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19.03 12 Apr 2018


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Updated: 20.25

The Irish ambassador to Israel has been summoned by the Israeli Foreign Ministry to protest the actions of Dublin's Lord Mayor.

Authorities there say Mícheál Mac Donncha was attending a conference in Palestine that glorified a war criminal.

Lord Mayor Mac Donncha is in Ramallah in Palestine attending a conference.

Earlier, Israeli authorities claimed the conference was glorifying the former Grand Mufti of Jerusalem who met Hitler - pointing out it was on the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Ireland's ambassador to Israel, Alison Kelly, was then called before the Foreign Ministry to explain the Lord Mayor's actions.

Ireland's Ambassador to the State of Israel, Alison Kelly | Image: Department of Foreign Affairs

The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said its deputy director-general for Europe, Rodica Radian-Gordon, expressed "her astonishment and deep disappointment" that the Lord Mayor chose to participate in "such a blatant anti-Israel event."

"This is especially disturbing when taken in context with the timing of the event - the week during which Israel marks the Holocaust", the MFA said.

They also noted two recent votes of Dublin City Council to expel the Israeli ambassador and to support a boycott of the country.

Sources described the meeting between the Irish ambassador and Israeli officials as 'frosty', with the Foreign Ministry looking for a statement of support from the Government here.

Lord Mayor Mícheál Mac Donncha also hit out - saying it was disgraceful that some people had been stopped from entering the country to attend the conference in Palestine by Israeli officials.

The Department of Foreign Affairs issued a statement, through the Irish embassy in Israel, following the meeting.

It said Ambassador Kelly "expressed surprise" Lord Mayor Mac Donncha was "singled out" by authorities.

The Israeli government said it expects "an official public response" from the Irish Government with regard to "the conduct of the both the Dublin City Council and of the Lord Mayor".

It comes after reports that an attempt by Israeli authorities to stop Lord Mayor Mac Donncha from entering the territory failed, due to an apparent typo in his name.

Additional reporting: Jack Quann


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