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04th Mar 2022

Priest calls Joe Duffy as he throws paint at Russian Embassy in Dublin

Stephen Porzio

“I won’t be the first and I won’t be the last.”

A priest talked to radio presenter Joe Duffy on the phone on Friday (4 March) as he threw red paint at the gates of the Russian Embassy in Dublin.

This was to protest against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Hosted by Duffy, RTÉ’s Liveline was discussing the invasion when it received a call from Dublin priest Fr. Fergal MacDonagh.

Asked where he was, MacDonagh said:

“I’m actually outside the gates of the Russian Embassy in Orwell Road in Dublin.

“I’m about to throw paint at it.

“I won’t be the first and I won’t be the last.”

A clearly surprised Duffy responded: “You’re about to what?”

MacDonagh replied he was about to throw “nice red paint” at the gates of the embassy.

He said he had a big coat on and that a tin of paint was in his pocket.

“I’ll get more and more nervous, right, so I’m going to do it now. I’m trying to not spill it,” the priest told Duffy.

After going silent for a few seconds, he then told Duffy: “It’s done.”

“I threw the tin of paint then on the driveway – the empty tin of paint,” he added.

MacDonagh said the reason for the act is that he is “so furious” at what is happening in Ukraine.

“I live in a parish that at the edge of it has one hospital, St James, and in the parish, we have a maternity hospital.

“They [Russia] bombed a maternity hospital.

“There are children being born in bomb shelters and underground car parks.”

When Duffy stated he could be charged with criminal damage for the act, the priest replied: “So be it”.

“I hardly think a judge is going to sentence any Irish citizen to a prison term for throwing paint at… the building that represents a rogue state,” he stated.

Duffy then asked what he thinks Ireland should do to protest against Russia’s actions in Ukraine.

“One of the options I think we have to look at is we the people burning the embassy to the ground,” MacDonagh responded, before clarifying he meant without people inside it.

“God forbid anyone be injured in any way at all,” he added.

The call ended as a Garda could be heard asking the priest to hang up the phone so they could take his details.

In a statement to JOE, a Garda spokesperson said:

“Gardaí are investigating an incident of criminal damage that occurred at a premises on Orwell Road on Friday afternoon, 4 March 2022 at approximately 1.55pm.

“No arrests have been made at this time, and investigations are ongoing.”

Meanwhile, during an interview with the state-owned Russia 24 television station, Russian Ambassador to Ireland Yury Filatov described protests held at the Russian Embassy in Ireland in recent days as “quite often very rough and violent”.

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