Thursday, 24 June 2021

Ceisteanna (159)

Gino Kenny

Ceist:

159. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs if he has spoken to Hungarian officials or the ambassador on comments made by the Prime Minister of Hungary on Irish international footballers kneeling before their friendly match with Hungary; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33907/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Foreign)

I note Prime Minister Orbán’s comments objecting to the decision by Ireland’s players at the 8 June Hungary-Ireland friendly soccer match to take the knee as part of an anti-racism campaign, and suggesting it was a provocation.

I strongly support and pay tribute to the stand taken by Irish footballers and players of other nationalities to address racism in their sport and in wider society.

The Irish players’ actions were not aimed at Hungary, nor in any way disrespectful towards Hungarian culture.

The Embassy of Ireland in Hungary has made it clear that the Irish players taking the knee was a gesture of respect for and solidarity with those who suffer racism and discrimination.

Ireland strongly condemns all manifestations of racism, xenophobia, and related intolerance. Ireland is strongly committed to the promotion and protection of tolerance, non-discrimination, freedom of expression and freedom of thought, conscience, religion and belief. This commitment is reaffirmed in the Global Island: Ireland’s Foreign Policy for a Changing World.

Question No. 160 answered with Question No. 96.