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State of the Union address highlights need for urgent humanitarian action – Liadh Ní Riada MEP

9 September, 2015 - by Liadh Ní Riada MEP

Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada has reiterated the need for immediate action around the ongoing humanitarian crisis, following President Juncker's' State of the Union address this morning.

Speaking from Strasbourg, Ní Riada stated;

"The fact that the majority of President Juncker's' speaking time was spent talking about the migration issue, is in itself proof that actions need to be taken

"His speech was a basic recognition that European foreign policy is not working and the EU must provide safe and legal channels to Europe.

"I, alongside my Sinn Féin and GUE/NGL colleagues in the European Parliament, as well as our public representatives North and South have been calling for European Governments, including our own, to drastically increase the intake of refugees, and to increase support for rescue and recovery missions at sea.

The MEP for the South, Ms Ní Riada continued:

"The Irish Government must immediately implement much needed reforms to the protection system to ensure those currently in the system and those entering it are treated with respect and dignity. This includes urgently introducing the International Protection Bill, as well as ensuring that reforms to direct provision are made to create a more humane reception system for asylum seekers.

"Ireland should suspend the Dublin regulations for those entering the state from designated ‘hot spots’ (i.e. places with high recognition rates), such as Syria, Eritrea, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan,  from where the vast majority of those crossing the Mediterranean are currently arriving.

"Our people have known the pain of being refugees, of boarding coffin ships, of leaving everything behind and of risking their lives to survive. As the President rightly pointed out, have we forgotten there are more O'Neills & Murphys in the USA than in Ireland?

"It would be illusory to think that the migrant challenge would be solved in the short term. The root causes, as to why we are in this refugee crisis need to be addressed but for now we must act together and put continuous pressure on the Irish Government and the governments of Europe to do more."

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