Jackie Healy-Rae fights ‘mother of all battles

Retired Independent TD Jackie Healy-Rae is “fighting the mother of all battles’’ against a serious illness.

The 83-year-old, who has been ill for the past seven months, was readmitted to Kerry General Hospital, Tralee, after his health deteriorated just over a week ago.

However, there has been a slight improvement in his condition, with his son and successor in the Dáil, Michael, yesterday describing it as “fair”.

“He has been battling all his life, but this is the mother of all battles. He’s putting up the battle of a lifetime,’’Michael Healy-Rae told the Irish Examiner.

The former TD has been hospitalised since April and has spent only two to three weeks at home in that time.

Concern grew for his health when he returned to hospital last week.

Michael Healy-Rae said his father was going through an “awful battle’’ but was fighting his illness with dignity.

“If he could have some comfort, some quality of life and was able to go home, we would be so grateful,’’ he said.

He said thousands of people had been contacting the family and extended appreciation for their support at a difficult time.

“It’s a case of taking it one day at a time. We’re praying to God everything will work out and that he’ll get better,” Mr Healy-Rae added.

“We really appreciate the kindness and concern being shown by so many people who have been in touch with us.’’

He also thanked the medical, nursing and care staff at Killarney Community Hospital and Kerry General Hospital who were doing everything possible for his father.

Jackie Healy-Rae — who is the founder of one of the country’s best-known political dynasties —served as an independent deputy for Kerry South from 1997 until 2011.


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