Europe's refugee policy must aim at making Syria a country fit to go back to
We think of ourselves as an emigrant country and for a long time that was one of our chief defining characteristics. Ireland became severely depopulated because we could not look after our own people.
As a result of this history, we are told that we must be generous towards people wishing to come here as refugees or economic migrants because other countries were generous towards us (for the most part) when we were in need.
This argument has a lot of force and is now being used to good effect as we see huge numbers of migrants head for Europe from countries like Syria and Afghanistan.