Dublin Government Denies Leila Khaled Entry to Ireland: éirígí Press Release: Friday 15th November 2013

imagesAs the socialist republican party, éirígí, prepares to hold its annual one-day Ard Fheis in Dublin tomorrow (Saturday November 16), the Dublin government has been criticized for failing to grant a senior Palestinian representative entry into the country. 

The éirígíArd Fheis is being held in Wynn’s Hotel in central Dublin and prominent Palestinian leader, Leila Khaled, was due to address the conference. Ms Khaled was to be accompanied to Ireland by Jordanian-based activist, Wesam Al-Khatib. Both were invited to Ireland for a number of engagements, including one at Dublin City Hall on Monday. 

Mr Al-Khatib, who arrived in Ireland earlier today, will now speak at those engagements on Ms Khaled’s behalf.

Leila Khaled is a senior member of the Political Bureau of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and an iconic figure in the Palestinian struggle for self-determination. Failure by the Dublin government to grant her an entry visa in time has prevented her travelling to Ireland for the éirígí conference and several other events. Ms Khaled had submitted her visa application several weeks ago at the same time as Mr Al-Khatib who works closely with Ms Khaled in the Jordanian capital, Amman.

The general secretary of éirígí, Breandán Mac Cionnaith, said, “Of course, we are extremely disappointed at the level of prevarication shown by the Dublin government over the issue of Ms Khaled’s visa. Having been in very regular contact with Ms Khaled over the past number of months, it is quite clear that she is particularly disappointed and frustrated at not being given clearance to travel. She again expressed those sentiments to me no later than this morning (Friday).

It appears that the Dublin government is pandering to the wishes of the US, British and Israeli governments in relation to her visa application. That is clearly evidenced by the fact that, although both were to travel together and both visa applications were submitted at the same time, Mr Al-Khatib’s visa was granted without hesitation. 

In contrast, Ms Khaled’s visa application has been subjected to unexplained and inordinate delays. Those delays were clearly aimed at preventing her from travelling to Ireland to speak about the Palestinian situation. Ms Khaled was due to have attended an event in Dublin City Hall on Monday and several other engagements. Mr Al-Khatib will now speak on her behalf.” 

Other speakers due to address the public session of the conference tomorrow afternoon include Jim Murney, father of imprisoned éirígí member Stephen Murney, Kate Nash, whose brother was shot dead by British paratroops on Bloody Sunday in Derry in 1972 as well as Cathaoirleach éirígí Brian Leeson.

Mac Cionnaith concluded with reference to his party’s Ard Fheis, “The location of our party’s Ard Fheis in Wynn’s Hotel will have a particular historical resonance this year. It was the venue where a group of Republicans met on November 11th 1913 to decide and agree upon the formation of the Irish Volunteers. Of the original group who took that decision in November 1913, four of them– Pádraic Pearse, Eamon Ceannt, Seán Mac Diarmada and The O’Rahilly – were later to die during the 1916 Rising.”

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Posted on November 16, 2013, in 21st century republicanism and socialism, éirígí, British state repression (general), Censorship, Democratic rights - general, General revolutionary history, Internationalism, Ireland-Palestine, Irish politics today, Prisoners - past, Public events - Ireland, Revolutionary figures, twenty-six counties, Women. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Dublin Government Denies Leila Khaled Entry to Ireland: éirígí Press Release: Friday 15th November 2013.

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