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Ukraine's Zelenskyy will virtually address all third-level students in Ireland next month

Minister Simon Harris said the Ukrainian president has also agreed to take questions from students.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy
Image: Alamy Stock Photo

UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT VOLODYMYR Zelenskyy is to address all third level students in Ireland next month, Minister for Further and Higher Education Simon Harris has confirmed. 

Speaking to Newstalk’s Pat Kenny Show, Harris said he has been working “very closely” with the Ukrainian ambassador to Ireland, Gerasko Larysa, recently on issues such as education and the English language.

Harris said the Ukrainian ambassador has indicated to him that Zelenskyy “would like to address all third level students in Ireland”.

“This is something the Ukrainian president has done in the UK, he’s done it in a number of universities in the United States,” Harris said. 

The Minister confirmed that it is being organised for Zelenskyy to virtually address “all our college students on all college campuses” in the month of October. 

Harris said the Ukrainian president has also agreed to take questions from students.

“This is really important. It’s so important that the next generation hear directly from a president of a country that is experiencing an illegal invasion, but also a president that is standing up for democracy, freedom and European values,” Harris said. 

“I am delighted that we would facilitate in the third level sector, President Zelenskyy addressing our students,” he said. 

Zelenskyy addressed the joint Houses of the Oireachtas in April this year

The president opened his address at the time by describing Russia’s actions against Ukraine, saying had been destroying things that are sustaining people’s livelihoods like storage facilities for food, fuel and agricultural equipment, as well as putting mines in fields.

The voice of a translator boomed over the speakers in the Dáil chamber as the president directly referenced Ireland’s response to the invasion.

“Even though you are a neutral country, you have not remained neutral to the disaster and mishaps Russia has brought to Ukraine,” he said.

“I am grateful to you. To every citizen in Ireland, thank you for supporting sanctions against Russia.”

He also thanked the Irish people for their humanitarian donations and thanked Ireland for “caring for Ukrainian people who found shelter on your land”. 

With reporting by Christina Finn

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