On Friday, March 11th, a Rally for Ukraine was held in the Burnaby Park, Greystones. The organisers were thankful to everyone who attended and took part in proceedings. The evening commenced with an outstanding Ukrainian flag ceremony by Post 21 Wicklow – Irish United Nations Veterans Association. Organiser Stephen Stokes said, ‘Our United Nations Veterans are heroes, and have worked for peace around the world. Having their presence was very uplifting for all involved. They did a wonderful job with the ceremony’.
Following this a number of guests gave insightful speeches, including Cllr Lourda Scott, Jennifer Whitmore TD, Cllr Tom Fortune, Colette Talbot, Alisa Iurchenko, and Kathleen Kelleher. Colette Talbot spoke about her efforts to deliver aid to Ukraine, and thanked the community for their ongoing donations. Alisa Iurchenko who lives in Greystones, gave the rally an update about conditions in Ukraine, and how her family are affected. Kathleen Kelleher spoke about growing up in the U.S.A. during the Cold War. Kathleen recalled air raid drills at school, and learning from classmates about the desire of the Ukrainian people to be free from the USSR.
The event also heard from a number of local Ukrainians, many of whom expressed their gratitude to the Irish people for their solidarity with Ukraine. Information was offered to the gathering on how to donate to Ukrainian people, and where to find information about upcoming events. One useful website is www.iamukrainian.ie. The organisers are particularly grateful to Kilcoole Men’s Shed and Colette Talbot for their logistical efforts. Subsequent to the event the Ukrainian flag flew over Greystones for the weekend. Stephen Stokes concluded, ‘It was nice to see the community come together, with a clear message that they want the War in Ukraine to stop’.