Councillor Ger Deere

Mayo councillor calls on Sinn Féin to utilise contacts to secure hostage release

A Castlebar councillor has called on Sinn Féin to use their contacts in Hamas to secure the release of an eight-year-old Irish-Israeli girl caught up in the conflict in Gaza.

Councillor Ger Deere called on the party to utilise whatever contacts they have within the Palestinian organisation to ensure the release of Emily Hand, daughter of Irish born Thomas Hand.

He pointed out that Sinn Féin party chairman Declan Kearney has met with Hamas leaders on a number of occasions in recent times. “The head of Hamas International Relations spoke at an online Sinn Féin event, hosted by party leader Mary Lou McDonald, and Gerry Adams has met with the political chief of Hamas on a number of occasions.

“I understand from media reports that Sinn Féin TD Matt Carthy has said his party has no plans to meet or engage with Hamas, which has been designated a terrorist organisation by the EU. However, he said they would 'never rule out meeting or talking to anyone, because that doesn't serve any purpose'.”

Councillor Deere said this statement in very contradictory. “While Sinn Féin are saying they will not rule out talks with anyone in relation to the situation, they are on the other hand calling for the expulsion of the Israeli Ambassador to Ireland. This beggars belief.”

He stated: “I am calling on Sinn Féin to use every contact and diplomatic channels they have to secure the release of Emily and all other hostages.”