Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Trade, Darragh O’Brien TD has said that the Government is failing to meet its commitment as part of the EU response to the plight of the hundreds of thousands of vulnerable people fleeing war or the danger of persecution.
The latest information received by the Deputy through Parliamentary Question has revealed that to-date Ireland has received just 1,238 refugees and asylum seekers despite pledging to accommodate 4,000.
O’Brien commented, “In September 2015 the then Fine-Gael led Government made a firm commitment to take in 4,000 refugees into the State by the end of 2017.
“While international outcry may appear to have dampened, just 1,238 refugees have been resettled or relocated here while crisis continues to heighten. This slow pace in relocation makes it increasingly unlikely for Ireland to meet its pledge in the face of such desperate need.
“The Minister for Justice, Frances Fitzgerald also made a further commitment to take up to 200 children from the now dismantled Calais camp. The information I have received indicates that only 21 unaccompanied minors have been relocated here under this initiative,” he added.
“It is clear that the Government must urgently act to increase its intake of refugees seeking safety for Ireland to meet this most basic commitment, and Minister Fitzgerald is obliged to expedite this process.
“We are in the midst of a desperate humanitarian crisis, and we should not be found wanting when it comes to playing our part in a co-ordinated global response to bring these people to safety.
“It is in the spirit of Ireland to act in solidarity with those most in need, and it is time for Government to match their words with tangible action.”