Television


About RTÉ Television
LéargasRTÉ One, Monday, 7.30pm

James Healy

Léargas separates fact from rumour in telling the tragic story of the events at Coolyhune.

On the 3rd of September 2005 James Healy was shot dead in a field in the townland of Coolyhune, Co. Carlow. Six hours later after a stand-off with the Gardaí, the killer Michael Kehoe shot and killed himself. The tragic events of that day were initially portrayed as land dispute between the two men. In the following days and weeks the story became obscured by rumours, allegations and innuendo about both men, and about other people involved in the case.

The basic facts of the story are these: Catherine, Michael and John Kehoe grew up on a small 56 acre farm in Coolyhune near Graignemanagh Co. Carlow. Their parents died without leaving a will. As the eldest son Michael assumed the farm was his of right. Catherine however intended to get her legal share and fought Michael through the courts. The dispute dragged on for years and eventually Catherine forced the sale of some of the land. James Healy bought this land as an investment in partnership with his brother and sister. On the day of the fatal shooting James and his brother were fencing the land, a legal requirement to be carried out before the sale could be completed. It was while they were carrying out this work that Michael Kehoe shot and killed James Healy in the back as he was running for his life.

Léargas separates fact from rumour in telling the tragic story of the events at Coolyhune. It investigates the bitter family feud which had nothing to do with James Healy but which led to his death. And finally, the programme asks how a man can be killed and another take his own life in 21st century Ireland, because of a few acres of poor land.

James Healy