A civil engineering company owned by Kerry TD Danny Healy-Rae is facing a series of claims from the families of the mothers of six children who were killed after being run over by one of the company’s trucks.
Oan Downey, a 50-year-old care assistant and member of the Killarney Region GAA club, died at Cork University Hospital on 19 July 2020.
Last week, one of Downey’s children, Katrina Horan, filed a personal injury lawsuit against Healy Rae Plant Hire in Superior Court seeking damages for emotional distress caused by her mother’s death. .
Ms. Horan is represented by attorneys for O’Connor O’Donoghue.
This is understood to be the first in a series of lawsuits filed against Healy Rae by the Downey family.
Covid regulations in force at the time forced the family to hold a limited-attendance funeral in Killarney.
After Downey’s death, Killarney Legion GAA’s Fergal Moynihan said he volunteered to help the club by cooking meals for the team even after his children had stopped playing.
“She did it from the beginning of the year until the end of the year,” he said. “There are so many examples. She is a huge loss to her family and our club,” he said.
“The players were mad at her. She was like a second mother to most of them. Joan was very well thought of within the club. Joan was a valued member of the club and a loyalty that no one could replace.
“It hit the house hard. Joanne will be lonely.”
Sean Tangney, 71, a truck driver with an address at 124 Pinewood Estate in Killarney, was charged with the careless driving that killed Mr Downey last September. His case is scheduled to be heard in Tralee Circuit Court in January.
Healy-Rae Plant Hire is owned by Danny Healy-Rae and his wife Eileen.
Its managing director is his son, Johnny Healey Rae, who is a director of the company. He is also a county council member and part of Kerry’s powerful Healy-Rae political team.
According to financial records, Healy-Rae Plant Hire made a record profit of €743,244 in 2020, bringing the cumulative profit to €2.58 million. Among its customers is Kerry County Council, for which he paid €341,347 in rent for the factory in 2020.
In a statement, Johnny Healey Ray said, “The incident you referred to is still undergoing legal proceedings and as such, the company cannot comment further at this time.
In 2008, an inquest heard how a Kerry County Council employee, Timothy Morley, was crushed to death by an employee of Healey Rae Plant Hire when he passed him with an earthmoving machine.
The driver, who was found to have exceeded the DUI limit, was moved to Australia before an inquest. he was not prosecuted.
Healy-Rae Plant Hire is also being sued by former worker Tim Cox, who said the company was negligent in keeping a small road used to carry large amounts of stone to the wind farm from giving way. claimed to have Mr. Cox injured his back, arms and legs when the truck’s seatbelt was allegedly dislodged when the vehicle rolled down an embankment.
Asked about both cases, Johnny Healy Ray said:
“Healy-Rae Plant Hire has been in operation for almost 70 years and has always strived to uphold the highest safety practices and legal responsibilities.
“Healy-Rae Plant Hire meets or exceeds statutory safety procedures, audits and training for all employees. Healy-Rae Plant Hire is also a certified safety, environmental and quality company. “