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Government lagging behind public on refugee crisis - Adams

7 September, 2015 - by Gerry Adams

Sinn Féin Leader Gerry Adams has said that the Government is lagging behind the people in its response to the international refugee crisis.

Gerry Adams said:

"Sinn Féin has repeatedly raised the escalating refugee crisis with the Government and in the Dáil over the past two years.

"We have called for an increase in the amount of refugees accommodated in this State in line with the scale of the crisis.

"Only in the past week, due to public pressure and the huge outpouring of sympathy for the plight of refugees from Irish people, has the Government sought to respond.

"However, Government Ministers have been making up policy on the hoof, sending out confusing and contradictory signals as to what it is prepared to do.

"It needs now to publicly explain and detail its plans in response to a humanitarian crisis on a scale not seen in Europe since the Second World War.

"It needs to listen to citizens, to the opposition and to those working on the ground with refugees in formulating concrete proposals. It also needs to coordinate any response with civil society organisations. 

"This crisis is manageable but only if Government rises to the challenge. Currently they are lagging well behind the people, many of whom have offered up rooms in their own homes to house refugees.

"The Irish people are hugely generous. Previous humanitarian crises have seen the public donate and volunteer in huge numbers. I am confident the same will happen with this crisis.

"This state punches above its weight internationally with the extremely successful Irish Aid programme. We now need to do the same in the face of the refugee crisis.

"Taoiseach Enda Kenny also needs to argue more forcefully at a European level for legal and safe access for refugees to the EU.

"The Dublin Regulation which means that those seeking asylum need to do so in the first EU country in which they arrive needs to be suspended in the face of the present crisis."


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