29 November 2016
The Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality, Frances Fitzgerald TD, today confirmed that she is sending another mission to Lebanon to select a further 260 refugees to come to Ireland. This is part of the Government's commitment to admit 4,000 persons under the Irish Refugee Protection Programme (IRPP).
The Tánaiste said, “I am pleased to announce that I am sending our fourth mission to Lebanon to arrange for 260 more refugees to come to Ireland. Many of them have fled the devastation of war and destruction in Syria. They will get a new home here in Ireland.”
The Tánaiste continued, “The Refugee Resettlement Strand is making good progress. 507 refugees have already arrived from Lebanon. 519 refugees will have arrived by the end of December fulfilling our original quota a year ahead of the EU deadline of 8 December 2017. I am pleased to build on that early success by in effect doubling our overall commitment to resettle refugees under this two-year programme.”
The decision by the Tánaiste to increase the number of refugees to arrive in Ireland under the Resettlement Strand of the IRPP takes account of the slower than anticipated arrival of asylum seekers from Greece and Italy as a result of operational difficulties experienced by all countries in the initial establishment of the programme in those countries.
“My decision reflects the Government's commitment to welcome vulnerable refugees fleeing war and conflict and is another positive step towards meeting Ireland's overall commitment to accept 4000 persons. Once in Ireland, these resettled refugees will have access to vital health and education services. Our focus will be on helping them to rebuild their lives here in Ireland.”
“A further 40 Syrians arrived in Ireland from Greece in the last couple of weeks under the relocation programme. Another 132 are due to arrive from Greece in mid-December with regular substantial monthly arrivals from Greece thereafter. A large percentage of the arrivals are children, often very young children. The Greek programme is now working very well and Ireland will meet its full obligations to Greece. I am aware that progress regarding the relocation of persons from Italy has been disappointing but Ireland continues to work with Italian colleagues to try to make the Italian relocation programme operational.”