Ukraine and the Republic of Ireland: Taoiseach Leo Varadkar is a World Economic Forum “Young Global Leader”.


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Since Russia began its special military operation in Ukraine almost a year ago, one of the key features of the collective West’s response, alongside sanctions and the expulsion of Russian diplomats, has been the accommodation of refugees fleeing the conflict, with millions of Ukrainians being housed across Europe since last February, including 70,000+ in the 26-County Irish State.

The first question that springs to mind regarding this approach however, is that if it is being done out of genuine concern for those fleeing conflict in Ukraine, then why was it not implemented in 2014 when that war first began?

In April of that year, following five months of Western-instigated violence in response to then-President Viktor Yanukovych’s decision to suspend an EU-trade deal in order to pursue closer ties with neighbouring Russia, the ethnic Russian Donbass region in the east of the country would break away to form the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics, their residents having little choice lest they face genocide and ethnic cleansing at the hands of the anti-Russian neo-Nazi elements which composed the new Western-backed Kiev government.

A war on both Republics would follow, involving neo-Nazi paramilitaries such as Azov Battalion and Right Sector, which despite efforts to resolve the conflict peacefully via the federalisation solution offered by the Minsk Accords, would ultimately result in 14,000 deaths over the space of 8 years.

Despite this slaughter, no mainstream campaign existed in Ireland during the same period intended to expel Ukrainian diplomats or to welcome those fleeing conflict in the Donbass.

Likewise, no similar campaign has existed for those fleeing other conflicts such as that in Yemen, classed as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis by the United Nations, with a paltry 70 Yemenis being granted access to social services in the 26 Counties in the past year, in comparison to 72,609 Ukrainians in the same period following Russia’s intervention.

It must also me asked that if Leinster House genuinely cared about the plight of refugees fleeing conflict, then why contribute to the conflicts that created those refugees in the first place by allowing US warplanes to land in Shannon Airport over the past 20 years?

Since the Russian operation began in Ukraine last February, talks of the 26 County State joining an EU army have increased amongst establishment voices also, with the stated aim of such an alliance being to ‘act in complementarity’ with NATO, the coalition having been a key contributor to the refugee crisis over the past two decades by laying waste to Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria.

With these facts established, it can safely be concluded that Leinster House’s ‘concern’ for refugees has little to do with helping those fleeing war, and much like the wider West’s support of Ukrainian ‘freedom fighters’ being a cover to use Ukraine as a proxy to tie Russia down in an Afghan-style military quagmire, the Fine Gael-Fianna Fáil coalition is using emotive media coverage of the Ukrainian conflict as a means to swell the labour market and to keep wages stagnant on behalf of the corporate class.

Indeed, protests related to the effects of such a move would arise in late November, when upwards of 300 migrants were suddenly moved into a disused office block in East Wall, a working-class area of inner-city Dublin. Residents would begin what would go on to become weekly demonstrations over the move, citing the lack of consultation with community officials beforehand, the suitability of the office block for accommodation, and the lack of transparency on whether those who had been moved into the office block had been vetted.

Despite these protests receiving support from residents of the office block themselves, the Irish mainstream media would, in lockstep, decry them as being ‘anti-refugee protests’ and ‘organised by the far-right’, a label that would also be applied to similar protests that emerged around Dublin and other locations in response to other wildly unsuitable locations chosen by Leinster House to accommodate adult migrants, including a school in Drimnagh, like East Wall, another working-class area of Dublin.

This dismissal of ordinary working class people’s concerns as ‘far-right’ bears a stark similarity to mainstream media descriptions of last year’s Freedom Convoy in Canada, when in response to a government mandate requiring all truck drivers re-entering from the US having to be vaccinated, a nationwide protest would begin in the second-largest country in the world.

The government of Justin Trudeau – like Leo Varadkar, another ‘Young Global leader’ of the World Economic Forum – would respond in an authoritarian fashion, freezing the bank accounts of protest organisers and attacking demonstrators with mounted Horses and teargas. An approach, that with the head of the 26-County police force condemning the current protests and secretive police units monitoring organisers, may soon become a reality on the other side of the Atlantic.


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Gavin O’Reilly is an activist from Dublin, Ireland, with a strong interest in the effects of British and US Imperialism. Secretary of the Dublin Anti-Internment Committee, a campaign group set up to raise awareness of Irish Republican political prisoners in British and 26 County jails. His work has previously appeared on American Herald Tribune, The Duran, Al-Masdar and MintPress News. He is a regular contributor to Global Research. Support him on Patreon.

Featured image: Leo Varadkar (Licensed under CC BY 4.0)

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Articles by: Gavin OReilly

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