Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs & Trade Darragh O’Brien says the Irish Government should notify French authorities of its willingness to accept a number of unaccompanied minors from the Calais Camp.

Speaking ahead of statements in the Dáil tomorrow on this issue Deputy O’Brien said, “The situation in Calais, particularly in relation to unaccompanied minors, is very disturbing and worrying. These children are exceptionally vulnerable and I believe that on humanitarian grounds the Government should notify the French authorities of its willingness to accept 200 unaccompanied minors.

“It is important that while the Irish Government shows leadership on this issue, it must be done in a considered manner and in conjunction with the relevant authorities in France. Children in the Calais camp do not fall under the various resettlement and relocation programmes that Ireland has agreed to so it is imperative that we ensure that all the appropriate procedures are followed in this regard.

“I am calling on the Government to make it known to the French authorities its willingness to accept 200 unaccompanied minors. At the end of the day this is an appalling situation and these children are at risk of all forms of exploitation. It is clear that we need action by the Government as soon as feasibly possible”.