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Sunday 4 December 2016

Irish naval vessel to join humanitarian mission to aid migrants crossing the Med

Published 23/04/2015 | 16:53

Rescued migrants line up after disembarking from the Italian Navy vessel
Rescued migrants line up after disembarking from the Italian Navy vessel "Bettica" in the harbor of Augusta, Sicily, southern Italy. Photo: AP

The Irish navy is set to take part in the humanitarian mission to aid migrants at risk from drowning in the Mediterranean as they flee from war-torn regions.

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The Taoiseach said today that the government were planning to send a ship from the Irish fleet to aid in search-and-rescue in the wake of a succession of tragedies in which 1,700 people have died this year.

“Depending on the caveats and the legal requirements here in respect of search and rescue for humanitarian functions, we are prepared to allocate a fully-crewed and equipped naval vessel,” he said. At present the Irish Navy has eight ships in its fleet.

Mr Kenny was speaking as he arrived in Brussels to attend a crisis summit of EU leaders over the human trafficking tragedy in the Mediterranean. The summit was called after widespread outrage was sparked by the deaths of up to 950 migrants off the Libyan coast last weekend.

He described the multiple deaths as “a mounting humanitarian and political crisis, the equivalent of more than three jumbo jets being lost” and said that today the government have approved €1m donation through the Red Cross to Libya.

The leaders are expected to sign off on a series of measures to expand search-and-rescue operations and to strengthen measures to crack down on traffickers. “This is a case of protecting innocent people who are fleeing from areas of war and terror. Politics and political leadership is about creating solutions to these problems. People are entitled to live,” said the Taoiseach.

