“If Russia and Putin do anything to our country or to our people, if they suggest or do anything untoward to our people in our country, the ambassador should be the first fella to be targeted, locked up somewhere, the key thrown away, and an odd bite to eat thrown to him now and then to keep him barely alive”
Speaking during an impassioned Dáil debate on Eurojust – an EU body set up for the collection, preservation and analysis of evidence relating to genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes – the deputy suggested that the ambassador be ‘locked up somewhere’ with the key thrown away with only ‘a bite to eat thrown to him’ now and then to keep him barely alive.
The Co Kerry deputy’s forthright recommendations are sure to add further fuel to the fire in what is already a tense relationship between Dublin and Moscow.
“If Russia and Putin do anything to our country or to our people, if they suggest or do anything untoward to our people in our country, the ambassador should be the first fella to be targeted, locked up somewhere, the key thrown away, and an odd bite to eat thrown to him now and then to keep him barely alive,” Deputy Healy-Rae told the Dáil.
“We never did anything out of the way to Russia and it is wrong of it to target us here in the middle of the ocean.
"I ask the Minister of State to ensure that the Russian ambassador does not go home, or his entourage and the people with him in the ambassador's residence, wherever it is.
"Not one of them should be allowed to go home. If they do any act or hurt Ireland in any way, he should be the first man to be targeted, and minded to ensure we get some good out of him and do not let him go.
"Certainly, do not send him home,” he added.
The deputy said he was glad of the opportunity to talk about ‘this very serious matter’, adding that it was clear what is going on in Ukraine are war crimes affecting civilians.
“The way they are being treated, bombarded, hurt, maimed and killed; it is clear war crimes are being committed at present. We must monitor and ensure that if it can happen, it should happen that this fella, Putin, will be prosecuted and get the proper penalty he deserves,” he said.
Sinn Féin Deputy Pa Daly also supported the role of Eurojust.
“It goes without saying that the details of the Russian invasion of Ukraine have been shocking and deeply worrying,” he said.
“I note what the Minister of State said on being proud of Ireland's response to the EU-wide response to the humanitarian crisis. I, too, am proud of the Irish response and the pace at which Ireland has mobilised in response,” Deputy Daly said.
"However, we must put a similar effort in to support the institutions in order to seek, negotiate and secure a peaceful solution.
"Over the past number of weeks I note that has not been to the fore as much as it should be,” he added.
Deputy Michael Healy-Rae said if history has taught us one thing, it is that war crimes can be dealt with many years after they have been committed.
“However, the evidence and data that must be collected, collated and kept, in order to deal with these atrocities are important. That is why Eurojust is doing such important work. It also co-operates with the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court,” he said.
“National authorities are collecting evidence of the international crimes that may have been committed in Ukraine.
"Due to the ongoing hostilities, evidence cannot be stored securely in Ukraine, requiring that a backup storage place be urgently secured by the European Union,” Deputy Michael Healy-Rae added.