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Thursday 20 September 2018

'I only dozed off for two minutes' - Healy-Rae hits back at final critics

The image of Danny Healy Rae at the hurling final
The image of Danny Healy Rae at the hurling final

Danny Healy-Rae has insisted he "only fell asleep for two minutes" during the half-time break of Sunday's All-Ireland minor hurling final - after a photo of him snoozing went viral.

Sports Minister Shane Ross was among a number of people who questioned if it was "a waste of a good ticket".

The Kerry TD told the Herald he was tired and "dozed off during the interval" of the minor final between Galway and Kilkenny.

The Kilgarvan man insisted he has gone to the All-Ireland hurling final for the past 30 years and he has never got his ticket through any political connections.

"First of all, I go to every All-Ireland hurling final and have so for the last 30 years," Mr Healy-Rae said.

Asleep

"Yes, I was tired and I fell asleep for a minute or two during the interval of the minor game.

"Where the picture was, that's not where I watched the senior match.

"I went to section 327, that's was where my ticket was, which was over in the corner [of the Hogan Stand] right near the end line flag."

Mr Healy-Rae said he meets a group of friends on the train every year for the final and they travel to Dublin for the game.

He said he got his ticket for the game after getting off the train in Dublin.

"I did not get my ticket through political pull, but through the friends that I have known for all these years," he said.

Responding to Mr Ross's tweet, Mr Healy-Rae said he resents what the minister said and indicated Mr Ross had let the people of rural Ireland down.

"I didn't let the people of rural Ireland down...and if I'm tired because I'm working hard I make no apologies to anyone, and everyone gets tired and nods off for a minute and it was only a minute," he said.

When contacted to expand on his tweet, Mr Ross said: "After six months of filibustering the drink driving bill, Danny fully deserves a rest.

"A pity he chose a seat at Croke Park to grab 40 winks.

"Hope he didn't miss much of the match."

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