Dundalk TD Ruairí Ó Murchú has expressed solidarity with the Ukrainian people as he raised the issue of Omeath man Brendan Murphy in Leinster House.
The Sinn Féin representative has also asked that Dundalk people support the humanitarian appeals that are being made in the town for clothes and non-perishable food items.
He said on Monday that he had been in contact with Mr Murphy over the weekend as he tried to get out of Kyiv and bring his family to a safer place. Deputy Ó Murchú said the efforts of TDs and of Mr Murphy to get the government to waive the visa requirements for Ukrainians coming into Ireland had paid off with the lifting of restrictions on Friday.
But, he said, the move had come ‘very late’ for Mr Murphy.
In addition, the TD had been involved in the citizens’ meeting on Europe in Dublin at the weekend where the discussions turned to Ukraine.
In the Dáil on Wednesday, Deputy Ó Murchú said the Russian leader Vladamir Putin was ‘a war criminal’.
“We have to state plainly that Vladimir Putin is in breach of international law. I see him, in a straightforward way, as the equivalent of the local drug dealer who gets away with burning down people’s houses as leverage.
“The question is whether he is going to burn down the whole street or is anyone going to bring him to book.
“We want to see peace. All engagements that are necessary from the point of view of bringing about a diplomatic solution have to be done.
“Many people have suggested that the only way one is going to hurt this guy, and the oligarchs who surround him, is by hurting him in the pocket. We cannot have the case where we have had €118 billion funnelled through this State to Russia in the past number of years through the IFSC, with multiple devices and the use of shell companies.
“It would be remiss of me not to bring up an issue that has been brought to my attention by a constituent from County Louth, Brendan Murphy, who is in Ukraine at this point in time with his family.
“He has been given an instruction by the ambassador that it is a very dangerous situation. I feel for everybody who is there.
"Mr. Murphy states that he is not enabled to leave the state or country to come directly here because there are visa issues.
"I have brought this case up previously.
“There is complete support here if we can come up with a motion that will just state that this State stands solidly and soundly with the Ukrainian people and against what is basically the war criminality of Vladimir Putin.”
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