| 15.2°C Dublin

Trucked up Russia demands Irish taxpayers foot bill for embassy gate and seek official apology

  • Moscow compares protests in Dublin to ‘tactics widely used by terrorists’
  • Irish Ambassador summoned to Foreign Ministry for reprimand
  • Varadkar condemns truck attack as ‘foolish and unhelpful’

Close

Damage at the gate to the Russian Embassy in Dublin.

Damage at the gate to the Russian Embassy in Dublin.

Damage at the gate to the Russian Embassy in Dublin.

RUSSIA is demanding an official apology and “full compensation” from the Irish government for the damage caused to its embassy in yesterday’s truck ramming incident, according to reports in Moscow.

The Russian state news agency TASS has reported that the Irish Ambassador to Moscow Brian McElduff was summoned to the Foreign Ministry in Moscow today and strongly reprimanded.

In a statement afterwards the Ministry claimed demonstrators outside their Irish base on Orwell Road in Dublin have “adopted tactics widely used by terrorists”.

The Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin has been contacted for comment.

A businessman was charged this morning with criminal damage and dangerous driving after a truck went through the gates of Dublin's Russian embassy in a protest against the war in Ukraine.

Close

Desmond Wisley, from Leitrim, leaving Tallaght Court this morning. Photo: Collins Courts

Desmond Wisley, from Leitrim, leaving Tallaght Court this morning. Photo: Collins Courts

Desmond Wisley, from Leitrim, leaving Tallaght Court this morning. Photo: Collins Courts

Church supplier Desmond Wisley (49) appeared in court today after he was arrested over the incident yesterday.

Judge Patricia McNamara granted him bail on condition that he stays away from the embassy at Orwell Road, Rathmines and has no contact with staff

The Indo Daily: 'We took our documents, our clothes and ran' - Inside Ukraine's refugee crisis

Listen on Apple
Podcasts Listen on
Spotify

The accused, from Tully, Ballinamore, Co Leitrim is charged with dangerous driving and causing criminal damage.

Gardaí said barriers have since been erected outside the property.

The episode has been condemned by Tánaiste Leo Varadkar today as “a foolish and unhelpful act”. He said it would be misrepresented by Russian State TV as “Irish people being involved in violent acts against Russians”.

“I would say to anyone being involved in protests, please do protest. We want you to do that but peaceful protests. No violence, no criminal damage and of course the Gardaí and the Department of Foreign Affairs have been in touch with the Russian embassy and are reviewing security to make sure that something like his doesn’t happen again,” Mr Varadkar said.

Sunday World Newsletter

Sign up for the latest news and updates

This field is required This field is required

Now the Sunday World has learned of reports in Moscow about a meeting between the Ambassador and officials.

They accuse gardaí of “blatant inaction” to protect the embassy, which if viewed as Russian soil.

"We demanded from the leadership of Ireland an official apology for what happened and full compensation for the damage caused. We also expect the authorities of this country to conduct an objective investigation and punish those responsible," the Russian Foreign Ministry is reported as saying.

Close

A man was arrested after a lorry crashed into the gates of the Russian Embassy in Dublin (Dominic McGrath/PA)

A man was arrested after a lorry crashed into the gates of the Russian Embassy in Dublin (Dominic McGrath/PA)

A man was arrested after a lorry crashed into the gates of the Russian Embassy in Dublin (Dominic McGrath/PA)

They also cite Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations while demanding better protection.

Protesters have been gathering outside the embassy daily since the war in Ukraine began almost two weeks ago. The Russian coat of arms at the entrance to the facility have been repeatedly covered in red paint.

In a statement after the truck crashed through the gate, the Russian Embassy issued a statement describing it as a “criminal act of inanity directed against peaceful diplomatic mission."

A video circulating on social media shows a truck reversing through the closed gates and stopping halfway in, before the driver gets out.

In a video taken by a witness at the scene afterwards, the driver of the truck holds up a picture of a family killed in Ukraine, copies of which he handed out to protesters nearby.

“I just done (sic) this to create a safe corridor for the Russian ambassador to leave Ireland, go through Poland, then walk through Europe,” he said.

“I done (sic) it for this lady here and her kids who were killed in Irpin. It really affected me last night, I’m doing it for them.

“So I want the ambassador and his colleagues to leave this free country.”

Meanwhile, last week Russian Ambassador to Ireland, Yuriy Filatov, told a Russian TV channel that Ireland is at the forefront of the European Union in staging anti-Russian events.

In an extraordinary interview that caused disquiet among Russian residents of Ireland, Mr Filatov listed out a series of complaints against the treatment of Russians in Ireland to Russia-24, the state-owned Russian-language news channel, in an extraordinary interview.

At one point in the six-minute Russian-language interview broadcast on the state channel which has an audience of millions of Russians, the ambassador said it was “probably hardly possible to talk now about any relations between Russia and Ireland”. He added: “We are mainly supporting a channel of communication with the Irish.”

This morning, church supplier Desmond Wisley (49) appeared in court after he was arrested over the incident yesterday.

Judge Patricia McNamara granted him bail on condition that he stays away from the embassy at Orwell Road, Rathmines and has no contact with staff

The accused, from Tully, Ballinamore, Co Leitrim is charged with dangerous driving and causing criminal damage.

This morning, Garda Aishling Conroy told Tallaght District Court the accused made no reply when charged and cautioned at Rathfarnham garda station at 8.40pm yesterday.

She said she had no objection to bail subject to conditions.

Judge McNamara asked Mr Wisley if he had a solicitor to represent him. "None, your honour," he replied and the judge told him he would have to tell the court whether he agreed to the bail conditions.

She also told the accused he might be entitled to free legal aid depending on his financial circumstances.

Bail was set in Mr Wisley's own bond of €300, with no cash lodgement required. Under conditions, he is to stay away from Orwell Road, Dublin 14 and Ailesbury Road, Dublin 4. He must refrain from posting on social media anything relating to the case and refrain from contacting any staff of the Russian Embassy, directly or indirectly.

Mr Wisley stood in the dock and agreed to all the bail conditions as they were read out to him

The judge warned him if he breached any of them he could be arrested immediately and put back into custody.

Gda Conroy said DPP directions were awaited and asked for an adjournment.

The judge remanded the accused on bail to appear in court again on April 26.

Outside the court, Mr Wisley condemned the "atrocities being carried out by Putin in Ukraine," and said he wanted to be able to say of the war that he "kept the pressure on."

Mr Wisley was arrested after the incident at around 1.20pm yesterday and taken to Rathfarnham garda station.

Gardaí sealed off the scene at Orwell Road, and the rigid body truck bearing signage of Mr Wisley’s ecclesiastical supplies firm remained reversed into the embassy driveway with the damaged gate visible behind it.

It was later towed away.

Video showed the truck reversing through the closed gates and stopping halfway in, before the driver got out.

In a video taken by a witness at the scene afterwards, the driver held up a picture of a family killed in Ukraine, copies of which he handed out to protesters nearby.

Security barriers were erected yesterday evening creating a buffer between the embassy and protesters.

The Russian embassy initially accused the Government of violating international law for allowing the incident to happen, and claimed members of the Garda “stood idle” as the incident happened.

In a follow-up statement, however, the embassy said: “Additional measures have been undertaken by the Garda to ensure safety and security of the embassy and its personnel. The embassy appreciates cooperation by the Irish authorities in this matter.”

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices


Top Videos





Available now on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or Google Podcasts.

Privacy