Ireland to expel Russian diplomat over United Kingdom nerve agent attack

Foreign Minister Simon Coveney called the nerve-agent attack on Skripal and his daughter a "shocking and abhorrent" use of chemical weapons.

Russia's Ambassador to Ireland Yury Filatov has been told one of his staff must "leave the jurisdiction".

Earlier on Tuesday, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Moscow was working on a "tough response" to the expulsions.

After the date was confirmed, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar tweeted on Wednesday night: "On May 25th Irish people will have the chance to make change in our constitution - to trust women and trust doctors".

He added that the decision was taken based on intelligence from the Garda (Irish police) and Irish defence forces.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May accused Russian Federation of orchestrating the attack since London believes that the Skripals were exposed to the A234 nerve agent, which UK experts claim was developed in the Soviet Union. Turnbull slammed Russian Federation for "reckless and deliberate" conduct that harms global security and violates rules against the use of chemical weapons.

Some high-profile figures pointed out the hypocrisy of Ireland expelling a Russian diplomat when the country did not expel British diplomats for their government's highly-likely involvement in the Dublin and Monaghan bombings, which killed 34 people in 1974.

The Government will decide this morning whether or not to expel Russian diplomats after the Salisbury spy poisoning.

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald asked for a briefing and said that parties had to "see the evidence underpinning the decision".

The Republic's move is in line with actions of 16 European Union members states as well as the United States, Canada and Australia.

Ireland's government is facing pushback for its decision to follow the lead of the United Kingdom, the USA and other European countries and expel a Russian diplomat from the country.

  • Rosalie Stanley