Ireland’s move to formally recognise the state of Palestine sends “a powerful message” but must be built upon through “tangible action”, Irish politicians have said.

The reaction comes as Ireland, Norway and Spain made a joint announcement that they would recognise the state of Palestine, sparking anger from Israel which summoned those countries’ ambassadors and recalled its own.

The leader of Ireland’s largest opposition party, Sinn Fein, said the recognition of Palestine by Ireland is an important step for the Palestinian people.

Mary Lou McDonald said although Ireland was a small nation, it can “punch above our weight when it comes to influence” in the EU and US.

“The recognition of Palestinian statehood by Ireland must be the first step in the Government playing a leading international role in assisting the creation of an independent and sovereign Palestinian state,” she said.

“The Government must follow today’s announcement by utilising every tool at their disposal to hold Israel to account and to demand full adherence to international law.”

Social Democrats leader Holly Cairns welcomed the decision, describing it as a “powerful move”.

“I also want to pay tribute to the many tens of thousands of Irish people who fought for the government to take this step,” Ms Cairns added.

“Every weekend in every corner of the country, in cities, towns, villages and college campuses, people have marched in support of the Palestinian people and demanded an end to the ongoing genocide.

“The Irish people’s solidarity with the Palestinian people is unbreakable. It’s long past time this solidarity was formally acknowledged by our Government with recognition of the State of Palestine.

“My only wish is that it happened sooner. It’s now eight months into this conflict, with nearly 130,000 Palestinians having being killed, maimed or gone missing presumed dead under mountains of rubble.

“The scale of death and devastation is truly horrifying. That so much of the Western world has turned a blind eye to this carnage is shameful and it’s shocking.”

The West Cork TD called on the Government to enact the Occupied Territories Bill and the Illegal Israeli Settlement Divestment Bill.

Taoiseach Simon Harris told Ms Cairns that he is continuing to push EU leaders for a review of the EU trade agreement with Israel.

He said he was “frustrated” he has not yet persuaded others of the “merits” of the review.

Fianna Fail MEP Barry Andrews said that the move by Ireland, Norway and Spain to recognise the state of Palestine “sends a powerful message” and the EU “must now step up”.

He said that after “months of inaction and deafening silence” by some leaders, the EU has an opportunity “to do the right thing”.

“Three decades after the Oslo process began, the Israeli government has been increasingly and explicitly clear that it does not, and will not, accept a Palestinian state,” Mr Andrews said.

“As such, it is now critical for the international community and especially the EU, which has extensive diplomatic and economic links to both Palestine and Israel, to recognise a Palestinian state, based on 1967 borders, if we are to have a chance at peace and the two-state solution.

“We need to make clear that Palestinian self-determination is not negotiable; it is, as the UN has made clear, an inalienable right.”

The chief executive of Irish charity Trocaire, Caoimhe de Barra, welcomed the move, but said Ireland needed to “build” on the recognition by increasing pressure on Israel to negotiate “a just peace”.

“Ireland can do this by enacting laws that ensure that Irish taxpayer money is not invested in the illegally occupied Palestinian territories or in Israeli defence companies and that goods and services produced in the occupied territories cannot be traded in Ireland,” she said.

“By taking such tangible and practical actions, the Irish Government can continue to show leadership in bringing about an end to the appalling situation in Palestine.”

Independent MEP Clare Daly said: “Ireland should have recognised Palestine as a state decades ago.

“While welcome, taking this step now is yet another symbolic gesture from the Government, when what Palestinians need is tangible action, such as an arms embargo, denial of passage through Shannon airport to US military aircraft aiding the genocide, and suspension of the trade relationship with Israel.”

She said that Irish exports of dual-use goods to Israel “increased sevenfold” in 2023, and so the Government should end Ireland’s “complicity” in what is happening to the people of Gaza.