Lucinda Creighton: This Government is not doing enough to protect us from global terrorist threat
In 2014, a total of 1,450 applications for asylum were recorded in Ireland, up 505 on 2013 figures. However, we are well below the European average in terms of asylum seekers who come into Ireland. Official figures show that Ireland receives 0.3 asylum seekers for every 1,000 people living in Ireland, compared to 1.2 asylum seekers per 1,000 across the European Union.
Of the 160,000 refugees fleeing the Syrian conflict to be settled across the EU, Ireland is accepting 4,000 refugees, or 2.5pc of the total number of refugees to resettle across the EU. Ireland represents just less than 1pc of the total population of the EU, so on that basic number, Ireland is punching above its weight in terms of its contribution to addressing the Syrian refugee crisis.
The Office of Refugee Applications Commissioner, an office most Irish people have probably never heard of, is in fact responsible for processing all applications for asylum in this country. The Justice Minister is bound to accept all recommendations from that office unless questions of "national security" or "public policy" arise.