Leah Farrell
leinster house screening

Ceann Comhairle refuses Israeli ambassador request to show graphic footage of Hamas attack to politicians

The Ceann Comhairle said the screening would be inappropriate.

CEANN COMHAIRLE SEÁN Ó Fearghaíl has refused a request from the Israeli ambassador to allow a screening in Leinster House of graphic footage of the October 7 attacks by Hamas.

Earlier in the week, Elrich told reporters the footage was “historically important” – adding that she hoped to organise screenings for politicians in Leinster House.

Speaking to The Journal this evening, Ó Fearghaíl confirmed that the request had been denied due to the graphic nature of the video and the belief that it would be inappropriate.

The screening of footage of that nature had never taken place previously in Leinster House, with the Ceann Comhairle stating it would be “unprecedented”.

Ó Fearghaíl said he had informed the ambassador that he is happy for her to arrange and give a verbal presentation to politicians in the near future, but said “it’s not appropriate” to screen footage of such a graphic nature on the Leinster House complex. 

While Elrich told reporters that the Israeli government had agreed with the families that the footage could only be shown at closed events with no recording devices present, the Ceann Comhairle raised concerns about the consent of families and the deceased. 

The Israeli Embassy in Dublin screened the graphic footage it had proposed to show politicians to an event for Irish media on Tuesday.

The screening comprised 43 minutes of raw footage and still images, including video taken from body cameras worn by the attackers.

Some has already been circulated on social media. Other footage has not been shared widely out of respect for family members of those killed. 

Similar events have also taken place in other countries.

Speaking at the embassy, Elrich, said the events were being organised to counter what she described as a Holocaust denial-like campaign to discredit reports of the atrocities. 

Speaking to his parliamentary party this evening, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said there are up to 40 Irish-Palestinian citizens in Gaza, including eight-year-old Irish-Israeli girl, Emily Hand, believed to be held hostage by Hamas.

He reiterated there should be a humanitarian ceasefire and all hostages released immediately. He said the Government’s priority was getting all Irish citizens and their dependents out of Gaza.

Ahead of attending a humanitarian conference in Paris tomorrow to discuss the violent conflict, Varadkar warned of growing signs of anti-semitism and Islamophobia spreading across Europe.

In the Dáil today there were fresh calls for Varadkar to expel the Israeli ambassador to Ireland.

Varadkar insisted suspending the diplomatic credentials of the Israeli ambassador would hinder Ireland’s attempts to secure Emily’s release and secure the safe passage of other Irish citizens from Gaza.