Limerick councillors call for lights out at Russian Embassy

Fianna Fáil councillor Kieran O'Hanlon.

THE call has gone out from Limerick’s Deputy Mayor Kieran O’Hanlon for trade unions to take a stand and leave Dublin’s Russian Embassy in the dark.

During a presentation on the ‘Offer a Home’ initiative to house Ukrainians escaping the war in their homeland, Cllr O’Hanlon’s thoughts were with those “at the end of Putin’s savagery”.

The City East Fianna Fáil representative hit out at the war crimes being carried out in Ukraine and called for a strong and clear message to be sent out.

“When we look at the atrocities, war crimes and savagery, the trade unions should turn off the gas, water, and electricity at the Russian Embassy in Dublin. Trade unions should take a stand on that,” Cllr O’Hanlon said at last Monday’s meeting of Limerick City and County Council.

Under the new Offer a Home programme, Limerick City and County Council will take offers of houses, apartments, or holiday homes for temporary accommodation, liaise with owners to assess suitability, and arrange for their use by Ukrainian people and families.

Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter

The local authority appealed to those who have unoccupied residential properties to offer them as temporary homes for those fleeing war in Ukraine.

A tax-free recognition payment of €800 per month is available for properties used to house those arriving from Ukraine.

More than 60,000 people have arrived to Ireland from Ukraine seeking safety and the vast majority need accommodation.

Former Mayor Kieran O’Hanlon expressed his pride at the efforts by all locally to accommodate those fleeing the conflict.

“I am very proud to be a Limerick person and what we are doing in Limerick to accommodate Ukrainians in such a short period of time.”

Cllr O’Hanlon went onto suggest that funding should be sought to turn the Travelodge in Castletroy into temporary homes for Ukrainian families.

Labour Party councillor Conor Sheehan told council members that they have an obligation to do all they can for those seeking sanctuary after their homes and livelihoods were destroyed. He also reminded the executive of “ugly scenes” in Dublin that he did not wish to see repeated here in Limerick.

“Information is key. When people are not communicated to they feel angry and left behind. It is important we don’t see those kind of ugly scenes in Limerick,” Cllr Sheehan commented.

Sinn Féin councillor Tom Collopy pointed to an element of “raw naked xenophobia” visible on social media, which he deemed a “menace”.

Meanwhile, Fine Gael councillor Adam Teskey wanted to know what kind of protection would be given to property owners if their properties were damaged or “not kept in proper order” as part of the new government initiative.