Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on European Affairs Timmy Dooley has said he is disappointed by the government’s unilateral strategy in response to the refugee crisis.
Welcoming the announcement that Ireland is to support a total of 4,000 refugees in a relocation and resettlement programme Deputy Dooley said: “It’s clear that the refugees Ireland will be taking in will require significant support including access to medical, language and psychological services. I welcome the government’s initial announcement this morning but much more detail is needed to ensure there is a comprehensive strategy in place.
“I am surprised and disappointed by the manner in which the government has handled this crisis to date. There has been no attempt it seems to include the NGOs working in this area. There has been no effort to have a debate in Oireachtas. The government has failed to show any leadership at EU level and astonishingly there has been no EU Leaders’ summit to specifically address the refugee crisis. How many meetings did EU leaders’ have on Greece’s latest bailout?
“I think it has been clear for some time that the vast majority of Irish people feel we should be providing additional support and taking in more refugees and it’s quite unfortunate the government had to be dragged kicking and screaming to this point. Fianna Fáil has consistently made the point that Ireland needs a roadmap and that we should be having a national dialogue involved charities, NGOs and volunteer groups working in this area.
“The government has a lot more detail to pull together on its plan. We need a full Dáil debate and much more dialogue and co-operation to respond to the crisis. We need to know that the network of emergency reception and orientation centres to be established under plan will be appropriate. I look forward to the government producing a comprehensive, detailed audit of what accommodation options are available on a temporary and long-term basis from the Department of Defence, the OPW and voluntary public offers.
“To date the government has failed to show the necessary leadership at national and EU level in response to the greatest humanitarian emergency in Europe since World Word II. Ireland needs to step-up to the mark.”