*Sarah Ferrigan.

CLARE’S elected representatives are not reflecting an “overwhelming” opinion from their constituents on the ongoing Israel-Hamas War, an Ennis activist has said.

In a statement on Thursday, the UN children’s fund (Unicef) warned that the number of children who have been killed in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, has reached an “unprecedented” level.

Eighty-three children have been killed in the West Bank in the past 12 weeks, Unicef’s regional director for the Middle East and north Africa, Adele Khodr, said in a statement on Thursday. That figure is more than double the number of children killed in all of 2022, she said.

Weekly demonstrations have been held by the Clare branch of the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC) since the outbreak of war on October 7th.

Ennis woman Sarah Ferrigan has been frequently involved in attending the demonstrations. She acknowledged the efforts of those organising the weekly protests in the county town. “It is an issue that needs to be highlighted, I don’t think our public representatives are representing the public on this issue. Irish people with our own post-colonial history we have an understanding of what it is to have our land, our identity and our culture taken from us, we are in solidarity with the Palestinians. You can see it across the world the people rising up with the Palestinians are the indigenous cultures, it is a history that has been replicated throughout the world and we have a duty to stand with Palestine”.

On her dissatisfaction with the response of Clare’s politicians on the matter, Sarah explained, “They need to reflect the opinion of people in the county because it is overwhelming, I don’t think I’m living in a bubble, anybody I speak to from whatever background, there is huge sorrow and anger at what is happening to Palestians. Our local representatives and TDs need to bring that to a national level to put pressure on our Taoiseach, Tanáiste. I was very disappointed with Micheál Martin’s (FF) trip over, he was pointing at a hole in the ceiling, he never went to see what is happening in Gaza, it is an issue that Israel completely controls, Micheál Martin was given a very sanitised version of what was going on”.

Speaking to The Clare Echo, Sarah pointed out that she had been following the conflict for “many years” and said she supported the Palestinian-led movement promoting boycotts, divestments, and economic sanctions against Israel known as the BDS movement. “I’ve read up quite a bit on the history. It is very important for people living in Ireland from other countries that they feel supported, there is Palestinian asylum seekers in Ireland, we see the big Ukraine community here and there are parallels with what has happened there with displacements and bombings, it is important to show solidarity with all the countries under occupation”.

Inability of international governments to intervene in the conflict was criticised by the 2011 General Election candidate. “A ceasefire has to happen, anything that goes ahead has to have the voices of the Palestians at the centre of it. The bombing has resumed with hundreds more killed, it is a long-time strategy of Benjamin Netanyahu and his Government to keep Gaza out, they don’t want any Palestine left in Gaza and I can’t for the life of me understand how international governments have not stood up, it is telling of a larger geo-political strategy that the US wants an outpost in the Middle-East, that would be my opinion”.

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If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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