Total of 109 asylum seekers have arrived in Ireland from Greece

Children waiting for a bus to Athens airport to take a special charter flight to France. Photograph: Louisa Gouliamaki/AFP/Getty Images

A total of 109 asylum seekers have arrived in Ireland from Greece under the Irish Refugee Protection Programme (IRPP), with an additional 215 expected to arrive by the end of the year.

In the latest update from the IRPP relocation scheme, the Department of Justice told The Irish Times it hoped to relocate 324 people to Ireland by the end of the year, including 143 children.

A spokesman said 40 asylum seekers had arrived under the relocation strand of IRPP last week, while approximately 60 more are due to arrive by the end of November. He added that more than 80 people are expected to arrive each month from December.

Under EU rules those chosen for relocation must be of a nationality with a “high refugee recognition rate”. The largest group that falls under this heading is Syrians.

Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald announced in September 2015 that Ireland would accept up to 4,000 as part of a co-ordinated EU response to the refugee crisis. The Government agreed to accept 2,622 asylum seekers under the scheme as well as a further 520 under a programme with the United Nations.

According to the department, “significant progress” has been made towards fulfilling the commitment of resettling these 520 people from refugee camps in Jordan and Lebanon. Some 507 refugees have arrived in Ireland to date under the UN programme, including 236 adults and 271 children.

The Cabinet agreed last July that Ireland would commit to accepting an additional 260 refugees from camps in Lebanon.

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