Ardmheara Michael MacDonnacha, Lord Mayor of Dublin has hit back at Bob Geldof after the singer announced he would be returning his Freedom of the City Award.
Geldof said he no longer wanted to be a recipient of the award, as it was an honour he shared with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar's first and incumbent State Cousellor.
A Nobel Peace Laureate, Suu Kyi has come under considerable criticism since August after the national military's brutal crackdown on the Rohingya Mulsim population resulted in the displacement of over 600,000 Rohingya citizens. Suu Kyi however, has held her silence on this matter and by doing so, she has earned her a reputation as "one of the great ethnic cleansers", according to Geldof.
In his statement, Geldof said, "In short, I do not wish to be associated in any way with an individual currently engaged in the mass ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya people of north-west Burma."
"I am a founding patron of The Aegis Trust, who are concerned with genocide prevention and studies. Its founders built and maintain the National Holocaust Museum of the UK."
"I spoke at the inaugural National Holocaust Memorial Day at Westminster and in my time, I have walked amongst peoples who were sectionally targeted with ethnic cleansing."
"I would be a hypocrite now were I to share honours with one who has become at best an accomplice to murder, complicit in ethnic cleansing and a handmaiden to genocide."
However, Ardmheara Michael MacDonnacha of Dublin City Council has addressed this matter by pointing out that Geldof's move was hypocritical, saying,
"Bob Geldof is entitled to return his award if he wishes to do so. It should be pointed out that as Ardmheara I have condemned the persecution of the Rohingya people and their expulsion from their homes by the military in Myanmar and the failure of Aung San Suu Kyi to even acknowledge, let alone condemn, what the UN has described as ethnic cleansing. I have met Rohingya representatives in Ireland and I am pledged to assist them. When I raised the issue of removing the Freedom of the City from the Myanmar leader, consensus was not reached among the groups on the City Council, though all have condemned the persecution of the Rohingya people, and the matter is not closed."
"Regarding Mr. Geldof himself, I find it ironic that he makes this gesture while proudly retaining his Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire, given the shameful record of British imperialism across the globe. Mr. Geldof last year grossly insulted the men and women of the 1916 Rising in the centenary year when he compared them to so-called 'Islamic State' (IS), causing offence to Dubliners Irish people generally."
Statement from Ardmhéara Micheal Mac Donnacha of Dublin City Council, who reckons there's a whiff of hypocrisy from Sir Bob Geldof KBE pic.twitter.com/59hFg1IJtK— Gavan Reilly (@gavreilly) November 13, 2017
He doesn’t like Mondays, etc pic.twitter.com/Lv2cpib4gp— Gavan Reilly (@gavreilly) November 13, 2017
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