told him that it was a case of “glasses being knocked off the face in the course of an altercation.”
The hearing date has been set for September 6.