No prosecution after Covid-19 breach investigation into Healy-Rae pub 13 hrs ago
There is to be no prosecution following an investigation into possible breaches of Covid-19 health regulations in the pub owned by TD Danny Healy-Rae in Kilgarvan last summer, the DPP has directed.
An investigation was conducted by Killarney gardai and a file was sent to the DPP.
Videos and still images appeared on social media last summer relating to a crowd gathered indoors without masks or social distancing .
One alleged incident is understood to be from a family wedding in July and the second in the aftermath of the annual Kilgarvan fair in early August.
The matter was first reported on Radio Kerry in early August. A garda investigation was commenced.
“An investigation file was sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions who has since directed no prosecution in the matter,” the Garda press office has said this weekend.
One of the images that appeared online showed Danny Healy-Rae pouring pints behind the counter with a large group gathered inside the pub during the July wedding. It apparently showed a lack of mask-wearing and social distancing and appeared to have been taken 10 days before indoor dining was allowed to resume.
The footage of early August showed people dancing and standing around drinking inside the premises without wearing face coverings and others being served at the bar counter, activities which are not permitted under the Covid-19 restrictions then in place.
Some of those dancing were standing on tables, with others topless and swinging their shirts around.
At one point in the video TD Danny Healy-Rae, who owns the bar, is grabbed by a dancing woman as he steps out of the pub on to the street.
The July still image showed Danny Healy-Rae standing without a mask pulling a pint behind the bar. In front of the bar were up to 30 people posing for a photograph. The wedding guests include Michael Healy-Rae and none of those in the photograph are wearing a mask.
Mr Danny Healy-Rae has been an outspoken critic of several pandemic regulations
Pressed on Radio Kerry in September to comment on the allegations that he breached Covid regulations, and on the garda investigation, the TD refused to comment.
When it was put to him by Jerry O’Sullivan, presenter of Kerry Today that he was one of the foremost critics on pub restrictions and people had a right to be concerned, Mr Healy-Rae said he travelled a lot around Kerry and he wasn’t hearing “much giving out about it from anyone”.
“I’m not getting much queries about it from anyone,” Mr Healy-Rae replied.
He was also asked whether gardaí had interviewed him, but refused to say, replying “I won’t comment on that.”
The garda press office has said it will not comment further on the matter.
“An Garda Síochána will not be making any further comment on the matter,” the statement said.