Wicklow Sinn Féin TD, John Brady is traveling to Eastern Europe next week as part of delegation from the EU Affairs Committee, which will be visiting Ukraine border crossings as part of a fact-finding mission, intending to bring recommendations to the Dáil as to how Ireland can maximise its efforts on the ground in order to alleviate the suffering of those fleeing the Russian invasion.
“We are traveling to Eastern Europe next week, and while there will be a series of high-level meetings with officials on the ground, particularly in Moldova and Romania, I will also be following a path trod by quite a number of Wicklow natives in the last number of weeks, who have driven from Wicklow, across Europe, to various border crossings in Ukraine in order deliver badly needed humanitarian supplies to refugees.
I have been deeply moved by the efforts of people in Wicklow, who have made enormous efforts and sacrifices to do what they could to help alleviate the suffering of Ukrainian refugees who have been forced to flee their homes and all that they hold dear as a result of the Russian invasion. Many of these refugees are deeply traumatised from what they have seen and endured. And the importance of the efforts of ordinary people to make sure that humanitarian supplies are being delivered to where they are needed most is just incredible.
I felt compelled this week to raise a number of instances of the efforts of people here in Wicklow who are leading the way in getting aid to refugees, in the Dáil chamber. And while I hope that I didn’t miss out on anyone, I have been moved by the efforts of people like Colette Talbot, Nicole Browne, and David Whyte. Who have just returned from delivering badly need supplies to the Ukrainian border; and of course we have Neil Treanor, and Willie Coster, who are still out there doing their very best to address the plight of Ukrainian refugees.
I have already called for the Irish government provide chartered planes to assist refugees to get here to Ireland safely. Protections also need to be put in place to protect vulnerable refugees, the majority of whom are women and children, who are being targeting by people traffickers. We need to make sure these people are kept safe.
Part of my role in going out there will be to bring back an accurate picture of what is happening on the ground, and to make sure that Ireland is as effective as it can be in terms of delivering aid and assistance to Ukraine. I have spoken with Ambassador’s from Poland, Romanian, Moldova, and Ukraine about the difficulties on the ground in recent weeks. And it is very clear that countries like Moldova, which is a small country, and probably one of the poorest in Europe, but one that has made an incredible effort to aid the people of Ukraine, is at bursting point. It is simply running out of capacity. And countries like Ireland have a responsibility to ensure along with our EU colleagues that we are fulfilling our responsibilities during this crisis.”