Sunday 4 December 2016

We risk repeating our WWII failure in current migrant crisis

Collette Browne

Published 01/09/2015 | 02:30


In an impassioned speech about Ireland's shameful failure to do more to help refugees in Europe, former Justice Minister Alan Shatter said the country had lost its "moral compass" because the "doors of the State were firmly closed to families trying to escape from persecution and death".

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No, he wasn't talking about the current crisis unfolding across the continent and our pathetic promise to accept just 600 people from hundreds of thousands over two years. He was speaking in 2012 about our abandonment of Jewish refugees during World War II.

Official documents from that period show two reasons were repeatedly cited for Ireland's failure to help Jews. The first should sound familiar, as it's the same excuse being trotted out now. As a poor country, we didn't have the resources to support an influx of refugees - even if they were facing certain death.

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