Fine Gael councillor who proposed flying Ukraine flag votes against Palestine motion

Last night Fine Gael councillor James Geoghegan – who in 2022 proposed a successful motion to fly the Ukrainian flag over Dublin City Hall – voted against an almost identical proposal for the Palestinian flag. 

Four other Fine Gael colleagues who were signatories to the 2022 Ukraine motion joined Geoghegan in rejecting a proposal to fly the flag of Palestine over Dublin City Hall in solidarity with the estimated 10,000 people killed in Gaza in the past month. 

Geoghegan told The Ditch he “favoured flying a peace flag” instead.

He told fellow councillors at a March 2022 Dublin City Council DCC meeting that “we will do everything we can to defend their (Ukrainians) freedoms forevermore” and proposed a motion that Dublin be twinned with the city of Kyiv in a show of solidarity with its people. 

‘Who quite rightly were being accused by other councillors of hypocrisy’

At a March 2022 Dublin City Council meeting, councillor James Geoghegan proposed an emergency motion “to fly the Ukrainian Flag over City Hall and the Mansion House as further symbolism of our united stance with Ukraine”. The motion further called for “a twinning arrangement with Kyiv”.

Among the nine signatories of the motion were Fine Gael councillors Danny Byrne, Naoise Ó Muirí, Terence Flanagan and Declan Flanagan. 

All four of these Fine Gael councillors, along with Geoghegan and party colleague Anne Feeney, voted against a failed motion to fly the Palestinian flag over City Hall.

Fianna Fáil councillors Keith Connolly, Deirdre Conroy, Deirdre Heney and Michael Watters also voted against the proposal at last night’s meeting.

The motion to fly Palestine’s flag failed to meet the required three-quarters majority to pass. Thirty-eight councillors supported it, while 10 rejected and eight abstained. 

Geoghegan’s March 2022 motion to support Ukraine was unanimously endorsed by councillors according to council meeting records. 

“We stand with every single last one of them and we will do everything we can to defend their (Ukrainians) freedoms forevermore and, come hell or high water, whatever happens to that capital city Dublin stands with the free and independent people of Kyiv,” said Geoghegan at the council meeting held 7 March, 2022.

Geoghegan told The Ditch earlier today he favours flying a peace flag but wouldn’t say why he rejected the motion to fly Palestine’s flag over city hall. 

“We favoured flying a peace flag or the flag of the UN in solidarity with the UN’s calls for a humanitarian ceasefire (and our own government) and ultimately that is the decision that the council adopted,” he said. 

“I shared the views of our taoiseach Leo Varadkar when he stated that the Israeli response to the Hamas attacks is something more approaching revenge. I distinguished our government’s response to other governments in the international community who, quite rightly, were being accused by other councillors of hypocrisy in how they viewed civilian casualties in Ukraine versus civilian casualties in Palestine.”

The Ditch editors

The Ditch editors