By Dan Walsh
A claim made on local radio on Wednesday that Wexford MEP Mick Wallace has been appointed “EU chief negotiator for Iraq’ has been contradicted by a spokesperson for the EU Parliament. And in a new twist tonight, Senator Malcolm Byrne has used social media to describe the actions of MEP’s Mick Wallace and Clare Daly as “just awful.”
A trip by two Irish Members of the European Parliament to visit a headquarters of a militia network in Iraq has been used in a YouTube video to promote the group after the MEPs visited a brigade headquarters of Hashed al-Shaabi in Iraq and criticised American foreign policy in the region.
Senator Malcolm Byrne claims that MEPs Wallace and Daly visited a Shiite Militant Group that has lured gay people to their deaths. “If their support for Lukashenko in Belarus and Hezbollah in Lebanon was not bad enough, this is really appalling.
“Ireland should always pursue policies in support of the protection of human rights and minorities. This is a core tenet of our foreign policy. These latest actions by two MEPs are just awful,” he concluded.
The trip is believed to have taken place just weeks after US airstrikes hit five of the networks’ bases, which the US Department of Defence said; “housed weapons used to target US and coalition troops.” Video footage of the visit released on the group’s YouTube channel on March 30th, shows Wallace and Daly, the latter dressed in hijab, inspecting a wall tiled with photographs of “martyrs”, before speaking to camera.
A spokesperson for the European Parliament told The Journal that the visit was organised in a private capacity, was not part of an official European Parliament delegation, and does not represent the parliament. It was added that all European Parliament committee trips and inter-parliamentary delegations inside and outside of the EU are cancelled due to the pandemic.