Irish response to migrant crisis described as ‘shameful’

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Ireland’s response to the refugee crisis has been called shameful after just 331 people were given sanctuary here in the past year.

Just one of the new arrivals was an unaccompanied child despite a Government pledge in September last year that children travelling alone would be given a special place here.

There are concerns Ireland is set for international humiliation when the country co-chairs the first ever UN Summit on Refugees and Migration in New York this month at a time when our own contribution to tackling the problem is so poor.

More than 20 groups forming the Refugee and Migrant Coalition have called on the Government to step up its response before then.

They want an urgent increase on the intake of refugees, action on the commitment to prioritise unaccompanied children, and the introduction of a new humanitarian scheme that would allow people already living in Ireland to bring loved ones to safety here.

In the wake of the outcry over the death of Syrian toddler Alan Kurdi in September last year, the Government committed to take 4,000 refugees, a figure the coalition says is too low.

Just 38, all from Syria, have been brought here from camps in Greece under the EU relocation programme and 293 from camps in Lebanon under the UN resettlement programme.

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