Jackie Healy Rae (b. 1931)
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Jackie Healy Rae (b. 1931)


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Track 1. Jackie Healy Rae explains that his father Danny was twice married; firstly to an O’Sullivan lady from Beaufort with whom he had six children, and secondly to Mary Reardon from his own local area. They were small farmers, Jackie says, living on the side of the mountain. He recalls having to leave school to help out at home when his father’s health failed, and he provided an income through cutting and selling turf in the village of Kilgarvan. Later, he drove a hackney car for Tom Randles for £1 a week and also worked for the Forestry Commission with Robert Lyne from Killarney. He provides a detailed description of the work. Track 2. In 1953 Jackie went to America, working in a cold store there for three months. He married Julie Healy there and they returned to Ireland. He has a clear memory of buying his first car and driving to the 1955 All-Ireland Football Final. He describes his entry into the agricultural contracting business, buying a second-hand tractor, and in 1965 buying a JCB and beginning work with the County Council as a contractor, working on the land and the roads. Track 3. His introduction to politics in 1966 is detailed. His meeting with Neil Blaney is described as is travelling from county to county during by-elections. He recalls his approach to Bertie Ahern seeking the Fianna Fáil ticket, being refused and subsequently running as an Independent. He discusses being in the right position to get funding for projects in his own constituency. Track 4. He recalls in detail the by-election when Máre Geoghegan-Quinn was elected. His friendship with Neil Blaney is described and anecdotes relating to his own support of candidates at election times is discussed. Track 5. Jackie Healy Rae returns in memory to his early days in Kilgarvan. He remembers the difficult times when his father Danny had to stop working due to back surgery, and the making of a wheelchair for his use. Jackie’s days playing hurling for the local club and the club secretary Denis P. O’Sullivan are also recalled.

Additional information



Audio series:

Kerry county, seventh series


128 kbps

Download time limit:

48 hours

File size(s):

24.81 MB, 13.91 MB, 13.57 MB, 10.21 MB

Number of files:


Product ID:



Agricultural Contracting and Politics

Recorded by:

Maurice O'Keeffe – Irish Life and Lore