Michael Healy-Rae has revealed how Tom Cruise narrowly escaped being hit with a stick in a pub during a visit to Kerry.
The Hollywood actor and his then wife Nicole Kidman spent months living in the county in 1991 when they were filming Far and Away.
The Independent TD recalled yesterday the bizarre story of how the A-lister was falsely accused of stealing cigarettes in the Loo Bridge Bar outside Kilgarvan in Kerry.
The politician, who was speaking on the Pat Kenny Show about his new book called A Listening Ear, recalled how the young couple went unrecognised when they wandered into the premises during the day.
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“This young boy and girl came into the pub and had jeans and sunglasses and tanned faces on them,” said Healy-Rae.
“There was an elderly man sitting down the end of the counter. He had his stick up on the counter and he was sipping away at a little glass of Guinness.”
The publican, called Matt, served the two young stars two glasses of Diet Coke which they requested to be full of ice.
After serving, the publican, who was unaware of their fame, went into the back of the pub on an errand.
“When he was gone, the Yank leaned behind the counter,” explained the TD yesterday.
“The old man jumped up off his stool, caught his stick and drew a belt at yer man’s hand trying to hit him.
“But he just missed and there was a big bang down on the counter instead.”
He explained how the publican came running back in when he heard the commotion and asked what had happened.
“The Yank said, ‘My goodness, I was just leaning in to get a bit more ice’.
“The older man shouted out, ‘you bast**d, you were trying to steal Matt’s fags’.
“The Yank looked at them and said, ‘I was not, I was trying to steal nothing’.
“They sipped away at their Diet Coke and left.”
The TD said the publican wasn’t aware Tom Cruise was the American who had wandered into his pub until later on that night.
“If he had been an inch or two longer he could have broken the arm of Tom Cruise trying to accuse him wrongly of trying steal a cigarette,” he added.
Read more: ‘I can feel the hate off some people…’ – Michael Healy-Rae on life, politics and almost paralysing Woody Allen
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