The Fianna Fáil Leader has urged the Taoiseach to take urgent action on accommodating more refugees above and beyond the promised increase.
Micheál Martin commented, “It is clear from the public outpouring this week that Irish people are willing to accommodate more families who have fled war torn countries. It is within our power to do this immediately – we do not have to wait for an EU agreement.
“I welcome the fact that the Taoiseach has at last confirmed that Ireland will accommodate more than 600 refugees. He has said that Ireland will take up to 1,800 people. But I believe that Ireland can and should do more than that. This is 0.2225% of the number Germany has accepted. Germany has lead by example over the summer months and has taken 800,000 refugees. They did not lag behind, waiting for a pan European response. They have taken 40% more than they are ‘obliged to’.
“The EU will be allocating funding to the countries that will accommodate refugees and the Taoiseach needs to outline what this will mean for Ireland. There is no doubt that the Irish people want more to be done to help the families who are running in desperation from their war torn countries. We do not need more people to die while they try to escape from Syria and other failed states.
“Europe has responded too slowly and Ireland must lead the way by playing its part. The failure to deal with this refugee crisis has dramatically increased the costs of this humanitarian disaster. Thousands of people have died already. This is the worst humanitarian crisis since World War Two.
“Fianna Fáil wrote to the Taoiseach yesterday requesting that the Dáil be called back early so that we can debate this humanitarian crisis. There needs to be a more urgent domestic response and we do not have to wait for the EU to respond. The Irish people want Ireland to accommodate more refugees and an emergency committee must be set up urgently to ensure a cross-party response that will enable this to happen.”