The ongoing situation in Ukraine as a result of the Russian invasion is causing untold damage and devastation to all facets of society.

An appalling human tragedy is unfolding before our very eyes; a tragedy that is difficult to comprehend and one that will have grave and lasting consequences long into the future.

We at Rowing Ireland stands with Sport Ireland, Sport NI our the Government and the people of Ireland in welcoming to Ireland all of Ukrainians fleeing the terrible situation in their home country. As Ukrainian refugees begin to arrive, Sport Ireland is encouraging all National Governing Bodies and Local Sports Partnerships to extend a warm Irish welcome to these people, demonstrating the famous Irish hospitality and facilitate their integration into Irish society. We in turn our asking our clubs and our rowing family to extend this welcome. The hope is that collectively we might be able to provide a semblance of normality and hope to those displaced, in the face of difficulty we can’t even begin to imagine.

Jack Chambers TD, Minister of State for Sport and the Gaeltacht, has joined with 37 other Sports Ministers from across the EU, North America and Australasia in condemning the actions of both Russia and Belarus. Rowing Ireland mirrors these sentiments, and is unequivocal in its position on the exclusion of both Russia and Belarus – including those representing bodies, cities or brands that are effectively representing Russia or Belarus – from any and all international sports. In this regard we encourage all of Rowing Ireland clubs to take a firm position and encourage their international federations to condemn the invasion and ban Russian and Belarussian athletes from their events and competitions, including the removal of the opportunity for Russia and Belarus host, bid for or be awarded any international sporting events.

Furthermore, Rowing Ireland support Sport Ireland in strongly condemning any display of support for the invasion by any athlete, regardless of their nationality.

Ireland stands with Ukraine in this time of extreme difficulty. To the people of Ukraine – should you find yourself in Ireland, this proud sporting nation stands ready to support and welcome another proud sporting nation.