Statement on Syrian Refugees Seeking Asylum in the Republic of Ireland

by Lúgh ó Braonáin

7th April  2016

Summary

Human Appeal encourages the Irish Government to progress the IRP Programme. We encourage the Irish people to support the State’s humanitarian response, while requesting for an increase in positive aid and interventions. We continue to support Syrians coming to Ireland via the IRP Programme. We remind the Irish people there are very many concrete ways in which they can help the victims of the Syrian conflict in Syria itself and in the surrounding region.

 

As an organisation that has been working inside Syria and throughout the surrounding region for many years, we have a particular interest in the situation of those wishing to seek asylum in Ireland.

Our very close ties with the Irish Syrian community has meant that we are very aware of the issues surrounding this process.

We welcome the Irish government’s decision on 10th September 2015, to establish the Irish Refugee Protection Programme (IRP Programme). This programme has committed to take in 4,000 people fleeing the conflict in Syria.

According to the IRP Programme this figure includes approximately 2,620 asylum seekers to be taken in directly from Greece and Italy under a relocation programme, and approximately 520 people to be brought in from refugee camps in Jordan and Lebanon by the end of 2016.

To date only a small number of people from this total have come to Ireland from Syria.

We have been told by the IRP Programme that the number of relocations effected to date reflects the fact that the EU relocation programme has been slow in developing due to resource issues at the ‘hotspots’ in Greece and Italy. In some cases, it can take around two months for the relocation of an asylum seeker to be completed. The latest reports available indicate, however, that these ‘hotspots’ in both Greece and Italy are becoming more operational as additional resources are allocated. Moreover, relocation numbers may increase over the coming months with the EU-Turkey deal becoming fully operational.

While we do not believe that the EU-Turkey deal will provide a solution to the key problems, we hope that the process by which Syrian people are eventually granted asylum here is indeed speeded up and made more efficient.

Human Appeal Ireland is in close contact with many of those people who have come here through the various government asylum projects devised to alleviate the hardships endured by Syrian people, and we have been able to offer constructive advice to many of them.

We recognise that the Irish State is offering assistance including full board, accommodation and other supports, for example health and education, and we thank them for this.

We feel that all assistance to be offered by NGO’s take place through the appropriate offices and so are happy to liaise with the relevant government agencies and their appointees.

For the moment, Human Appeal encourages the Irish Government to progress the IRP Programme. We look forward to its success.

We also encourage concerned Irish people to support the State’s humanitarian response as it is, while requesting for an increase in positive aid and interventions.

We continue our commitment to supporting Syrians coming to Ireland in whatever way best compliments the IRP Programme.

We also remind the Irish people there are very many concrete ways in which they can help the victims of the Syrian conflict in Syria itself and in the surrounding region.

 “We work closely with the Syrian community in Ireland and in their home country. The Irish people generally are very welcoming of those seeking asylum here. Our friends within the Syrian Irish community are grateful for the assistance given to them under the government programme. However, they regularly stress to us that those still in Syria and the surrounding region have urgent and pressing needs and urge the people of Ireland to do what they can to help meet these needs”

Belkacem Belfedhal,

Manager, Human Appeal Ireland

For More Information, please contact Fiona Duffy PRO, (01) 2910006