Ireland will accept 600 refugees in 2018

Minister Charlie Flanagan today announced that Ireland intends to accept 600 refugees in 2018.

This commitment has been made as part of a new EU resettlement pledge.

Minister Flanagan said: "This includes a commitment to take an additional 330 programme refugees above the 270 people who are due to arrive in 2018. This demonstrates Ireland’s continuing commitment to play a full and active part in the EU efforts to meet the challenges of the migration crisis."

Minister Flanagan said the Government was responding to an "unprecedented humanitarian crisis".

"The aim of the programme then as now is to offer a welcome safe haven for families and children who have been forced to leave their homes due to war and conflict," he said.

Minister Flanagan said over 1,300 people, including 650 children, have found a new home under the programme.

Minister Flanagan confirmed that Ireland will have met its commitment to formally pledge for 1,089 people from Greece by the end of this month with all 1,089 due to arrive in Ireland by the end of the year or early in the new year.

He stressed the need to examine solutions to eliminate dangerous journeys for migrants, including removing the initiative from the people smugglers through in-country supports, direct investment, resettlement programmes and other legal pathways.

He praised communities around the country for welcoming refugees.

"Ireland has always lived up to its international humanitarian obligations. We have a reputation as a kind, generous people open to the world. I am delighted that the people of Ireland have responded with compassion in welcoming those who have suffered greatly but have found in Ireland a place of refuge."

Ireland has committed to accept 1,040 refugees by the end of 2017 under the resettlement strand of the programme.

The programme has accepted 785 people already and the remaining 255 people are due by early 2018.

Of the 785 persons in Ireland under resettlement 359 are adults and 426 are minors.

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