- 15 Dec 17
One of the most controversial TDs in the Dáil, Kerry deputy Michael Healy-Rae had plenty to get off his chest during a lively encounter with Hot Press. The forthright politician discusses his views on Donald Trump, his religious beliefs, his disdain for the Dublin media, why he doesn’t regret voting against same sex marriage, and why he’s against both euthanasia and repealing the eighth – but in favour of legalising medical marijuana.
Michael Healy-Rae is constantly on the go. So much so that it nearly did for him recently: the Kerry TD was wolfing down his dinner in such a lather – so he could dash off to do some constituency work – that he almost choked to death.
When I initially called him to ask if he’d like do sit down with Hot Press, the colourful politician said he was too busy to chat but would call back soon. True to his word, he was on the blower within five minutes. He would be more than happy to be grilled for the ‘Hot Press Interview’, he explained. There was a small problem, however: he’s so run off his feet, he had no idea when he could do it. “Leave it with me,” he instructed.
A few weeks later, out of the blue, sometime around 10pm one night, Michael Healy-Rae’s number flashed up on my caller ID. The 50-year-old was on a long journey home after being at countless meetings all day. He told me he had some free time to do the interview. I tried to explain that I wasn’t prepared research-wise, but he cajoled me by telling me that I was a pro and should be well used to doing interviews with politicians on the hoof. Besides, he added in an effort to twist my arm, he reckoned such spontaneity might help make it a great interview. It sounded like he might have something to get off his chest.