Thousands march in Dublin as foreign affairs minister confirms Ireland ‘stands with Ukraine’

Thousands march in Dublin as foreign affairs minister confirms Ireland ‘stands with Ukraine’

THOUSANDS of people have taken to the streets of Dublin this weekend in protest against the ongoing war in Ukraine.

The sombre second anniversary of Russia’s full-scale invasion of its neighbour fell yesterday (February 24).

Tánaiste Micheál Martin marked the day by reinforcing the nation’s support for the embattled nation, claiming “Ireland will not waver in support for Ukraine or in determination to stand up and hold Russia to account”.

“For 730 days, Ukraine has endured unimaginable violence and suffering - the destruction of homes, livelihoods and critical infrastructure by the Russian Federation,” he said.

“Across the country, innocent Ukrainian men, women and children are paying the ultimate price for a war not of their choosing.

“Yet, they continue to demonstrate remarkable resolve and determination in the face of adversity.”

Demonstrators took to the streets of Dublin on the two-year anniversary of Russia's invasion of Ukraine

He added: “While the world calls for peace, respect for international borders and territorial integrity, Russia choses the path of escalation. Increased large-scale assaults on civilians in recent weeks demonstrate that Putin is not serious about reaching a peaceful resolution to this conflict.

“We will continue our unified and determined response that Ireland and the European Union have mounted since the beginning of this war of aggression, encompassing political, financial, humanitarian, military and diplomatic support.”

In Dublin thousands came out to show their ongoing support for the Ukrainian people yesterday afternoon.

They were attending a march organised by the Ukrainian Action in Ireland group which started outside the GPO on O’Connell Street.

Since the war began EU members have collectively provided roughly €88billion in financial, humanitarian, emergency, budgetary and military support to Ukraine.

Olena Demchevska from Ukraine attended the protest for the two-year anniversary of Russia's invasion of Ukraine

Earlier this month, the EU agreed a new €50billion financial assistance package, titled the Ukraine Facility, to provide support for the war-torn nation from 2024 to 2027.

“In parallel with our support for Ukraine, Ireland and our EU partners are determined to hold Russia to account for its actions,” Mr Martin said.

“The targeted sanctions adopted in response to Russia’s actions in Ukraine are the most expansive and hard-hitting in EU history, targeting the military, financial, energy, technology, transport and media sectors of the Russian economy,” he added.

Since February 2022 Ireland has provided over €90 million in financial support to Ukraine in “stabilisation and humanitarian support, focusing on those most vulnerable and hard to reach, such as women & children, displaced persons, and those closest to the conflict lines. It targets critical needs, including provision of food, safe drinking water, cash assistance and the construction of prefabricated homes”, Mr Martin confirmed.

Angelina Bachinska aged 10 from Ukraine was also in attendance at the march

He added: “To date, we have committed €122 million, which is directed towards non-lethal military support, including the supply of items such as food, fuel, medical, and personal protective equipment.”

Pledging Ireland’s ongoing commitment to the Ukrainian cause, Mr Martin added: “We recognise that in fighting to defend their country, Ukrainians are fighting to defend universal values that we in Ireland, and across Europe, hold dear: human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, rule of law, and human rights.

“To the over one hundred thousand Ukrainians who have sought refuge in Ireland, and to all Ukrainians wherever you may be, I want to assure you that Ireland’s support remains steadfast and we stand with you.”