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TD Danny Healy-Rae blames fairies for Kerry road dip

Andrew Madden

AN independent TD has claimed that mythical fairies are to blame for a dip in a road in Kerry reappearing after being repaired.

Danny Healy-Rae, a representative for Kerry, said that the N22 road network that passes through the county is also the site of ancient monuments steeped in fairy folklore.

The road, which is situated just before the Kerry Way walking trail, is the site of "numerous fairy forts", according to Mr Healy-Rae.

"I know that they are linked. Anyone that tampered with them back over the years paid a high-price and had bad luck," he said.

The TD said locals - including himself - believed that "there is something in these places you shouldn’t touch".

"That is what is responsible for the dip in the N22, which has occurred again despite the council spending around €40,000 to repair it."

Mr Healy-Rae, the son of the late Jackie-Healy Rae, a lifetime political representative for the Kerry constituency, first raised the issue of fairies as a councillor in 2007.

In a formal motion relating to a dip, which had appeared on a road near Curraglass, he asked: "Is it fairies at work?"

The council’s road department, however, said the dip was due to "a deeper underlying subsoil/geotechnical problem".

Fairy folklore is common in Irish mythology, however belief in such creatures has declined in modern times.

Meanwhile, according to figures uncovered by The Irish Times, a plant-hire company owned by Danny Healy-Rae has earned €8.7 million in state and county contracts over the last two decades.

Since 1999, Healy-Rae Plant Hire has secured more than €7m in contracts from Kerry County Council – primarily for roadwork projects. A further €1.6m was generated from contracts from Irish Water.

In the Dáil last February, Mr Healy-Rae spoke during a debate on procurement legislation for government contracts, calling for the qualification criteria to be loosened to help local businesses bid on them.

During the debate, he said he was "involved in a small way in a plant-hire business".

His brother, Michael Healy-Rae, also a TD, runs a separate plant hire firm.

From 2011 to 2014, Roughty Plant Hire earned €100,000 in contracts in Kerry from the Health Service Executive and the county council.

Both brothers declared their businesses in their annual register of member’s interests with the Oireachtas.

Between them, they have tabled 57 written parliamentary questions to the minister of transport petitioning for increased investment in Kerry's roads.

Kerry County Council has previously held numerous investigations into alleged conflicts of interests relating to Danny Healy-Rae.

A council spokesperson said that, following their investigations, "no adverse findings were made against any individuals concerned".

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