Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy hailed Irish support "since the early days of the war" and stressed the need for Europe-wide unity in the face of "tyranny" at a meeting in Kyiv with a delegation from the Oireachtas on Friday.
The Ceann Comhairle of the Dáil, Seán Ó Fearghaíl, and the Cathaoirleach of the Seanad, Mark Daly were among the delegates to meet Mr Zelenskiy after travelling to Ukraine on the invitation of the speaker of the Ukrainian parliament Ruslan Stefanchuk.
"Ireland has been helping Ukraine since the early days of the war," Mr Zelenskiy said. "I am grateful to [the Oireachtas delegation] for their visit and support for the sovereignty of our state. It is important to stay united and continue fighting against tyranny together."
At the meeting, Mr Ó Fearghaíl said the Irish delegation wanted to “salute you and salute your parliament for the determination that you are showing to the world”.
He said the Ukrainian resolve in the war against Russia was "a demonstration to the world what patriotism means".
Mr Ó Fearghaíl stressed the need for “total unity” across the EU in support for sanctions against Russia and said there was still a “job of work to do” to maintain that unity.
The meeting follows Mr Zelenskiy’s address last month to a joint sitting of the Houses of the Oireachtas. On that occasion, the Ukrainian president said, although Ireland was a neutral country, it had “not remained neutral to the disaster and to the mishaps that Russia has brought to Ukraine”.