Home News Council Uncomfortable standoff in Laois Country Council regarding ongoing Palestinian crisis

Uncomfortable standoff in Laois Country Council regarding ongoing Palestinian crisis

There was an uncomfortable moment in Laois County Council Chambers this week, when the ongoing Palestinian crisis was brought up unexpectedly.

An attack by Hamas on Israeli civilians, carried out on October 7, was the catalyst for the latest military bombarded of Palestine by Israel.

Since then, the Israeli Government have carried out the unbridled and indiscriminate massacre of civilians, medical personnel, United Nations personnel, and journalists.

Israel cut off the supply of water, food, medical supplies and electricity to the people of Palestine, as well as targeting hospitals, schools, refugee centres and UN buildings, which have largely been destroyed.

Many tens of thousands are either dead, wounded, or displaced.

On Friday, December 8, the UN Security Council voted to call for an immediate ceasefire, but this was vetoed by the United States, who continue to enable this atrocity.

The crisis was raised at the monthly meeting of Laois County Council this week by Independent Cllr Aisling Moran.

Cllr Moran floated the idea of the Council flying the flag of Palestine, just as Dublin City Council did last week.

“Whilst I do believe that what Hamas did on October 7, 2023 was an atrocity, and Israel should be allowed to punish them in whatever way they feel,” Cllr Moran said.

“What Israel are doing today to the Palestinians is an atrocity on a scale I never thought I’d see in my lifetime.

“Killing nearly 20,000 civilians and brutally injuring tens of thousands more, of innocent women and children is a war crime and it must be stopped.

“I’m proud our leaders have stood up to the rest of the world and showed our solidarity with the Palestinian people.

“Last week, City raised the Palestinian flag and I think it would be a good thing for us as a Council and for all Councils to do the same.

“It’s wrong, and we need to stand up and say that it’s wrong.”

Cllr Moran looked around the Chamber for support, appealing to her fellow Cllrs, asking: “Is there nobody going to say that they agree with that?”

There was an uncomfortable silence in the Chamber before Sinn Féin Cllr Caroline Dwane Stanley intervened.

“I think everyone in this Chamber would agree that what’s going on in Gaza is an outrage,” Cllr Stanley said.

“But what do we do if a proposal is brought forward for the Israeli flag to be hoisted outside the Council? I would totally oppose that.

“While I totally agree with the points about Gaza, what we want to see is a ceasefire – not a flag going on a building.

“I’d like to see a ceasefire to stop the loss of innocent lives of children, women and men, but this flag thing has to be handled very sensitively.”

Cllr Moran took the point on board as the two Cllrs agreed that calling for a ceasefire was the best course of action.

But the Cllrs were informed that they would need to wait until the next monthly County Council meeting before they could officially table the motion.

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