The decision to fly the Palestinian flag over Dublin City Hall was made as a “small show of support” from the people of Dublin to the people of Gaza, according to an independent councillor.
Dublin City Council (DCC) yesterday voted unanimously in favour of flying the flag for seven days starting today.
The motion was tabled collectively by councillors from Sinn Féin, Social Democrats, People Before Profit and a number of Independents.
A previous motion to fly the Palestinian flag at City Hall was put forward in November but failed as some councillors abstained.
Ballymun-Finglas Cllr Noeleen Reilly joined Newstalk Breakfast today to discuss the plan.
She said the intention was to show support for the people of Gaza.
“It was really important to bring this forward again, particularly after what has happened in the last couple of days since the ceasefire has ended,” said Cllr Reilly.
“We brought it forward last night, we’re aware it’s not going to change anything on the ground for Palestinians.
“But it is a small show of solidarity and support from the people of Dublin towards what they [people in Gaza] are experiencing at the moment.”
Cllr Reilly said the people of Ireland have had a longstanding solidarity with the Palestinian cause.
“We have always had a sense of identity with the people of Palestine because of our own history,” she said.
“We have seen hundreds of thousands of people march across the whole country in terms of support for the people of Palestine."
She added that “this isn’t the first time DCC has flown the flag of Palestine”.
Cllr Reilly said Dublin City councillors have received “hostility” from the Israeli Embassy as they are not afraid to “hold them account for war crimes”.
“They don’t like that. I think they cannot see beyond their own quest for revenge out there,” she said.
It comes amid reports that members of the Jewish community in Ireland have been leaving the country in recent weeks.
The Independent councillor refuted the idea that antisemitism was at the root of Irish support for Palestine.
“I think they are using that [antisemitism] as an excuse, a smokescreen,” said Cllr Reilly.
“Why people are honing in is because there are innocent men, women and children getting murdered there every day, and they have been for decades.
“This isn’t something that started in October, it has been going on for decades.”
Cllr Reilly said Hamas will need to be held to account for their actions too, alongside Israel.
“I do not agree with what happened on October 7th, it was barbaric, it was unacceptable,” she said.
“They [Hamas] will need to put their hands up in terms of what part they have had to play in this. It’s been in no way acceptable.
She added that it was “unacceptable” for any civilian to lose their lives.
Main image: Dublin City Hall. Credit: Radharc Images / Alamy