War of words as Healy-Rae and Yates clash on TV

Michael Healy-Rae
Ivan Yates

KERRY TD Michael Healy-Rae and TV presenter Ivan Yates clashed in an extraordinary verbal spat on live television after the Kilgarvan politician had lavished praise on under pressure FAI executive vice-president John Delaney. 
The independent TD has come under heavy fire for the stance he adopted at yesterday’s Oireachtas Committee hearing investigating the FAI’s finances when he praised Mr Delaney and promised him “the mother of all welcomes” when he comes to Kerry.

But on Virgin Media’s Tonight Show (link below), on which the Kerry TD was a panel member, co-host Yates branded Healy-Rae a “national embarrassment” over his defence of Mr Delaney.

“It was a craven leprechaun performance –  I was embarrassed for you that a member of our parliament would be so obsequious to someone who was not answering questions,” Yates blasted.

The former Fine Gael minister asked Healy-Rae how he could justify his performance and suggested that he just wanted “a few goalies’ nets for Kerry”.


Yates criticised the Kerry TD for not putting any questions to Mr Delaney following revelations that he gave a €100,000 bridging loan to the FAI in April 2017.

But a furious Healy-Rae hit back at Yates for being so rude to a guest invited on to his show.

“You go slapping the table like a spoilt little pup. I’d ask you a question – who do you actually think you are?” he asked.

Deputy Healy-Rae branded Yates “an arrogant bully” and he defended his stance in defending Mr Delaney who he praised for his commitment to grassroots football and the development of facilities in places like Kerry.

“It wasn’t being fairly distributed before and we need people like John Delaney who has an interest in the outer regions,” he said.

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