Minister Charlie Flanagan, with Dr Kamal Abouhajar, chairperson of the Irish Syrian Community, at a recent Irish Syrian celebration in Portlaoise.
Minister Charlie Flanagan has announced that Ireland intends to make a pledge to accept 600 programme refugees in 2018.
This commitment has been made as part of a new EU resettlement pledging exercise under the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund, for the period 9 December 2017 - 31 December 2018.
The Laois-based Minister 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.”
To date over 1,300 people, including over 650 children have found a new and safe home in Ireland. Around 13 Syrian families have resettled in Portlaoise in recent years, fully integrating into the local community. More families may come to Laois in the coming year as a result of the resettlement programme.
Of the over 1,300 persons arrived in the State to date under the IRPP, approximately 720 have been housed in communities across Ireland so far with a further small number in the care of Tusla.