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Wednesday 17 July 2019

Bob Geldof: 'I'd be happy to put up four Syrian families right now'

Bob Geldof
Bob Geldof

David Kearns

Irish music legend Bob Geldof says he is willing to take in four refugee families if it helps end the current migrant crisis engulfing Europe.

The Boomtown Rats front man told Dave Fanning this morning on RTÉ Radio 1 that Ireland could not “close our eyes to people dying needlessly”.

“We are better than this, we genuinely are. I'd be happy to put up a Syrian family," he said.

“I’m prepared - I’m lucky, I’ve a place in Kent and a flat in London - me and (partner) Jeanne would be prepared to take three families immediately in our place in Kent and a family in our flat in London, immediately, and put them up until such time as they can get going and get a purchase on their future."

Read More: 'Ireland could take in more than 1,800 refugees' - Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald

Mr Geldof described the migrant situation as “this disgrace, this sickening f**king disgrace”.

Adding: “I can’t stand what is happening. I cannot stand what it does to us.”

The musician, who most famously organised the Live Aid concerts in 1985 and the Band Aid Christmas single, has been involved in humanitarian work for almost 40 years.

"It is a monstrous betrayal of who we are and what we wish to be, we are in a moment that will be discussed and impacted upon in 300 years time, a fundamental shift in the way the world has worked for the last, say, 600 years," he told Dave Fanning.

"With a new economy there needs to be a new politics, and the failure of this new politics has led to this f**king, this disgrace, this sickening f**king disgrace.

"I’ve known and you’ve known and everyone has known that the b*****ks we talk about our values are complete nonsense.

"Once it comes home to roost we deny those values."

Read More: It's time the Irish people took a stance on the refugee crisis

Mr Geldof went on to urged the Irish and UK governments to get their “acts together” and take a lead in tackling the refugee crisis.

The avid campaigner said people were heading to Europe because of political and economic turmoil and the desire for a better life.

"I'm an economic migrant too... and that's why I'm very bitter about Ireland now," he added.

His comments come as Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald said today that Ireland would accept at least 1,800 refugees.

Read More: Let's ensure Aylan's death was not in vain

Ms Fitzgerald said the refugee crisis demanded “the most comprehensive response" and that the number of refugees expected to come to Ireland was “clearly going to increase”.

"I think it will be in the thousands. It's very hard to put a precise figure on it. We want to respond in as a humanitarian way as possible."

Ms Fitzgerald revealed the increase two days after images emerged of three-year-old Syria Aylan Kurdi's body being washed up on a Turkish beach, an image that lead to massive public outcry over Europe's failure to tackle the tens of thousands of people attempting to enter its borders.

Anyone looking for information on the migrant crisis or who wishes to help can contact:

World Vision (01) 498 0800

Irish Refugee Council (01) 7645854

Medecins Sans Frontier (01) 6603337

Irish Red Cross (01) 6424600

Oxfam Ireland (01) 6727662

Concern (01) 4177700

GOAL (01) 2809779

UNICEF Ireland (01) 8783000

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