Sinn Féin spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Defence, John Brady TD has called on the government to offer what support that it can for former Irish resident Seán Binder.
Mr Binder is scheduled to stand trial this week for his role in carrying out voluntary search and rescue work on the Greek Island of Lesvos during a period between 2017 – 2018.
The Wicklow TD said:
“Seán Binder could potentially face a total of up to 25 years in prison for being a humanitarian. Acting alongside members of a Greek NGO, Seán was involved in saving the lives of refugees at risk of drowning off the Greek Island of Lesvos.
“The Irish government sent naval vessels into the Mediterranean to help save the lives of refugees at risk of drowning during the dangerous sea crossing. This is something, that I and the vast majority of Irish people are immensely proud of.
“I have written to the Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney to request that the Irish government intercede on behalf of Seán who, while not an Irish citizen, was raised here between Co. Kerry and Cork City.
“Ireland is committed to humanitarian values. We are committed to the delivery of aid to some of the poorest, deprived and conflict driven areas across the globe.
“As a leading member of the EU, we have a responsibility to be in the vanguard in the fight for the delivery of the values that we as a country, and the EU as an institution espouse.
“The government has a responsibility to intercede on behalf of Seán Binder, who done nothing more than to act in the proudest tradition of Irish humanitarian values.”