Dáil debates

Thursday, 23 June 2022

Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions

Foreign Policy

11:50 am

Photo of Simon CoveneySimon Coveney (Cork South Central, Fine Gael) | Oireachtas source

I first thank the Deputy for raising this issue and, in particular, for the way in which he done so because he has been sensitive to the issue here.

I have been to Warsaw and have visited the largest Ukrainian refugee hub, if one wants to call it that, just outside Warsaw. There are about 7,000 Ukrainian people there. Approximately 2,000 come and go every day. It is just extraordinary that this is a reality on the Continent of Europe today, where close on 6 million people have had to flee their own country, 36,000 of whom have come to Ireland. We all have an obligation to look after their well-being, whether that is housing, healthcare, reproductive rights or education.

Poland has been extraordinary in its solidarity in accommodating an enormous number of people who are fleeing conflict, violence and brutality. In many ways, Poland is at the centre of this conflict. We need to raise these issues with sensitivity but we also need to have these conversations to raise the concerns which many women, not only Ukrainian women but Polish women as well, have on sexual and reproductive rights and supports. Ultimately, this is a question for the Polish Parliament and authorities to make decisions upon but, certainly, the Irish Government's views are very clear on this and we will make those views known.


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