By Owen O'Shea
Michael Healy-Rae has condemned a 'secret recording' of a conversation he had with a senior official of Inland Fisheries Ireland in connection with a case in which his neighbour was accused of illegal fishing and assaulting a fisheries officer.
Mr Healy-Rae was offered as an alibi in court yesterday for John Joseph O'Reilly, who was accused of six breaches of the Fisheries Acts.
Mr O'Reilly of Main Street, Kilgarvan, Co Kerry, was charged with the offences at a sitting of Kenmare District Court. However, the charges were withdrawn by solicitor Kevin Quirke on behalf of Inland Fisheries Ireland.
Solicitor for Mr O'Reilly, Padraig O'Connell, told Judge James O'Connor the prosecution should never have been pursued. He said there were eight witnesses ready to be presented to the court – including Mr Healy-Rae – who could provide Mr O'Reilly with an alibi.
Mr O'Reilly was alleged to have been present at 'Pluck Pool' on the north bank of the Roughty River near Kilgarvan at 10.20pm on April 29, 2012, and was said to have been in possession and control of a fishing net. The charges also included obstructing, impeding and assaulting a fisheries officer.
Mr O'Connell told the court that Mr Healy-Rae telephoned Inland Fisheries Ireland to offer an alibi for Mr O'Reilly. More....