Jackie Healy-Rae is to break ranks from the Fianna Fáil party and run for election as an Independent candidate in South Kerry.

For 24 years Jackie Healy-Rae represented Fianna Fáil on Kerry County Council and he directed 10 election campaigns in Kerry South. When the party chose to nominate Brian O’Leary son of outgoing Deputy John O’Leary and the spokesperson on Justice John O’Donoghue as candidates for Kerry South in the general election, he decided to run as an Independent candidate.

Speaking from his home in Kilgarvan, County Kerry, Jackie Healy-Rae would have preferred to run as Fianna Fáil candidate in South Kerry but when he failed secure a nomination he had no choice but to go it alone.

He doesn’t know why he was not added to the Fianna Fáil ticket but realises this will mean expulsion from the party he loves. But he points out,

I’m not leaving Fianna Fáil Tom, tis they left me.

JackiHealy-Rae’s decision means Fianna Fáil now has a battle on its hands to retain two seats in the South Kerry constituency.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 10 April 1997. The reporter is Tom McGuire.