The EU’s refugee relocation programme – which was to relocate 160,000 asylum seekers from Greece and Italy in two years from September 2015 – is moving at a glacial pace.
The Irish Times today reports on Ireland’s involvement in the scheme.
A front page report headlined, “‘Very low’ take-up of EU refugee programme in Ireland – Only 20 asylum seekers have applied to Ireland so far as part of relocation plan’ may imply that asylum seekers currently waiting in Greece and Italy are able to choose the country in which they would like to live.
Like picking a holiday location.
According to the European Asylum Support Office states (above) in a brochure for asylum seekers :
“It is not possible to choose the country to which you are relocated.”
This is the sort of urgent action which should be happening right now. The Labour Party should be taking advantage of the fact that they are in Government and that they are in a position to implement this change before the next election.
Furthermore, with the whole country so far away from a true economic recovery, wouldn’t you think our Government would be working overtime to deliver as much progress as possible before the election? Positive results will get them re-elected, yes?
Instead, all of our Ministers have become a bunch of politicians making similar announcement to the one above. “If Fine Gael are re-elected this will happen”;“If Labour are voted back into power that will happen”. If, if, if. None of them deserve to be re-employed by Ireland Inc.
Sonia O’Sullivan celebrates after winning a silver medal in the Sydney Olympics in 2000
“Was I cheated out of medals? Earlier in my career I tolerated a lot and just got on with training. Sometimes to such an extent that injury and illness were almost inevitable, and too often were. But I didn’t know any better. As an athlete I never wanted to let what others were up to bother or distract me. This wasn’t me being naive. It wasn’t something I could control. And I didn’t want to let it become an excuse.”
“… So I never said anything or questioned anyone because I felt this would only take energy away from me. And I knew I was doing the right thing. Some athletes were getting away with doing the wrong thing, over and over again, so that they believed that is what it took to be the best.”
“Only the athletes who never cheat truly know what they have achieved. There is no test for honesty, integrity, hard work.”
Most other newspapers, in Ireland and worldwide, used versions of the dead child on page one….we used what I think is the strongest image as the lead image on the first foreign news page. On page one we carried a picture of Michael Fingleton matching a report on his evidence to the Banking Inquiry.
…Were we right not to use the picture on page one?
In hindsight probably not – by the time we went to press later last night the images had gone viral and were all over news bulletins and Twitter.
The shock element by the time the paper hit the newsstands this morning was gone and most readers would have understood that these heartbreaking images of a dead innocent child… say more about our failure in Europe to deal with the refugee crisis than an acre of print.