February 23, 2023
Continued support for territorial integrity of Ukraine, one year on from Russian invasion – John Brady TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Defence, John Brady TD, has reiterated his support and that of Sinn Féin, for the Ukrainian people and the territorial integrity and sovereignty of their country.

Teachta Brady was speaking as the world prepares to mark the first anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The Wicklow TD said:

“The impact of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on the psyche of the body politic of Europe has been seismic.

“Over the past year we have witnessed images and reports emanating from Ukraine revealing a catalogue of horror. Aerial and artillery bombardment of civilians, along with more than 80,000 civilian infrastructure facilities.

“We have witnessed the deliberate and unforgivable murder of civilians, the use of torture and rape as an instrument of war. The deportation of over 16,000 children from Ukraine to Russia is simply horrendous.

“There is a very strong moral impetus on the international community to give their full support to the International Criminal Court (ICC) and their ongoing investigations and attempts to gather evidence on those responsible for the horrific attacks that have been visited upon the civilian population of Ukraine.

“Many Ukrainian citizens have lost all; many more have left behind loved ones on the front line defending their homeland.

“Something in the region of seventy-seven thousand have sought safety in Ireland.

“While efforts to accommodate refugees from the war have been hampered by lack of planning and application by the government, the continuing warmth and compassion from the vast majority of Irish communities towards these victims of conflict continues.

“The Irish people resisted the ambitions of a larger, more aggressive neighbour, and their resistance proved immovable. The Irish people retain the right to rule ourselves as a sovereign people, just as do the people of Ukraine.

“There has been much discussion domestically about the changing security environment and what future role that Ireland will play.

“While I welcome the suggestion of public discourse around our neutrality, which enjoys the overwhelming support of the Irish people, we do not need to see government ministers or other vested interests losing the run of themselves in terms of arguing for Ireland to enter into military alliances.

“I have argued and continue to argue for the need for Ireland to develop the capacity to defend our neutrality, but Ireland is a small state with limited capacity to develop military power.

“Our real strength lies in our soft power. The record of our defence forces in peacekeeping missions, the humanitarian role of our NGOs, along with the role played by Irish aid globally.

“Work must begin immediately to create the space for dialogue around the war in Ukraine. Ireland like other military non-aligned states, must now step forward and lead moves towards finding a path to peace, bringing an end to the suffering of the Ukrainian people.”

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