Ruairi O Murchu
Dundalk TD Ruairí Ó Murchú has urged the government to ‘speed up’ the review of visa requirements for Irish people and their families in Ukraine after he was contacted by a businessman from North Louth.
The Sinn Féin TD says he has been in touch with Brendan Murphy from Omeath, who runs a business in Kyiv, over the last number of days as efforts continue to try to get Irish people’s families out of the war-threatened country.
Last week, the Department of Justice said it was reviewing administrative arrangements for visas so that Irish citizens and their family members in Ukraine can leave with minimum red tape.
Ukrainians cannot enter the State without a visa, the department of justice has said all visa applications will be looked at ‘as quickly and as humanely as possible’.
Deputy Ó Murchú says the problem lies in the fact that Irish citizens who are in Ukraine with their families cannot get them straight to Ireland, despite being told by the Department of Foreign Affairs to leave immediately.
Deputy Ó Murchú said: ‘
“Mr Murphy, who lives in Kyiv, received an email on Friday night from the Irish Ambassador in Ukraine.
“Irish people were told to ‘leave as soon as you can’ and that consular assistance may not be available to them if the situation deteriorates.
“But those with Ukrainian partners or children would have to travel out via a Schengen country, where Ukrainians can arrive visa-free, such as Prague or Warsaw.
“There is no timeline as to when the visas would be processed.
“It could be days or weeks, we just don’t know.
“There are new, temporary visa arrangements in place now for British citizens to get back to Britain, and the government here needs to do everything possible to ensure that people like Mr Murphy and his family can leave and come straight back to Ireland.
“I have raised this issue with the Minister for Justice personally last week and handed her Mr Murphy’s letter and have spoken to officials from Foreign Affairs at the EU Affairs Committee and will continue to liaise with Mr Murphy in order to get the visa situation streamlined.
“I have forwarded them the latest correspondence from him over the weekend.
“This is an incredibly serious issue for Mr Murphy and his family, as well as others in this position.
“The government needs to deliver for them as soon as possible.”
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