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Ukraine's Zelenskyy will address both houses of the Oireachtas in early April

Ukraine’s charismatic leader accepted an invitation to address the Dáil and the Seanad.

Volodymyr Zelensky addressing the US Congress last week.
Volodymyr Zelensky addressing the US Congress last week.
Image: Sarahbeth Maney/Pool via CNP /MediaPunch

UKRAINE’S PRESIDENT VOLODYMYR Zelenskyy has accepted an invitation to address both houses of the Oireachtas.

Ukraine’s charismatic leader will address the Dáil and the Seanad at 10am on 6 April after accepting an invitation from the Ceann Comhairle.

Zelenskyy has been carrying out something of a virtual world tour, addressing parliaments in countries around the world, including the United States, France, Germany, Canada, Italy, Israel and the UK.

The 44-year-old has tailored his speeches specifically for each parliament, referencing key moments in that nations’ history and relating it to the situation currently faced by Ukraine.

When appearing virtually at the House of Commons he reached for Churchill. When addressing the US Congress he invoked Pearl Harbour. When beamed into the Bundestag he conjured the threat of a new wall in Europe.

In an address to French lawmakers, Zelensky invoked the wartime suffering their nation endured a century ago, saying images of devastated Ukrainian cities such as Mariupol “recall the ruins of Verdun as in the photos of World War I that everyone has seen”.

The Taoiseach spoke to the Ukrainian leader in a call last week, where Micheál Martin told his counterpart that Ireland would support Ukraine in any way it could.

“From the people of Ireland, the admiration of you and your people is very high. We as a Government reflect that. They are behind you,” Martin said.

Zelenskyy expressed his appreciation for the support Ireland has shown Ukraine during the invasion and offered sympathies over the death of Franco-Irish journalist Pierre Zakrzewski, who was killed while reporting near Kyiv for Fox News.

At the Fine Gael Parliamentary Party meeting this evening, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar updated the party on the war in Ukraine, expressing horror at the situation in Mariupol in particular where the city is under attack from Russian forces.

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He visited Dublin Airport recently and discussed how refugees were being given a warm welcome to the country and receiving documents and PPS numbers ‘efficiently’.

He said that there could be between 30,000 and 40,000 Ukrainian refugees in Ireland by the end of April.

Foreign affairs minister Simon Coveney also gave an update on the government’s work to support Ukraine and reported from his recent visit to Poland.

Additional reporting from AFP

About the author:

Céimin Burke

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