Irishman stuck in Ukraine: ‘I can see now the panic is beginning’

Irishman Stuck In Ukraine: ‘I Can See Now The Panic Is Beginning’
Ukrainian citizens carry suitcases as they exit a train arriving in Poland this morning. Photo: Getty Images
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Vivienne Clarke

An Irishman stuck in Ukraine has told of the situation on the ground following the invasion of Russian forces on Thursday morning.

Businessman Brendan Murphy, who had been attempting to get temporary visas for his Ukrainian wife and family, again criticised the Irish Government for failing to make travel from Ukraine to Ireland visa-free.


Mr Murphy and his family are now stuck in the capital Kyiv, but could have left last week if not for the Irish Government’s position on visas, he said.

Speaking on Newstalk Breakfast, Mr Murphy said people were now trying to get out of Kyiv to find safer locations.

“People are relocating because as you know, Putin has bombed multiple cities and of course he is going to bomb substantially more. People are concerned about that and of course people are trying to move to locations that are safe. But then, the Ukrainian people, we have no choice, you have to fight.

“I can see now the panic is beginning. People are trying to get money from banks and things so people are beginning to kind of do everything they can.”


Active war zone

Mr Murphy had been trying to get emergency visas for his wife Marina, her 80-year-old mother and her daughter. Ireland was the only country in Europe that insisted on visas for travel from Ukraine, he said.

“Yesterday, we tried to get the documents, but my mother-in-law, who is 80, became stressed and unwell and she couldn’t walk and she fell so we needed to bring her back.

“They had offered to send someone to do the documents at her home, but that is not going to happen now so the first thing we need to do is to relocate out of the city centre where the missiles will strike whenever Putin decides to bomb Kyiv and then we’ll see what we are advised to do.

“We want to follow the government orders. The government is very organised - very calm with good information - but obviously, systems that were relied on like taxis and public transport are not able to support anybody wanting to relocate.


Some roads are impassable but others are free so people are not fleeing – but they will begin to

“The window of opportunity is now very narrow because obviously there are no flights. Obviously it is an active war zone.

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“Traffic will be potentially problematic depending on what happens next. Some roads are impassable but others are free so people are not, kind of, fleeing – but they will begin to obviously.”

Mr Murphy called on Ireland to “completely eliminate” all trade with Russia.

“Everything - I mean everything - every single Russian-related asset needs to be frozen and investigated regardless of the cost, because the cost being paid in Ukraine is blood and there is no currency greater than blood.”

He added: “What happens now and what happens tomorrow is more important than the past, but they do have to do something very substantive today and tomorrow before more people are killed by rockets and bombs and missiles which are coming into Ukraine and bombing cities and towns.”

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