Ireland plans to resettle an additional 330 refugees in 2018, Minister for Justice and Equality Charlie Flanagan announced on Friday.
Flanagan made the announcement after attending discussions on migration at the EU Justice and Home Affairs Council in Brussels. Ireland has promised to accommodate 600 overall this year.
Over 1,300 people including 650 children have found refuge in Ireland to date. However, the overall target for the 2015 emergency programmes was four times that number.
Flanagan said “I informed my EU colleagues yesterday that Ireland will put forward a pledge of 600 refugees during this period. This includes a commitment to take an additional 330 programme refugees above the 270 people who are due to arrive in 2018.”
“This demonstrates Ireland’s continuing commitment to play a full and active part in the EU efforts to meet the challenges of the migration crisis.”
Of the 1,300 people who arrived in Ireland so far this year approximately 720 have been housed in communities around Ireland and a smaller number were under the care of Tusla, the child and family agency.
Aimee Crawford, chairperson of DCU’s Amnesty International Society welcomed the intake of refugees by the Irish government. However, she felt that the number of refugees currently being accepted by the EU could be greater.
“Ireland has performed well in settling 552 asylum seekers under the EU relocation programme.
“However, collectively Europe has fulfilled just 28.7 per cent of our promises. The Irish government must push for EU policy approaches which fulfil our collective obligations. Minister Flanagan’s announcement to establish a community sponsorship programme for refugees a couple of weeks ago is also a very positive step in dealing with the crisis.
This programme has been hugely successful in many other countries, most notably Canada and will give local communities in Ireland the opportunity to provide a safe haven to those fleeing persecution, through both emotional and financial supports.”