The Healy-Rae family are a political phenomenon that might seem odd or confusing to those from outside Kerry – and, video footage would suggest, members of their support themselves appear similarly – perhaps even permanently - bewildered.
But the fact remains that this year’s general election has seen the clan’s star rise further still, with Danny and Michael Healy-Rae becoming the first ever pair of brothers to be elected to the one constituency at once. Never ones to miss a public outing, the duo promptly set about toasting their success with a 40-car cavalcade through the county, quaffing champagne, posing for pictures and thanking everyone who voted for them – and, presumably, the scant few within the Kingdom who didn’t. This they did, with all the subtlety and restraint for which their family name has become rightly synonymous.
Indeed, so strong were their numbers that Michael Healy-Rae is, mathematically at least, the most popular TD in the entire country, with a frankly staggering 20,378 first preference votes. And though many outsiders might poke fun at the brothers simply because they look and act like two people you wouldn’t trust to hold a ladder, they themselves have only one message for the “smart alecs”, as you can see for yourself in the video below.
"The smart alecs in Dublin" - the Healy-Rae's stick it to the media etc with seriously good vote management #GE16
— Tom Lyons (@TomLyonsBiz) February 27, 2016