Belarussian activist Svetlana Tikhanovskaya meets old friends in Roscrea

Prominent Belarussian activist Svetlana Tikhanovskaya says her heart was shaking with excitement as she returned to Roscrea yesterday.

She’s been revisiting the town as part of a trip to Ireland this week to discuss the political crisis in Belarus, where she has become the biggest opponent to long-term leader Alexander Lukashenko.

Svetlana spent the summers of 1996, 2003 and 2004 in Roscrea with Henry Deane, who established the Chernobyl Lifeline Project.

Speaking to Tipp FM, she said it was special to return to Roscrea yesterday but that she can’t fully relax.

“It’s a very significant day in my life when I had the opportunity to return to this family.”

“But I can’t feel this happiness properly because I get news every hour that new people are being imprisoned in Belarus – human rights defenders, journalists and activists.”