‘Sobering’ to see people ‘carrying bags, carrying children’ all the way to Polish border, MEP says


Billy Kelleher, MEP for Fianna Fáil, spoke of the emotion felt watching thousands of women, children and elderly people attempt to cross the border into Ukraine after visiting the war-torn country.

Mr. Kelleher and Senator Timmy Dooley traveled to the Ukrainian city of Lviv on Sunday to meet with political representatives after being invited by political contacts in Brussels.

They said they witnessed 20 kilometers of people fleeing trying to flee the country, mostly women, children and the elderly.

Addressing the Irish Examiner after returning across the Polish border, Mr Kelleher said: ‘It was very emotional and very moving to tell the truth to see thousands and thousands of people carrying bags, carrying children, walking on the roads leading to the Polish border it was hard to watch.”

Mr Kelleher said: “We met the mayor, we met the governor – it’s an area about 100 miles from the Polish border – and then we also met Ukrainian parliamentarians.

“They’re very purposeful, very determined and yet quite orderly and measured in the way they talk about these things.

Billy Kelleher (pictured) and Senator Timmy Dooley said they witnessed 20 kilometers of people fleeing trying to flee the country, mostly women, children and the elderly. Photo: David Keane.

“They were pointing out the fact that people are being injured and killed, they were talking about the fact that towns have been devastated,” he said.

The Cork politician added: “We were there to see what we could do in terms of the humanitarian situation, highlighting that and asking the European Union to provide more support to Poland and Slovakia and the countries hosting refugees. .”

After returning to Poland, Mr Dooley told RTÉ: “They want more help from Europe, they want more helmets and body armor, they have a small number and that’s something that Ireland has pledged to do, we will definitely bring that home.

“They want to see an orderly passage of people from Ukraine to Europe.”

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