Sinn Féin must clarify their position on providing assistance to Ukrainian refugees following the issuing of a divisive letter by one of its TDs to local residents, according to Fine Gael TD Jennifer Carroll MacNeill.
Deputy Carroll MacNeill said Sinn Féin leadership have remained silent on negative remarks by some of their TDs on the humanitarian response to the war and whether they support the people of Ukraine.
Deputy Carroll MacNeill said: “It’s been over a week since we learned that Kildare South Deputy Patricia Ryan wrote to constituents suggesting ‘significant conflict’ could arise between local residents and Ukraine refugees expected to move into modular housing units in the county.
“In the letter, Deputy Ryan stated that if the process is not managed right and the views of locally based representatives are not listened to, ‘the potential for significant conflict with host communities is significant, which in turn could be exploited by small far right elements.’
“In the meantime, party leader Deputy McDonald has failed to respond to these remarks and we now know that she is continuing her global tour with a visit to California this week to meet business and political leaders there.
“On Wednesday, she will deliver a keynote address in the University of San Francisco on the topic of ‘A Decade of Opportunity: Building a New and United Ireland.’
”However her representatives at home aren’t delivering a message of unity when it comes to providing assistance to Ukrainian refugees. They are happy to sow division, fear and create an atmosphere of ‘us versus them’ in the ongoing humanitarian response to this war.
“We need to know did the Sinn Féin hierarchy sign off on the letter issued by Deputy Ryan to 500 constituents and was it aware of its contents before it was issued? Does the party intend to issue this incendiary material going forward with the intent of creating division within our communities?
“We need Deputy McDonald and the party leadership to clarify their position towards Ukrainian people seeking refuge here and issue an unequivocal statement of support and solidarity with the people of Ukraine.”