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No mention of Gaza or Ukraine in Galway ‘peace flag’ gesture

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From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

No mention of Gaza or Ukraine in Galway ‘peace flag’ gesture No mention of Gaza or Ukraine in Galway ‘peace flag’ gesture

Bradley Bytes – a sort of political column with Dara Bradley

A peace flag was hoisted at Browne Doorway in Eyre Square last week.

Mayor of Galway, Eddie Hoare (FG) raised the flag, reflecting the will of Galway City councillors who voted at March’s ordinary Council meeting in favour of a Notice of Motion to fly the flag in the city centre.

That’s fair enough. And on the face of it, it was a nice gesture. But drill down into the press release from City Hall alerting the public to this symbolism, and the stench of moral cowardice will assault your nostrils.

“The flag is flown to show support for all those whose lives have been affected by conflict, demonstrating hope for peace,” we’re told.

Conflict? Conflict is what happens in the Council chamber when elected members disagree with each other or management.

Lives “affected”; and by affected do you mean murdered, raped and deliberately starved?

What’s happening in Gaza and Ukraine is brutal war. And in the case of the former, potentially genocide against the Palestinian people in retribution for barbaric acts perpetrated by Hamas terrorists against Israel last October.

Words matter. And yet the local authority and its figurehead who represents the citizens of this city, cannot bring themselves to even mention Gaza or Ukraine or any other war-ravaged region in their 269-word statement about a ‘peace flag’.

It’s all fur coat and no knickers. The reason councillors voted to fly a peace flag was because of the war in Gaza and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Why not say so? Mentioning “conflicts” in “affected regions” was a cop-out, appeasement.

In fairness, the Irish Government – led by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Tánaiste Micheál Martin – and the President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins, have been strong in their stance and statements in respect of both wars. Even Pope Francis mentioned both Gaza and Ukraine in his Easter sermon.

They’ve articulated the views of most Irish people about the abhorrent violence perpetrated against persecuted people.

Galway is home to thousands of Ukrainians. And the City of the Tribes has a vibrant community of Palestinian supporters, horrified at what is happening in Gaza.

Our City Council’s raising of a peace flag did nothing to articulate their viewpoint.

If you’re worried about upsetting Russia or Israel, then don’t do anything.

But a peace flag was a sort of a Ukrainian nod and Gazan wink, without the moral compass or courage to call out wrongdoings in those parts of the world.
This is a shortened preview version of this column. For more Bradley Bytes, see the April 5 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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