Ireland Must Offer Assistance in EU Refugee Crisis – Smith

Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Trade, Brendan Smith TD has called on the Irish Government to play its part in finding a solution to the current EU refugee crisis being witnessed in the Mediterranean. Deputy Smith stated that the latest tragedies on the coast of Italy and Greece raised serious questions about how the European Union deals with those seeking to escape violence and political unrest in their home countries.

Deputy Smith stated, “No one could remain unmoved by the great tragedy we witnessed over the weekend with the capsizing of a boat with hundreds of people from Libya on board, and the resulting deaths of many of these migrants. Sadly, this is becoming an increasingly regular European news story. The failure of political leaders to agree on a European wide plan to address the refugee crisis thus far only serves to confirm how dark these past two days have been.

“I am calling on EU Foreign Affairs Ministers and the Governments of all 28 Member States of the Union to agree an EU wide strategy to deal with this crisis. Even though Ireland is geographically apart from the tragedies unfolding in the Mediterranean, we have a moral duty to play our part in finding a solution to this crisis. We must accept that we have a part to play in any new EU refugee strategy. We must accept a proportion of refugees in order to ease the strain on the southern European states. I am calling on the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade to outline his proposals in this regard as well as our overall role in the EU’s strategy.”