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Clare could help rebuild Ukraine

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Irish companies can play a major role in the rebuilding of Ukraine, despite the ongoing war with Russia. That’s according to Senator Timmy Dooley (FF) who has returned to Clare after visiting Ukraine for the third time as part of a European political delegation.
At the 2022 ALDE Annual Congress in Dublin, the Mountshannon native was elected as the Co-President of the grouping of liberal European political parties.
Senator Dooley was invited as Co-President of the ALDE party to meet various parliamentarians and political leaders in Ukraine.
He met President Zelensky, Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister and a number of government ministers. This is his third visit, having previously travelled to Ukraine in February and April 2022.
The Mountshannon native said the Ukraine Minister for Reconstruction is anxious to bring construction expertise for other countries including Ireland via companies with good engineering and design skills to reinstate roads and bridges and other essential infrastructure that has been targeted.
Despite the fact Russia is attacking locations in the East and South of Ukraine, Senator Dooley explained the Ukraine government wants to start the reconstruction programme now in areas that are not in the immediate war zone as people need to get on with living their lives.
With the help of better air defence systems, he said the Ukraine government wants to rebuild homes and vital infrastructure and is not prepared to wait for the war to end.
“Ukraine is looking for European companies to help and assist their reconstruction programme. Ukraine would like to see Ireland playing its role in rebuilding the country acknowledging it has been a solid friend during the Russian invasion.
“Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary was in Ukraine recently having discussions about bringing in flights when the war ends and when it is safe to fly in there again.
“While Ukraine is still focusing on the war effort, it wants to start rebuilding areas that were destroyed. President Zelenesky wants to open up Ukraine to outside investment foreign capital. Ukraine experienced corruption over the decades and he was elected on a platform to end that and introduce greater transparency and oversight.
When the East Clare Senator was introduced as being from Ireland, he recalled there was an immediate recognition about what the country has done on a humanitarian level by accommodating thousands of Ukrainian refugees.
Travelling with MEP Billy Kelleher, Senator Dooley spent two days on the ground in Kyiev, as well as two days in transit using a flight and a train from the Polish border.
Stating Ukraine is a vast country, Senator Dooley said it is clear their air defence systems are now in place to protect critical infrastructure, which were not provided at the start of the war.
“Ukraine are having much better success shooting down Russian missiles. An odd one will get through. Ukraine wants to provide for people who want to return home and are pushing back the Russians in the east of the country.
“There is great resolve to continue fighting the Russians. I didn’t see any weariness. Life is getting back to normal in the big cities. There are air raid sirens and the continuous attempt to bomb the cities keeps the resilience going.
“People know the threat exists but they are getting on with their lives. When the air raid sirens go off they go into the bunkers and them come out again.
“There is no Ukraine family that isn’t touched who doesn’t have a relation that is either dead or injured, fighting on the front line or in training. Ukraine has suffered heavy losses like the Russians and the impact of the war is massive.
“New recruits are being trained as they see it is important to fight a battle to save their own country. I think people in Europe see the Ukrainians are to some extent fighting their war as they are keeping the aggressor back from invading some of the European countries,” he said.

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