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Ukrainian soldiers including one Irish citizen flown home on flight into Dublin

The Ukrainian military personnel, injured in the fighting against Russian forces, arrived on a Romanian aircraft into Dublin.

Image: Alamy Stock Photo

Updated Oct 7th 2022, 6:43 PM

A MILITARY FLIGHT has landed this afternoon in Ireland carrying four Ukrainian soldiers and one Irish citizen who will be treated at Irish hospitals, The Journal has learned.

They arrived on a Romanian military aircraft shortly after 3pm and the injured soldiers were taken to a number of locations. Multiple sources said one of the soldiers is an Irish citizen.

A Department of Health spokesperson confirmed that the operation was part of Ireland’s response to the war in Ukraine and the injured included an Irish citizen.

The spokesperson said that this was part of a coordinated EU system led by the EU’s Emergency Response Coordination Centre (ERCC), through the Union Civil Protection Mechanism.

It said Ireland has, since the beginning of the conflict, completed medical evacuations of 22 patients in need of urgent medical care from Ukraine and has made over 130 offers of medevac support through the EU mechanisms.

“A further medical evacuation was carried out today for 5 patients, including 4 Ukrainian citizens and 1 Irish citizen. All patients were transferred to Ireland safely and in line with pre-arranged plans, transferred to hospital care.

“Medical evacuations are facilitated by a collaboration between the Department of Health, HSE, Department of Defence, and the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, and others.

“Medical evacuations are offered by Ireland where health system capacity and transport capacity allows.

“This is the first case where medical evacuation support has been provided for an Irish citizen. All other cases to-date have been for Ukrainians in need of urgent medical care. The HSE will provide treatment for these patients, the details of patient cases and treatments are confidential,” the spokesperson said. 

A spokesperson for the Department of Foreign Affairs confirmed that they were assisting in the medical evacuation of an Irish citizen but did not wish to comment further.

A HSE spokesperson declined to comment on the basis of patient confidentiality. 

Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland today, Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney said that plans were in place to aid Brian Meagher, an Irishman wounded in the conflict.

“There is what’s called a medivac which the Irish government and the EU are involved in to bring Brian home and my understanding is that that’s moving well,” he said.

He added that his department was working with Ukrainian authorities to bring home the remains of Rory Mason, an Irish man who had been killed in the conflict in fighting around Kharkiv.

On Morning Ireland yesterday, Meagher said Kharkiv was quiet until the current offensive began.

“The offensive now that went on, it’s probably one of the biggest offensives in the world since World War II, and they’ve captured over 6,000 square kilometres, so it’s pretty big and successful.”

 He said: “I don’t know the casualty rate, but just judging from what I see in the hospital, it’s horrendous”.

He said he had been shot in the arm, has shrapnel in his heart and spine and his fingers were also injured.

Coveney also said earlier that he understood why Irish people had travelled to risk their lives in the fight for Ukraine.

“Speaking to Rory Mason’s father. He’s a father that’s very proud of his son in terms of his principles, and what drove him to Ukraine. And he should be very proud of his son.

“But I have a responsibility to give very clear messaging to Irish people. That Ukraine is not a place where people should be traveling.”

Ukrainian troops were first brought to Ireland for medical care in June when five soldiered were brought to Beaumont Hospital in Dublin, University Hospital Galway and Cork University Hospital.

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About the author:

Niall O'Connor and Jamie McCarron

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