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Wednesday 21 February 2018

Ireland will take additional migrants if requested to do so - Tanaiste

Tánaiste Joan Burton
Tánaiste Joan Burton
Niall O'Connor

Niall O'Connor

Tanaiste Joan Burton has given a clear indication of the Government's willingness to accept additional migrants if requested to do so.

The Labour Party leader today said the Coalition has already responded positively to requests for assistance, for example by dispatching the LE Eithne and Le Niamh to the Mediterranean.

She said a humanitarian crisis is raging across Europe and the Middle East and that all governments must act collectively.

But she confirmed her willingness to accept more migrants if asked to do so.

"I don't think it is a question of asking if anybody is in favour (of accepting more migrants), there is a humanitarian crisis of a very very large scale," Ms Burton said.

"Ireland as well, if we are asked to look at perhaps, taking further people, I think that the Government - both parties in Government - will look at that in the same as we've addressed each of those requests so far."

Earlier, Taoiseach Enda Kenny was asked about criticism of Ireland and other countries by German chancellor Angela Merkel.

He told reporters:

"Chancellor Merkel outlined a number of countries that are outside the quota. And as I said, voluntarily we included ourselves and made that point at the European Council meeting that Ireland would take a number of people over the next few years, despite the fact we are not legally bound..."

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