Taoiseach Micheál Martin has demanded an apology from Moscow after a Russian TV channel simulated a nuclear attack on Ireland in a graphic for a current affairs programme.
With relations between Moscow and the west at an all time low, Russian state TV has begun openly speculating about what would happen if the Kremlin launched a nuclear attack.
Ireland is not mentioned directly in the clip but the presenter Dmitry Kiselyov - a close associate of Putin - said that Moscow could “plunge Britain into the depths of the sea using Russia’s unmanned underwater vehicle Poseidon”. A graphic then shows a missile landing off the coast of Donegal and obliterating Ireland and then Great Britain.
“Having passed over the British Isles, it will turn whatever might be left of them into a radioactive desert,” Mr Kiselyov concluded triumphantly.
And another nuclear threat to the UK from Russian state TV's Dmitry Kiselyov:
He says his country's Poseidon nuclear underwater drone could cause a tsunami that would "plunge the British Isles into the depths of the sea" and turn them into a "radioactive desert" (with subs) pic.twitter.com/usElgqHeIG
— Francis Scarr (@francis_scarr) May 1, 2022
The footage has sparked a wave of condemnation from politicians across the political spectrum but Taoiseach Micheál Martin said he did not think Irish people would feel worried about it.
“It’s very sinister, intimidatory type tactics by the Russian Federation,” An Taoiseach told Newstalk.
“But I don’t think anyone’s going to be intimidated by it and I think it reflects a mindset that is worrying and not in touch with reality and I think there should be an apology.”
Speaking to Newstalk Breakfast, independent Senator and former Army Officer Tom Clonan said the monologue was “significant on a number of levels”.
“Basically, the person who is presenting these clips of the detonations off the Irish coast is a guy called Dmitry Kiselyov and he is very close to Vladimir Putin,” he said.
“He is one of his inner circle, so on one level, this tells you about the thinking in the Kremlin. How disinhibited they are now about the threat of nuclear retaliation on the west.
“This was first raised in February by Putin himself when he warned the world of a retaliation of which humanity has never seen before.”
Senator Clonan also said the the Government should summon the Russian Ambassador for a dressing down:
“The concept of having an ambassador and a channel of communication is something that goes right back to medieval times, even during the most bitter conflicts in the past,” he explained.
“Certainly [Ambassador] Filatov should be called in and we should be asking him to confirm, is this a plan? Is this something you are considering?”
Main image: The Taoiseach Micheál Martin on his way into Cabinet. Image: Sam Boal/RollingNews