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A gate into Phoenix Park. Alamy Stock Photo

Concerns raised by Ukrainians and Eamon Ryan over planned Russian rally in Phoenix Park

Climate Minister Eamon Ryan raised concerns that it would “antagonise” people and that it should be called off.

THERE HAVE BEEN calls for Russian nationals to call off a planned V Day event in Phoenix Park this weekend, with both a Government minister and Ukrainians raising concerns about the rally.

The event, which is to take place this weekend in Phoenix Park, has been widely criticised due to the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The rally is to commemorate V Day or Victory Day, which is the Russian commemoration of the country’s victory over the Nazis during WW2 and the sacrifice made by Russian soldiers during the war.

When asked by reporters whether or not the event should go ahead, Green Party leader and Climate Minister Eamon Ryan said that he believed it should be called off and that he was concerned that it could “antagonise people”.

“I think it will antagonise people here. People have a real sense of outrage as to what’s happening in the Ukraine,” said Ryan.

“There is an aggressor, it is the Russian Government and the Russian army and I think celebrating or in any way supporting that, I think for Irish people would be absolutely insulting.”

When asked whether or not the event should be banned, Ryan said that the Government had to be careful about restricting freedoms and that they would have to take the advice of Gardaí.

A statement from the Association of Ukrainians in the Republic of Ireland (AURI) has said that they are “deeply saddened” by the plans to hold the annual V Day rally.

We believe that this march offends the Irish people along with all Ukrainians. Ireland has sheltered tens of thousands of Ukrainians fleeing from war, suffering from the Russian invasion of their country,” said a spokesperson for AURI.

“Unlike in Russia, Ireland is a country where freedom of speech is respected, but let us not use this freedom to promote a brutal dictator’s hateful war against an innocent people.

AURI said that they do not deny the common past of Russians, Ukrainians and other people of former Soviet republics who fought in WW2, but that there was a “high price” paid for the victory.

“We hereby appeal to human values, to the authorities of this country which has protected us and became a second home for many,” said AURI, calling for the rally to be cancelled.

A separate car rally, organised by the Coordinating Council of Organizations of Russian Compatriots in Ireland, is set to take place this Saturday, 8 May for V Day.

The car rally will run on the M4/M6 motorways, from Applegreen filling station in Enfield to the Circle K filling station on the M6 in Athlone.

Organisers of the rally have called for all participants not to use either the “Z” or “V” symbol, that they should not show “aggression towards protestors” and that they should not get into confrontations with Gardaí.

Since the war in Ukraine began, the “Z” symbol has become synonymous with support for the war, with the Ukrainian ambassador Larysa Gerasko calling for the symbol to be banned in Ireland.

Screenshot_20220504-125002_Facebook Tadgh McNally Tadgh McNally

- Additional reporting by Rónán Duffy

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