herald

Thursday 8 December 2016

Hundreds of fleeing refugees have found safety in Ireland

ASYLUM

Sue Conlan
Sue Conlan

Ireland formally accepted almost 600 people from areas of conflict around the world last year.

New figures on the response of EU States to the global refugee crisis showed Ireland granted asylum status to 225 people, "protection" status to another 270 people, and accepted a further 95 re-settled refugees from other countries. All three groupings will be entitled to Irish citizenship.

The biggest numbers of people admitted into Ireland came from Afghanistan and Iraq with 55 coming from each of the two countries. Forty people were accepted from Sudan.

Some other EU countries accepted much greater proportions. Denmark, similar in size to Ireland, accepted 5,765 people last year.

Germany allowed entry to 47,555, granting most of them refugee status, followed by Sweden - 33,025, France - 20,640, Italy - 20,630 and the UK - 14,065.

In all, EU member States granted protection to more than 185,000 asylum-seekers last year, according to Eurostat figures just released.

The Irish Refugee Council welcomed the actions of Ireland in the crisis.

"Ireland did well in terms of numbers of people accepted for refugee or protection status," said the council's chief executive Sue Conlan.

"Because of Ireland's geographical location, we are not getting as many applications."

A Department of Justice spokeswoman said over the past 10 years more than 30,000 persons who have come through the protection process in Ireland have been granted Refugee Status and Leave to Remain in the State.

"This is a very large response in terms of the size and population of our country," she said.

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