Thomas Pringle TD

Pringle calls for EU protections to extend to all fleeing war in Ukraine

Pringle calls for EU protections to extend to all fleeing war in Ukraine

Independent TD for Donegal, Thomas Pringle, has again called on Government to press for the EU to offer protections to all people fleeing the war in Ukraine.

Addressing the Dáil on Wednesday, Deputy Pringle said: “The EU has put in place a Temporary Protection Directive to allow Ukrainian citizens fleeing Ukraine to move through the EU akin to EU citizens. I welcome this directive and I welcome that the Department will provide support and services to assist people covered by this directive, who are fleeing Ukraine and who arrive in Ireland.

“However, the fact that this directive is not extended to people of other nationalities fleeing Ukraine is incredibly unfair and must be addressed,” he said, adding, “The reality is that anybody fleeing this war is in danger and anybody fleeing this war is a vulnerable person and they should all be treated the same.”

Deputy Pringle was speaking on Wednesday during statements on the Government’s response to the situation in Ukraine.

The deputy also recognised the Irish people who have opened their homes to people who have been fleeing the conflict.

Deputy Pringle said: “I have been heartened by this gesture. It has shown where Irish people’s concerns are – rightly with the people of Ukraine who have been displaced during this conflict.

“And I believe it will open up more people’s eyes to how we have treated other refugees in this State,” the deputy said.

Deputy Pringle had raised the issue of extending protections to all victims of the war in Ukraine with the Taoiseach three weeks ago. “However, it has become clear that neither he nor the Minister for Justice see this issue as a priority,” he said.

The deputy said: “It is completely unjust that these people will not be entitled to the same protections as Ukrainian citizens. Victims of war are victims of war, no matter their citizenship,” he said, adding, “The last thing we should be doing is creating barriers for people already facing such difficulty.”

The deputy said support and assistance should be given to all people displaced, including refugees from Afghanistan, Yemen, Palestine and Syria.

Deputy Pringle said: “Everyone deserves safe and humane living conditions no matter what their citizenship or which country they are fleeing from. And we must make sure that we do all we can to provide safe and humane conditions, including the end of direct provision, which has been promised by this Government.

“We also need to start properly discussing accommodation needs for those fleeing war,” he said.

The deputy began his remarks by expressing his solidarity with the Ukrainian people and joining calls for an end to the war.

Deputy Pringle said: “Nothing can justify the aggression the Russian Federation has imposed against Ukraine and we must do all that we can to support the Ukrainian people and condemn Russia’s unprovoked and destructive attack on a peaceful nation.”