Tuesday 22 January 2019

Israel to tell Lord Mayor of Dublin he is not welcome in the country

Attended a conference in the West Bank despite being on a no-entry list

Lord Mayor of Dublin Mícheál Mac Donncha. Photo: Colm Mahady / Fennells
Lord Mayor of Dublin Mícheál Mac Donncha. Photo: Colm Mahady / Fennells
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

Israeli authorities are to write to the Lord Mayor of Dublin informing him he is not welcome in the country.

An investigation is under way after Mícheál Mac Donncha was allowed to attend a conference in the disputed West Bank territory yesterday despite being on a no-entry list.

A blame game was underway between Israel's Interior Ministry and Strategic Affairs Ministry over how the Sinn Féin member was allowed to pass through Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv.

It is believed the Interior Ministry had not spelled Mr Mac Donncha's name correctly on the notice banning him from entry.

The move to exclude Mr Mac Donncha followed two motions passed by Dublin City Council in recent days.

One proposed expelling the Israeli ambassador to Ireland, while the other supported the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign.

The Lord Mayor yesterday attended events in Ramallah where he said that "to ban people from entering Palestine on the basis that they oppose your policies is not only undemocratic, it is part of Israel's attempts to censor its opponents".

He said his visit was on the foot of an invitation from the Palestinian Authority asking him to take part in a conference on the status of the city of Jerusalem. Others who were due to attend the same conference are understood to have been stopped at the airport.

Israel's Interior Minister Arye Dery said: "With the Lord Mayor of Dublin's departure from the country, and in light of his activity against Israel, I've instructed that a letter be delivered to him which would forbid future entry into Israeli territory."

Irish Independent

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