Seanad debates

Wednesday, 28 February 2024

An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business


10:30 am

Photo of Gerard CraughwellGerard Craughwell (Independent) | Oireachtas source

At the outset, I record my sympathy to the family of Councillor Pat Hynes in Galway, who sadly passed away this morning. Pat is the uncle of Geraldine Donohue, who works here with Senator Boyhan. I would also like to remember Corporal Tadhg Quinn, one of the Jadotville heroes denied a medal, who passed away today.

Yesterday, there was an attack on me in the House about having my photograph taken with the Israeli ambassador. I was told by a colleague from Sinn Féin that I should be ashamed of myself for standing for a photograph. I have been a man of peace all my life. I have never wanted conflict. I support what the Civil Engagement Group is doing with respect to limiting weapons going out to destroy lives in Gaza. There is only one solution in Gaza, and that is a two-state solution. I will not be lectured by somebody who would not be in this House but for the fact that people were willing to talk to terrorists in Northern Ireland. I am speaking specifically about the Provisional IRA. People were willing to bring them to the peace table and allow Sinn Féin to come into parliament in the Republic and in the North of Ireland. I have many friends in Sinn Féin and there are many great people in Sinn Féin who work in this House, but the Provisional IRA terrorised my family morning, noon and night throughout the early part of 1974. Some of these people were shouting at me because I stood with an ambassador who is the only conduit we have to express our opinion directly to the Israeli Government. Was that wrong? I do not believe it was wrong but I will not be lectured by people who stand with Hamas and Hezbollah and have their photograph taken with them. At the end of the day, I want to see peace in the Middle East and Ukraine. I want to see people living together but I will not be lectured about how I behave in my business.Having a photograph with the Israeli ambassador recognises the fact that she is the only contact I have with Tel Aviv.


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