The Lord Mayor made the comments during a visit by the Ukrainian ambassador to Ireland, Larysa Gerasko to City Hall yesterday.
The visit came in the same week that the Taoiseach Micheál Martin said he hoped that those who arrived in Ireland from Ukraine found “a safe harbour”, something which resonates with Cork’s motto, ‘Statio bene fida carinis’ or ‘a safe harbour for ships’.
Ms Gerasko was said to be moved during her visit by the words of Terence MacSwiney conveyed to her by Mr Kelleher: “It is not those who can inflict the most but those who can endure the most who will conquer.”
During her visit to City Hall, Ms Gerasko attended an online meeting of Cork City Council’s community response forum — a dedicated group working to help new arrivals from Ukraine to access services locally before meeting with Mr Kelleher.
Mr Kelleher said Ms Gerasko was “touched” by the famous words of Cork’s martyred mayor and that he reaffirmed the city’s commitment to assisting the people of Ukraine in any way possible.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Ukraine,” Mr Kelleher said.