After a week when events in Paris left us shocked to the core, President Michael D Higgins made a timely intervention in the ongoing debate on refugees yesterday.
Delivering the annual Daniel O'Connell Memorial Lecture, the President pointed out the issues of refugees and migrants arriving in Europe are "both a great human rights challenge and also a great test of political leadership".
"We are living through the greatest level of human displacement since World War II, with 60 million people forced from their homes by war.
"We see the results of this with the ongoing tumultuous displacement of people across the Middle East and beyond and the tragic loss of life witnessed in the Mediterranean Sea."
At a time when the admission of refugees is coming under ever greater scrutiny across Europe, the President sought to put the plight of those fleeing persecution front and centre.
Ireland has a robust refugee application system in place.
It is vital that this system maintains its integrity, helping those genuine cases so our country's strong record on human rights remains intact.