Taoiseach Micheál Martin travels to war-torn Ukraine to meet with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
It is understood Mr Martin and his entourage will travel to Kyiv by train ahead of a series of engagements on Wednesday.
His visit follows an invitation from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy during a phone call between the two some two weeks ago ahead of last month’s European Council meeting.
Mr. Martin’s trip is the first official visit to Ukraine by an Irish Taoiseach.
He was notably absent from the Dáil on Tuesday as Tánaiste Leo Varadkar represented the Taoiseach on Leaders’ Questions.
Opposition parties were told this morning that Mr Martin would not be in the Dáil this week. Details of the trip have been kept under wraps for security reasons.
But sources told Independent.ie that Mr Martin traveled to Ukraine on Tuesday night and will meet with Mr Zelensky and visit the Ukrainian Parliament in Kyiv.
After their phone call last month, Mr Zelensky said he had invited Mr Martin to “make the first visit to Ukraine in the history of bilateral relations”.
Mr. Martin said at the time that he was keeping an eye on the invitation.
The spokesman for the Taoiseach could not be reached for comment, while there was no immediate reply from the government press office.
Fine Gael Senator Garret Ahearne said it was a “show of solidarity” for the Taoiseach to travel to Ukraine.
“The scenes he will witness in Kyiv can be very harrowing, but I believe it will intensify his commitment to Ukraine until they are victorious,” he said.
“We are entering a new phase of this war with potential food stores in North Africa and Europe’s resolve will be tested. Ireland can play a leading role in advocating for Ukraine at this difficult time that lies ahead.”
Pearse Doherty, spokesman for Sinn Féin, welcomed the Taoiseach’s visit to Ukraine.
“I think it’s important, we’ve seen other leaders, we’ve seen the Ceann Comhairle, we’ve seen the chairman of the Seanad [visit Ukraine] and I think it’s important to show solidarity with the people of Ukraine,” he said.
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/politics/taoiseach-micheal-martin-travelling-to-kyiv-ahead-of-meeting-with-president-zelensky-41815504.html Taoiseach Micheál Martin travels to Kyiv ahead of meeting with President Zelensky