Ireland can and should do more to help refugees - Mary Lou McDonald TD
Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald has said Taoiseach Enda Kenny must push for EU action on the refugee crisis when he meets French President Francois Hollande in France today.
Deputy McDonald said the quota of 600 refugees that Ireland has been asked to take in is woefully inadequate and must be re-examined. She said Ireland can and should do more to help.
Deputy McDonald said,
“The Irish people share a common history with those escaping conflict and hunger. We cannot stand by and watch others experience the horrors of the coffin ships.
“Human dignity and compassion means that we all have a responsibility to protect those fleeing conflict. There should be no more photos of drowned children washed up on the shore.
“It is quite clear now that the quota of 600 refugees that Ireland has agreed to take in is woefully inadequate and this needs to be re-examined. Enda Kenny should bring this up with French President Francois Hollande when he meets him in France today.
“Ireland can and should do more. This must include increasing aid and the number of refugees accepted, ending direct provision and investing in housing and public services. We cannot just expect refugees to join the list of already over stretched public services. This cannot be an either/or situation we must invest in public services to meet the needs of all.
“The refugees all deserve more than words and handwringing, they deserve action, investment and support. This government must act on the crisis on our streets and on our doorstep.”