THE CEANN Comhairle of the Dáil Seán O’Fearghail TD and the Cathaoirleach of the Seanad Senator Mark Daly have accepted an invitation from the Speaker of the Ukrainian Parliament to travel to Kyiv and address the Ukrainian Parliament.
They will join parliamentarians from one other country and representatives from an international organisation on the trip which is expected to take place early next week.
The Ceann Comhairle said the "mission is an opportunity for Ireland to demonstrate its support for the Ukrainian people, its government and its parliament Verkhovna Rada, which is continuing to function to spite unimaginably difficult circumstances."
"Coming at a time when other countries are starting to reopen their embassies in Kyiv, this trip will be another symbol of normalisation and highlight the amazing resilience of the country’s people and government bodies. It is also an opportunity to highlight the distinct importance of our parliaments and their democratic resilience."
The Cathaoirleach of the Seanad Senator Daly said:
"The fact that we have been invited is recognition by the Ukrainian Government of the exceptional welcome extended by the people of Ireland to Ukrainian refugees and the assistance and funding that is being provided to those still in Ukraine.
"As an EU member country, it’s crucial that Ireland plays a visible and vocal part in demonstrating EU support for Ukraine and for Ireland’s support Ukraine’s membership of the EU."
In his invitation, the speaker of Ukrainian parliament Mr.Ruslan Stefanchuk said he was confident the visit "will become another strong message of solidarity and support to our state at this difficult time of struggle against the aggressor and democratic values."
In addition to visiting the Ukrainian Parliament and making their address, the delegation will also visit some of the towns that have been decimated by the war and where atrocities have occurred, to highlight the need for those responsible to face justice for war crimes.