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Is mór an pléisiúr dom ómós a thabhairt do Jackie Healy-Rae agus mo dhea-mhéin a ghabháil dá chlann. Ní leor a rá gur pholaiteoir é Jackie Healy-Rae. Bhí i bhfad níos mó i gceist leis. Ba cheann fhine polaitiúla é. Rugadh agus tugadh é i dtimpeallacht na sléibhte agus labhair sé ar son mhuintir na sléibhte. Sheas sé mar ionadaí ar son na muintire sin go cumasach agus le misneach. Dá bharr, thug sé guth náisiúnta di. Cuimhním inniu fear a raibh croí-chineálta agus lách agus a raibh grá mór aige dá chlann, do mhuintir Chiarraí, agus dá thír féin. Bhí grá mór acu dó dá bharr. Ba pholaiteoir cumasach thar na bearta é agus is cuimhin linn nár chaill sé sna toghcháin riamh. D'fhág sé oidhreacht ollmhór, a bheirt mhac ar lean siad é isteach sa Dáil ina measc.
Fianna Fáil has made many mistakes over the years but they must be still kicking themselves for not nominating Jackie Healy-Rae to run for them in the 1997 general election. Instead, he ran as an Independent and it marked the beginning of a remarkable political dynasty that continues today.
I am grateful for this opportunity to pay tribute to our former Member, Jackie Healy-Rae. Shortly after his election to the House in 1997 for Kerry South, he was interviewed by the distinguished RTÉ broadcaster, Brian Farrell, who questioned him about who he represented. Jackie's heartfelt and authentic response was, "I represent the plain people of Ireland". When pressed about what that meant, Jackie responded with a line that has gone down in legend, "The people who eat their dinner in the middle of the day."