The Mighty Healy-Rae: A Biography

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9781860230684: The Mighty Healy-Rae: A Biography
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This is the story of the Irish 1997 general election campaign, and the skill with which Jackie Healy-Rae captured the young vote. The book tells the story of a charismatic grassroots politician, from his humble beginnings to his business and political success. On a night in June 1997, Healy-Rae was elected TD for South Kerry, the scene in Killarney was like Puck Fair, the Rose of Tralee and a Kerry welcome for the Sam Maguire Cup rolled into one. The party went on for weeks as the new TD went back over the pot-holed roads to the villages and parishes that had sent him to Leinster House with such a resounding mandate. It was the culmination of over 20 years of successful local politics, ever since Healy-Rae was elected to Kerry County Council in 1974. Director of Election for Fianna Fail in ten campaigns, he became a supreme political strategist. But he broke from the party in controversial circumstances before the 1997 general election. When the party refused to nominate him as a candidate he ran as an independent. Against all the odds he headed to the poll. Within a matter of weeks, the former Fianna Fail councillor and director of elections would be playing an important role in the formation of the new government by supporting the Fianna Fail-Progressive Democrat coalition, and winning important concessions for Kerry in return.

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