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'their business' Michael Healy-Rae has 'absolutely no idea' about alleged Covid breach probe at brother's pub

The investigation followed a storm of controversy over the emergence of video footage and photos of a crowd gathered inside Danny Healy-Rae's pub as part of a wedding celebration

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Independent TD and publican Danny Healy-Rae

Independent TD and publican Danny Healy-Rae

Independent TD and publican Danny Healy-Rae

Independent Kerry TD Michael Healy-Rae has said he has "absolutely no idea in the world" about the nature of a garda investigation into an alleged breach of Covid- 19 regulations at his brother Danny's pub last month.

The investigation followed a storm of controversy over the emergence of video footage and photos of a crowd gathered inside Danny Healy-Rae's pub as part of a family wedding celebration.

The gathering happened last month at the TD's pub in Kilgarvan and it is believed up to 38 people were involved.

One of the images that emerged on social media was of Mr Healy-Rae pulling a pint with the wedding group posed in front of the counter but indoors.

The wedding was in Kerry on July 16, and the ceremony and reception were at a different location.

Controls on indoor gatherings were only eased by the Government on July 26.

The images from the pub did not show anyone wearing masks while indoors.

Michael Healy-Rae, who attended the family wedding, said he knew nothing about the garda investigation into the alleged incident.

"I have absolutely no idea in the world what gardaí are going to do or not going to do or what they are doing," he told Radio Kerry.

"That is their business. But every day I certainly love to mind my own."

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Michael Healy Rae

Michael Healy Rae

Michael Healy Rae

He said he had no idea if gardaí would speak to him or anyone else who attended the wedding about the images that were widely shared.

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The unverified images appeared to show bar counter service at Danny Healy-Rae's pub, days before such service was permitted under relaxed Covid-19 regulations.

A garda spokesperson said: "An Garda Síochána does not comment directly on social media content, the context and veracity of which remains to be verified.

"However, An Garda Síochá- na are aware of images and video published online appearing to be an indoor gathering in a licensed premises.

"An investigation into this matter by Kerry gardaí is ongoing."

Until now, the matter was the focus of what gardaí had described as "preliminary inquiries".

They stressed last month that they had not received a complaint in respect of the matter and no formal investigation was under way.

Mr Healy-Rae and his brother, fellow Kerry TD Michael, have been critics of the Government's Covid-19 policies, particularly for the hospitality and tourism sectors.

Kerry has long been the most tourism-dependent county in Ireland.

Danny Healy-Rae recently said publicans had been "thrown to the wolves" by the latest Government guide- lines on indoor dining released by Fáilte Ireland.

He also questioned the data protection implications of contact tracing and inspections of the Digital Covid Certificate as people enter pubs and restaurants.

"If you ring up about someone's medical card or something, there's a huge rigmarole about data protection, but now there's no bother in the world," he said.

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