People Before Profit TDs have been criticised for refusing to clap after Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelenskiy addressed the Dáil.
Following Mr Zelenskiy’s speech, those in the Dáil got to their feet and applauded the Ukrainian leader, however four People Before Profit TDs refused to clap.
A spokesperson for the party said this was due to a disagreement with calls from Mr Zelenskiy for Nato involvement in the war, as well as citing demands for more sanctions and a “decision to ban opposition parties” in Ukraine.
The move was criticised by Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney.
Paul explains why PBP Stand with Ukraine, but didn't applaud calls for NATO escalation https://t.co/0TRseLIVdv
— People Before Profit (@pb4p) April 6, 2022
Mr Coveney said: “First of all, I think anybody who listens to President Zelenskiy this morning and who decided not to applaud his contribution, doesn’t reflect the views of the vast, vast majority of Irish people.
“His country is going through hell right now. He’s witnessing a lot of that in terms of the areas that he’s been visiting in the last number of days.
“The idea that you wouldn’t stand and applaud his courage, his bravery, his leadership, but also out of respect for what his country is going through, to my mind is extraordinary. I’m glad to say that the vast majority of people, senators and TDs today stood and applauded in respect.
“The people who didn’t can speak for themselves, but I find it extraordinary that they would choose to make a political point somehow by not doing that, when the response of everybody else was such a human one.
“We have almost 20,000 Ukrainians who have fled to Ireland because of conflict in their own country, who are waiting at the end of a phone to find out if their loved ones are still alive.
“We have people in the Dáil standing up trying to make a point by not applauding.
“I think that says a lot about those people.”
Speaking hours after the speech, People Before Profit TD Paul Murphy said he wanted to express his solidarity with the people of Ukraine.
He rejected suggestions that People Before Profit are pro-Vladimir Putin because they do not support further escalation of sanctions against Russia.