Over €2 million raised for Ukraine during Late Late Show appeal

Over €2 million raised for Ukraine during Late Late Show appeal

€2,200,000 WAS last night raised for Ukraine during an appeal on RTÉ's Late Late Show.

The money raised will be donated to Irish Red Cross to fund its work in the country.

Speaking on the programme, Taoiseach Micheál Martin also announced the establishment of a register for people to pledge support for Ukrainian refugees arriving into Ireland.

He said Minister for Equality and Integration Roderic O'Gorman is working with the Irish Red Cross to establish a database to help Ukrainians find accommodation and other offer information regarding skills or training.

He described the invasion of Ukraine and the fallout from it as the "biggest displacement of people since World War II on the European continent."

"It has been a devastating week," he said. "I thank the people of Ukraine for standing up for the fundamental values that we all share. I think that Vladimir Putin wants to end democracy, he's afraid of it.

"This is a barbaric, brutal attack on the Ukrainian people because he doesn't want a democratic Ukraine. I salute the bravery of the last week."

The Taoiseach said he doesn't "think much of" Putin, and that he gets very angry when he thinks of him

"The West was very naïve. I think he is anti-democratic. He's an evil man, dangerous and doing untold damage to people, and changing the rules-based order that we all adhere to."

The Secretary Generals of all Government departments are meeting once a week to "scenario plan for something we've never experienced before in scale or volume," the Taoiseach said.

He said in this immediate phase, the most practical way to help is cash donations, and he urged viewers to donate on the night.

He said that Government has donated €10m, and announced on Twitter today that a further €10m is to be donated this week.

The Taoiseach said that he believes that Ukraine's application to join the European Union should be fast tracked. He said that the process is "too slow" and has been a strategic mistake.

Speaking about the Ukrainian president, he said he had "incredible admiration" for Volodymyr Zelensky, and that he personified Ukrainian "nationhood", resilience, defiance, and dignity."

"He stayed with his people and you've got to admire that," Mr Martin said.