In a gesture of solidarity with the people and the country of Ukraine, the Ukrainian national flag was raised today at County Hall, Swords, by the Mayor of Fingal, Cllr Seána O Rodaigh, in the presence of the Ukrainian ambassador to Ireland, Her Excellency Ms Larysa Gerasko.
The ceremony was also attended by members of the Ukrainian community in Fingal who had earlier been hosted by the Mayor at a special reception in The Atrium at County Hall. Fingal councillors and Oireachtas members stood in solidarity with them as the flag of Ukraine was raised and the Ukrainian national anthem was sung by those present.
The Mayor expressed her solidarity with the Ukrainian community and spoke of those she met earlier, saying: “Many relationships have been fostered today and many of us listened and we will continue to do so. We have a full Council meeting this evening and we will be discussing the situation then. I would like to commend those here who represent us in Dáil Éireann for what you are doing and I ask you to continue to do anything you can do to support the people of Ukraine.”
Ambassador Gerasko thanked the Mayor for inviting her to the ceremony and added: “Ukrainians are facing a dark and terrible time, parts of country are destroyed including hundreds of schools and hospitals in this unjustified and terrible war. We need your support and we are grateful to the Government of Ireland for their huge support and solidarity and to the Irish nation for the many messages of support and offers of accommodation and humanitarian aid.”
There was a discussion on the situation in Ukraine at the March monthly meeting of the Council before four motions relating to the Russian invasion were unanimously passed. These motions were:
“That this Council unreservedly condemns, in the strongest possible terms, Russia's totally unprovoked and despicable attack on the free and sovereign nation of Ukraine and call on Russia to immediately withdraw and make reparations.” – proposed by Councillors Darragh Butler, Brigid Manton, Tom Kitt, Tony Murphy, Brian Dennehy, Joe Newman, Robert O'Donoghue, Grainne Maguire, Howard Mahony, Pamela Conroy, Daniel Whooley, JK Onwumereh, Ian Carey and Tania Doyle.
“That Fingal County Council calls on the Government to ensure sanctions are imposed to end Russian aggression against the Ukraine and that this Council calls for the expulsion of the Russian Ambassador. The Irish Government needs to play its part in forcing a complete withdrawal of Russian military forces from Ukraine. Fingal County Council stands in solidarity with the people of Ukraine” – proposed by Councillor Anne Graves.
“That this Council condemns the use of violence to achieve political aims, calls on Russia to withdraw from all Ukrainian territory and make full reparation to Ukraine.” – proposed by Councillors Tom O'Leary, Anthony Lavin, Aoibhinn Tormey, Siobhan Shovlin, Punam Rane and Ted Leddy.
“This council calls on the Chief Executive and her team to immediately carry out an audit of buildings and locations , sites suitable for rapid build homes to cater for the humanitarian crisis as a result of the war and atrocities in Ukraine, so that Fingal can play its part in accommodating some of the projected 100,000 Ukrainian Refugee families expected to locate in Ireland.” – proposed by Councillors Tom O’Leary, Punam Rane, Aoibhinn Tormey, Siobhan Shovlin and Anthony Lavin
The Ukrainian flag was also raised at the Council’s offices in Blanchardstown which were lit up in yellow and blue along with Swords Castle in solidary with Ukraine and its people.