Wednesday 20 September 2017

Syrian refugees will get a warm welcome - but integration is key

Stranded Syrian refugees at a camp near Athens, Greece. Some 240 Syrians are to be temporarily housed in the Roscommon town of Ballaghaderreen Photo: Yannis Behrakis / Reuters
Stranded Syrian refugees at a camp near Athens, Greece. Some 240 Syrians are to be temporarily housed in the Roscommon town of Ballaghaderreen Photo: Yannis Behrakis / Reuters
Mary Kenny

Mary Kenny

The people of Ballaghaderreen, Co Roscommon, surely deserve a round of applause for the way in which - so far - they have welcomed the prospect of 240 Syrian refugees being placed in their small town as an emergency measure.

They're not pleased with the way the Department of Justice organised it without any consultation, yet the people of the town have shown a thoroughly decent attitude in welcoming the strangers and giving asylum to the refugees.

Mary Gallagher was especially impressive in the way she spoke about how Irish people would identify with the refugees. That many of the group will be children or young people afflicted by war makes it a particularly touching endeavour.

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