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Question

773. Deputy Neasa Hourigan asked the Minister for Justice her plans to grant asylum to persons located in migrant camps on the Greek islands of Lesbos, Chios and Samos; the number of persons granted asylum in 2020; the number of persons she plans to grant asylum to in 2021; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [16284/21]

Answer

Minister for Justice (Deputy Helen McEntee): Ireland strongly supports the principle of solidarity and recognises that assistance is required for Member States who receive a disproportionate number of international protection applicants. However, the Deputy should be aware that I have no jurisdiction to grant international protection to people located in camps on the Greek islands. That is solely a matter for the Greek authorities.
Notwithstanding this, in October 2020, Ireland agreed to accept 50 persons, in family groups, who had been granted international protection in Greece and who had been displaced from the Moira camp on the island of Lesbos following the fire that destroyed the Camp. These families are to be admitted to Ireland as part of the Irish Refugee Protection Programme (IRPP), which is now under the remit of my colleague, Minister O'Gorman. That pledge was in addition to the commitment that Ireland had already made with the UNHCR to resettle 2,900 refugees to Ireland, mainly from Jordan and Lebanon, between 2020 and 2023.
I understand from Minister O'Gorman that families have been accepted by Ireland, subject to any assessment, security or otherwise to be undertaken. The Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth is working with the Greek authorities and other relevant stakeholders to organise their relocation to Ireland as soon as possible, with due regard to Covid-19 protocols and restrictions.