Donegal TD Thomas Pringle has explained his reasons for clapping but also stopping after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy appeared before the Oireachtas yesterday.
Members of People Before Profit refused to clap when President Zelenskiy appeared on screen.
Mr Zelenskiy’s speech was met by thunderous applause from TDs and senators in the Dáil chamber, with the notable absence of four People Before Profit TDs.
The party said its members had refused to clap due to disagreement with Mr Zelenskiy’s calls for Nato involvement in the war, as well as demands for more sanctions on Russia and a “decision to ban opposition parties” in Ukraine.
Deputy Pringle initially clapped but then stopped during the prolonged applause.
In a statement to Donegal Daily, the Killybegs-based TD outlined his stance.
“I felt it was important to show solidarity with the Ukrainian people yesterday and I applauded the speech by the president of Ukraine, President Zelensky.
“However I also think it was important to make a statement about the ongoing attacks on Irish neutrality within the parliament and outside as well.
“Supporting Ukrainian people by giving safe haven to evacuees and humanitarian aid is vitally important, but I don’t believe that any good would be served by moving closer to NATO and sacrificing our neutrality, which has been a very progressive neutrality over the years that we should be proud of so therefore I stopped clapping after a short spell and stood for the rest of the applause.’