People Before Profit TDs refuse to applaud Zelenskyy’s Dáil speech, citing Ukraine’s calls for NATO intervention

People Before Profit TDs refused to applaud Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s speech before a joint Dáil and Seanad session at Leinster House on Wednesday morning.

r Zelensky immediately received a standing ovation from nearly all TDs and Senators after completing his address to both Houses of the Oireachtas, urging Ireland to persuade the European Union to impose more economic sanctions on Russia.

However, none of the four People Before Profit TDs, Bríd Smith, Gino Kenny, Richard Boyd Barrett and Paul Murphy, applauded Mr. Zelensky’s remarks.

In a statement, the Left Party justified its rejection of the Ukrainian president’s ongoing calls for a NATO no-fly zone, economic sanctions against Russia and a ban on opposition parties in Ukraine.

The four TDs were seen standing while all the TDs and Senators around them applauded. Mr. Kenny and Mrs. Smith both wore white.

In a statement issued by Paul Murphy, the party said: “We stood with the people of Ukraine and stand with them in their struggle against the Russian imperialist invasion.

“We do not agree with President Zelenskyy’s calls for a NATO-imposed no-fly zone, which would mean a heated conflict between NATO and Russia and the risk of nuclear war.

“We also disagree with the expansion of sanctions that hurt ordinary Russian people and seem to help bolster Putin’s support at home.

“We also do not agree with the ban on opposition parties, which together have almost 20 percent of the vote.

“It’s not because we support these parties, but because it’s a dangerous attack on democratic rights that actually undermines the fight against the invasion.”

In a statement, Bríd Smith said: “We stand in solidarity and respect for the people of Ukraine and for their President and for the war crimes they are suffering at the hands of Putin, but we disagree with his previous calls for NATO involvement, which we believe would do so would escalate an already dangerous situation and call for further sanctions which we fear will weaken opposition to Putin in Russia. [We are] also concerned about the decision to ban opposition parties in Ukraine.”

Meanwhile, government backbenchers, including Fianna Fáil TD’s Pádraig O’Sullivan, John McGuinness, John Lahart, Paul McAuliffe and Niamh Smyth, and Fine Gael TD Brendan Griffin, applauded Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald’s call for the Russian to be expelled Ambassador to Ireland.

The Irish government has so far said it will not expel Yuriy Filatov unless there is a consensus at EU level. People Before Profit TDs refuse to applaud Zelenskyy’s Dáil speech, citing Ukraine’s calls for NATO intervention

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