The Russian Embassy in Ireland has placed the blame for the death of Co Mayo man Finbar Cafferkey, who was fighting Russian forces in Ukraine, on the Irish government and media.

“In a very big way it is the Irish Government and media to who bear responsibility for the death of Finbar Cafferkey,” the Russian Embassy said in a statement on Friday, April 28.

“It has been the Government and media who have been promoting anti-Russian propaganda, distorting the truth about the conflict in Ukraine, misleading people like Finbar Cafferkey. 

“Now they face the results of their own efforts.”

Cafferkey’s death was confirmed by his family in Achill, Co Mayo and widely reported in Irish outlets on Thursday, April 27. Ireland's Department of Foreign Affairs said it was providing consular assistance to the family.

On Friday, Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Micheál Martin paid tribute to Cafferkey, telling reporters: “My deepest sympathies to the Cafferky family on the sad passing of Finbar.

“He obviously was a young man of clear principles.

“Our thoughts and our prayers are with the family today.

“I think the family have asked for privacy, I’m not going to comment any further on it at this particular time. I’ll allow the family space to grieve what is a very, very sad loss for them.”

Responding to Martin's comments, the Russian Embassy further said in its statement: "We also do not know if Mr. Martin’s remarks signify support for the Irish to take part in combat in Ukraine, but we do know that if that is the case, then Ireland would be the direct participant of the conflict with all the ensuing consequences."

Fine Gael TD Charlie Flanagan, chair of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence, said on Friday that the Russian Embassy's statement was "threatening, intimidating & chilling" and called for Russia's Ambassador to Ireland Yury Filatov to be expelled:

🇮🇪 🇷🇺 Threatening, intimidating & chilling statement by Russian embassy Dublin. These hostile remarks are unacceptable. Beyond time Ambassador Filatov & his crew were asked to leave our country.

— Charlie Flanagan (@CharlieFlanagan) April 28, 2023