In the above tweet, Irish political correspondent Gavan Reilly reported that Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Justice had withdrawn visa requirements for citizens fleeing Ukraine. At 2:15 AM Irish time (7:15 AM EST), the Irish Foreign Ministry’s verified Twitter account issued urgent consular advice for Irish citizens in Ukraine to shelter in place.
In response, a user asked if the government would consider waiving visa requirements for Ukrainian entry:
On February 23 2022, Ireland’s Independent.ie reported on rapidly changing directives to Irish nationals in Ukraine at the time of Russia’s invasion. That article mentioned that an Irish citizen whose Ukrainian wife and child faced a wait of “up to a year” in order to acquire a visa to enter Ireland:
Brendan Murphy, from Co Louth, is currently trying to leave Ukraine [on February 23 2022], however, his wife and her child are unable to go with him.
He said this is because they don’t have a visa and it can take up to a year for them to be issued one.
Early on the morning of February 24 2022, Ireland’s TheJournal.ie published “Ireland to waive visa requirements for all Ukrainians as minister says country is ‘certainly not neutral’ on Russian invasion,” reporting that the waiver would take effect the same day:
IRELAND [will] waive visa requirements for all Ukrainian people who travel to Ireland following the Russian invasion of the country.
The move was confirmed by Taoiseach Micheál Martin who said that Ireland “will not be found wanting” in providing humanitarian support to the Ukrainian people.
Martin said that the departments of Justice and Foreign Affairs will be implementing the visa waiver programme this afternoon [February 24 2022].
Earlier, Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney labelled the Russian invasion of Ukraine a “murderous act of aggression[.”]
The outlet cited Ireland’s Taoiseach (Prime Minister) as having confirmed the Ukraine visa waiver. Subsequently, TheJournal.ie quoted Simon Coveney from an appearance on RTÉ on the morning of February 24 2022:
“Ireland is a neutral country, we’re militarily non-aligned, but we are certainly not neutral on an issue like this, when there is blatant aggression happening on the continent of Europe.”
As the situation in Ukraine worsened on February 24 2022, Ireland’s Taioseach Micheál Martin confirmed visa requirements would be waived for all Ukrainian people seeking entry to Ireland. Additional reporting indicated that the waiver would apply as of the afternoon of February 24 2022.