Thursday 29 September 2016

Coalition caves on taking in refugees

John Downing, Lise Hand and Niall O'Connor

Published 04/09/2015 | 02:30

Hungarian policemen stand by a family of migrants who tried to flee the railway station in the town of Bicske
Hungarian policemen stand by a family of migrants who tried to flee the railway station in the town of Bicske

Ireland will take in "several thousand" more refugees over the coming years in new re-settlement programmes aimed at dealing with the biggest humanitarian crisis since World War II.

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Senior ministers, led by the Taoiseach, confirmed a major U-turn on the Government's extremely cautious approach up to now. It came as harrowing pictures of body of three-year-old Aylan Kurdi on a Turkish beach awakened public opinion across Ireland and the world.

After talks in Paris with French President Francois Hollande yesterday, Taoiseach Enda Kenny said that the tragic image must shock the world into action.

"Any parent could see that child in their own arms. Here was the body of a young boy, a life lost and wasted, washed up on a beach," Mr Kenny said.

Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald also last night revealed plans to send a team of immigration officials to so-called migration "hotspots".

EU leaders have struggled to frame a migrant policy, with Italy, Greece and Germany bearing the brunt of the crisis.

Irish Independent

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