Dún Laoghaire Rathdown council remembers local men killed in Ukraine

Cameraman Pierre Zakrzewski and store manager Oleksandr Zavhorodniy died last month

Tributes were paid at a meeting of Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council on Monday night to two local man killed recently in Ukraine.

Fine Gael councillor Anna Grainger described cameraman Pierre Zakrzewski (55), who was killed just outside Kyiv on March 14th last alongside Ukrainian journalist Oleksandra Kuvshynova, as "a very special person."

From Leopardstown, Co Dublin, Mr Zakrzewski "always went the extra mile. He sought the truth and he told the truth," she said. Cllr Grainger thanked all the dignitaries who attended his funeral at the Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour in Foxrock on March 29th.

In particular she thanked Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney "who worked very, very closely with Fox News and Sky to bring Pierre home. I wish you all knew him, his energy was infectious."

Independent councillor Deirdre Donnelly proposed a motion of condolence following the killing of Oleksandr Zavhorodniy (45) in the Donabas region of Ukraine at the end of March.

He left Ireland on March 2nd last and was killed on March 30th after the Ukrainian forces he was with came under sustained attack from the Russian military. The father of two was known to friends and colleagues as 'Alex' at the Aldi store in Dublin's Sandyford where he worked for many years.

"He lived in Ireland for the last 20 years and we would have known him in Aldi in Sandyford, he was a manager there. He lived in Stillorgan, " said Cllr Donnelly. "I think it's unbelievably tragic that in the one evening here in Dún Laoghaire Rathdown we are paying tribute to two citizens who had such strong ties with the community and who died recently as a result of the horrific conflict in Ukraine."

Mr Zayhorodniy, she said, " made a decision recently to return to his native country to defend his nation."

She extended condolences to his family, friends, colleagues “and the wider Ukrainian community who are suffering at this time.”

People Before Profit councillor Melisa Halpin remembered long-time activist Gearóid Kilgallen who died last Thursday. Recalling his work as a founding member of the Irish Anti Apartheid movement and in many other organisations she said "he spent a huge amount of time in international work pursuing democracy in different area. He was an amazing ma."

She said that “as Gearóid got older he got more radical, moving always further to the left.”

Passing the motions of condolence unanimously, council members stood in silence for one minute as a mark of respect.

Patsy McGarry

Patsy McGarry

Patsy McGarry is Religious Affairs Correspondent of The Irish Times

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