A migrant, trying to reach Greece, is rescued by a man at the coast of the southeastern island of Rhodes April 20, 2015. REUTERS/Argiris Mantikos/Eurokinissi
A migrant, trying to reach Greece, is rescued by a man at the coast of the southeastern island of Rhodes April 20, 2015. REUTERS/Argiris Mantikos/Eurokinissi
The wreckage of a boat used by migrants is seen in Catania's Harbour, Italy, Monday, April 20, 2015. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
A migrant (C), trying to reach Greece, is carried by a Greek Coast guard officer at the coast of the southeastern island of Rhodes April 20, 2015. REUTERS/Argiris Mantikos/Eurokinissi
An Italian coastguard officer salutes as Armed Forces of Malta personnel in protective clothing carry the body of a dead immigrant off the ship Bruno Gregoretti in Senglea, in Valletta's Grand Harbour REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi
Italian coastguard and Armed Forces of Malta personnel in protective clothing carry the body of a dead immigrant off the ship Bruno Gregoretti in Senglea, in Valletta's Grand Harbour REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi
Surviving immigrants lie on the deck of Italian coastguard ship Bruno Gregoretti in Senglea, in Valletta's Grand Harbour REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi
Surviving immigrants lie on the deck of Italian coastguard ship Bruno Gregoretti in Senglea, in Valletta's Grand Harbour REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi
Surviving immigrants lie on the deck of Italian coastguard ship Bruno Gregoretti in Senglea, in Valletta's Grand Harbour REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi
Italian coastguard personnel in protective clothing stand near the bodies of dead immigrants on their ship Bruno Gregoretti in Senglea, in Valletta's Grand Harbour REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi
Italian coastguard personnel in protective clothing carry the body of a dead immigrant on their ship Bruno Gregoretti in Senglea, in Valletta's Grand Harbour REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi
Italian coastguard personnel in protective clothing carry the body of a dead immigrant off their ship Bruno Gregoretti in Senglea, in Valletta's Grand Harbour REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi
Italian Coast Guard officers disembark the body of a dead migrant off the ship Bruno Gregoretti, in Valletta's Grand Harbour (AP Photo/Lino Azzopardi)
Armed Forces of Malta personnel in protective clothing carry the body of a dead immigrant off Italian coastguard ship Bruno Gregoretti as surviving migrants watch in Senglea, in Valletta's Grand Harbour REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi
Armed Forces of Malta personnel in protective clothing carry the body of a dead immigrant off the Italian coastguard ship Bruno Gregoretti as surviving migrants watch in Senglea, in Valletta's Grand Harbour REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi
Migrants wait to disembark in the Sicilian harbor of Pozzallo, Italy (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
The Italian coastguard ship 'Bruno Gregoretti', carrying dead immigrants on board, arrives in Senglea, in Valletta's Grand, Harbour REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi
The Italian coastguard ship 'Bruno Gregoretti', carrying dead immigrants on board, arrives in Senglea, in Valletta's Grand, Harbour REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi
The Italian coastguard ship 'Bruno Gregoretti', carrying dead immigrants on board, arrives in Senglea, in Valletta's Grand, HarbourREUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi
Italian coastguard personnel in protective clothing stand on the deck of their ship 'Bruno Gregoretti', carrying dead immigrants on board, as it arrives in Senglea, in Valletta's Grand, Harbour REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi
Italian coastguard personnel in protective clothing stand on the deck of their ship 'Bruno Gregoretti', carrying dead immigrants on board, as it arrives in Senglea, in Valletta's Grand, Harbour REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi
Migrants wait to disembark in the Sicilian harbor of Pozzallo, Italy (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
A rescuer cradles a child in the Sicilian harbor of Pozzallo, Italy, early Monday (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
Migrants wait to disembark in the Sicilian harbor of Pozzallo, Italy (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
Migrants wait to disembark in the Sicilian harbor of Pozzallo, Italy (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
The Italian coastguard ship 'Bruno Gregoretti', carrying dead immigrants on board, arrives in Senglea, in Valletta's Grand, HarbourREUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi
A woman carries a child as she disembarks in the Sicilian harbor of Pozzallo, Italy (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
A rescuer, right, cradles a child in the Sicilian harbor of Pozzallo, Italy (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
Children are carried by rescue workers as migrants arrive via boat at the Sicilian harbor of Pozzallo April 19, 2015. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi
A child (C) is carried into bus as migrants arrive via boat at the Sicilian harbor of Pozzallo April 20, 2015. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi
Migrants arrive on a boat at the Sicilian harbor of Pozzallo April 20, 2015. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi
Italian police (R) photograph a child after migrants arrived via boat at the Sicilian harbor of Pozzallo April 19, 2015. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi
A child is carried by a rescue worker (R) as migrants arrive on a boat at the Sicilian harbor of Pozzallo April 19, 2015. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi
Children are carried by rescue workers as they arrive with migrants on the boat at the Sicilian harbor of Pozzallo April 19, 2015. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi
A child is carried by a rescue worker (R) as he arrives with migrants on the boat at the Sicilian harbor of Pozzallo April 19, 2015. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi
Migrants arrive on the boat at the Sicilian harbor of Pozzallo April 19, 2015. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi
A child looks on as he arrives with migrants on a boat at the Sicilian harbor of Pozzallo April 19, 2015. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi
