Leo Varadkar ‘draws bogus parallel’ with Ukraine, says TUV candidate

While Irish Deputy Prime Minister Leo Varadkar sends platitudes to Ukraine, Belfast supplies Ukrainians with anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles in their war against Vladimir Putin’s Russian invaders, a TUV candidate and military veteran said last night.

By Henry McDonald
Friday, 8th April 2022, 6:00 am

Traditional Unionist Voice’s Jordan Armstrong also accused the former taoiseach of drawing “bogus parallels” between the history of this island and the plight of Ukrainians enduring Russian aggression.

The ex-Royal Irish Regiment soldier criticised Mr Varadkar for deploying what the East Londonderry candidate called ‘most oppressed people ever’ (MOPE) syndrome to compare the island of Ireland to Ukraine.

Mr Armstrong pointed out that as a neutral country the Irish Republic could offer no military logistical support to the embattled Ukrainian armed forces during the current war.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Leo Varadkar drew comparisons between Ukraine and the Irish experience, claiming that “we do know what it’s like to have been invaded ..."

“While Mr Varadkar offers the people of Ukraine empty platitudes and actually insults the very real suffering of the Ukrainian people by seeking to draw bogus parallels with Ireland, Northern Ireland by virtue of its continuing membership of the United Kingdom is able to provide tangible assistance in the form of anti-tank/aircraft weaponry made in Belfast which has been invaluable in reversing the Russian advance,” he said.

The former Afghanistan veteran was referring to Mr Varadkar’s comments after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky delivered a speech on Wednesday to the joint houses of the Irish parliament.

Mr Varadkar drew comparisons between Ukraine and the Irish experience claiming that “we do know what it’s like to have been invaded and to have the very existence of our national identity questioned too”.

These comments drew a sharp response from Mr Armstrong who said: “Dr Liam Kennedy famously questioned the Irish historical victim mentality in his 2016 book ‘Unhappy the Land? The Most Oppressed People Ever, the Irish?’ which gave rise to the expression MOPE when it comes to how some people view Irish history.”

Accusing the former taoiseach of deploying MOPE, Mr Armstrong continued: “This is utter nonsense. There has been a lot of water under the bridge since 1155, including centuries when countless thousands of Irishmen served under the Union Flag across the world.

“Such language does provide a telling insight into how the Republic views the unionist people of Northern Ireland.”