Haughey clan out in force for regatta

THE Haughey clan yesterday turned out in force for Dingle Regatta, blessed by unusually fine weather.

Maureen Haughey, widow of ex-taoiseach Charlie Haughey, made her first appearance at the event in some years, while her son, Conor, fired the shot to start the annual programme of naomhóg racing, in keeping with family tradition.

Just like his father used to do, he took aim with a double-barrel shotgun in the presence of a large crowd which had gathered in Dingle harbour.

Conor Haughey, his wife, Jackie, and children, had been holidaying on the family’s Blasket island, Innisvickillane.

Many people welcomed Maureen Haughey by her first name and she received warm hugs from local women.

She described Dingle as a special place, adding she had been there every year at regatta time, but stayed indoors because of inclement weather.

“It’s great to get the Kerry air,” she remarked, as she relaxed among family and friends.

Other members of the family in attendance included Sean Haughey TD, his wife, Orla, and their four children, and Ciaran Haughey.

The TD, who has a house in Dingle, said he was building up his reserves for what he expected would be a “turbulent” few months when the Dáil resumed.

Conor Haughey’s son, Cathal, 12, took part in the regatta and came second in the junior race on Saturday. His brother, Joseph, 10, also competed in another race.

The Haughey yacht, Celtic Mist, was in harbour and there was a request over the public address system by the Haughey family for get well wishes for long-time crew member, Viv Nagle, from Clonakilty, Co Cork, who had been attending the Dingle Regatta for 25 years, but who was ill in hospital.

Also in the harbour was the naval vessel, LE Ciara, which was open to the public at the weekend.

There, too, was a French naval vessel, Le Cormorant, which left yesterday afternoon with the 52 yachts which were in Dingle all weekend for the La Solitaire du Figaro yacht race.

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