Migrants arrive on the boat at the Sicilian harbor of Pozzallo April 19, 2015. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi
Rescuers help children to disembark in the Sicilian harbor of Pozzallo, Italy (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
A migrant is helped disembark in the Sicilian harbor of Pozzallo, Italy, early Monday, April 20, 2015. About 100 migrants, including 28 children, were rescued on Sunday by a merchant vessel in the Sicilian Strait while they were trying to cross. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
An Italian Police officer stands next to mug shots of alleged migrant traffickers shown during a press conference, in Palermo, Sicily, Italy, Monday, April 20, 2015. (AP Photo/Alessandro Fucarini)
A man rescues an migrant from the Aegean sea, in the eastern island of Rhodes, Monday, April 20, 2015. Greek authorities said that at least three people have died, including a child, after a wooden boat carrying tens of migrants ran aground off the island of Rhodes. (Argiris Mantikos/Eurokinissi via AP)
Armed Forces of Malta personnel in protective clothing carry the body of a dead immigrant off the Italian coastguard ship Bruno Gregoretti as surviving migrants watch in Senglea, in Valletta's Grand Harbour April 20, 2015. REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi
People stand next to the recovered body of a migrant, who tried to reach Greece, at the coast of the southeastern island of Rhodes April 20, 2015. REUTERS/Argiris Mantikos/Eurokinissi
ALTERNATIVE CROP -- Italian Coast Guard officers disembark the body of a dead migrant off the ship Bruno Gregoretti, in Valletta's Grand Harbour, Monday, April 20 2015. (AP Photo/Lino Azzopardi)
Survivors of the smuggler's boat that overturned off the coasts of Libya lie on the deck of the Italian Coast Guard ship Bruno Gregoretti, in Valletta's Grand Harbour, Monday, April 20 2015. (AP Photo/Lino Azzopardi)
Survivors of a smuggler's boat that overturned off the coasts of Libya lie on the deck of the Italian Coast Guard ship Bruno Gregoretti, in Valletta's Grand Harbour, Monday, April 20 2015. (AP Photo/Lino Azzopardi)
Medical personnel walk a survivor of the smuggler's boat that overturned off the coasts of Libya, on the deck of the Italian Coast Guard ship Bruno Gregoretti, in Valletta's Grand Harbour, Monday, April 20 2015. (AP Photo/Lino Azzopardi)
Survivors of the smuggler's boat that overturned off the coasts of Libya lie on the deck of the Italian Coast Guard ship Bruno Gregoretti, in Valletta's Grand Harbour, Monday, April 20 2015. (AP Photo/Lino Azzopardi)
A man carries the recovered body of a dead migrant child at the coast of the southeastern island of Rhodes April 20, 2015. REUTERS/Argiris Mantikos/Eurokinissi
Italian Coast Guard officers disembark the body of a dead migrant off the ship Bruno Gregoretti, in Valletta's Grand Harbour, Monday, April 20 2015. (AP Photo/Lino Azzopardi)
Surviving immigrants lie on the deck of the Italian coastguard ship Bruno Gregoretti in Senglea, in Valletta's Grand Harbour, April 20, 2015. REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi
Armed Forces of Malta personnel in protective clothing carry the body of a dead immigrant off Italian coastguard ship Bruno Gregoretti as surviving migrants watch in Senglea, in Valletta's Grand Harbour, April 20, 2015. REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi
Armed Forces of Malta personnel in protective clothing carry the body of a dead immigrant off Italian coastguard ship Bruno Gregoretti as surviving migrants watch in Senglea, in Valletta's Grand Harbour, April 20, 2015. REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi
Armed Forces of Malta personnel in protective clothing carry the body of a dead immigrant into a vehicle after disembarking from the Italian coastguard ship Bruno Gregoretti in Senglea, in Valletta's Grand Harbour, April 20, 2015. REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi
Armed Forces of Malta personnel in protective clothing carry the body of a dead immigrant into a hearse after disembarking from Italian coastguard ship Bruno Gregoretti in Senglea, in Valletta's Grand Harbour April 20, 2015. REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi
Armed Forces of Malta personnel in protective clothing carry the body of a dead immigrant off the Italian coastguard ship Bruno Gregoretti as surviving migrants watch in Senglea, in Valletta's Grand Harbour April 20, 2015. REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi
Armed Forces of Malta personnel in protective clothing carry the body of a dead immigrant off the Italian coastguard ship Bruno Gregoretti as surviving migrants watch in Senglea, in Valletta's Grand Harbour April 20, 2015. REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi
Armed Forces of Malta personnel in protective clothing carry the body of a dead immigrant off Italian coastguard ship Bruno Gregoretti as surviving migrants watch in Senglea, in Valletta's Grand Harbour, April 20, 2015. REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi
Surviving immigrants lie on the deck of Italian coastguard ship Bruno Gregoretti in Senglea, in Valletta's Grand Harbour April 20, 2015. REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi
Surviving immigrants lie on the deck of the Italian coastguard ship Bruno Gregoretti in Senglea, in Valletta's Grand Harbour April 20, 2015. REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi
Italian Coast Guard officers disembark the body of a dead migrant off the ship Bruno Gregoretti, in Valletta's Grand Harbour, Monday, April 20 2015. (AP Photo/Lino Azzopardi)
Rescuers help children to disembark in the Sicilian harbor of Pozzallo, Italy, early Monday, April 20, 2015. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
Migrants wait to disembark in the Sicilian harbor of Pozzallo, Italy, early Monday, April 20, 2015. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
Migrants wait to disembark in the Sicilian harbor of Pozzallo, Italy, early Monday, April 20, 2015. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
A rescuer cradles a child in the Sicilian harbor of Pozzallo, Italy, early Monday, April 20, 2015. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

The EU summit comes in the wake of trenchant criticism from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon who said this week who said the thousands of deaths “should shock the global conscience. The Mediterranean is fast becoming a sea of misery for thousands of migrants”.

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