‘We Must Demand Safe, Legal Channels To Europe’

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A boat carrying people seeking refuge in Europe capsizing in the Mediterranean last week

Our proud tradition as a nation that speaks up for the voiceless is being undermined by the failure to speak up and demand a humanitarian response to the continuing crisis on Europe’s shores.

Ireland was once the country that people under threat of starvation, torture and war could count on for solidarity.

When others turned away, we offered shelter during the Bosnian conflict, brought the plight of Somalia to the floor of the UN and stood firm against apartheid.

Unfortunately the same cannot be said in terms of the current crisis.

Ireland must refocus the European and global debate away from bogus arguments and back to the needs of men, women and children fleeing barrel bombs, chemical attacks and executions.

We must speak up and demand safe legal channels to Europe, with every country doing its bit and offering people a genuine chance to restart their lives.

Our silence, coupled with the continuing unacceptable delay in honouring our own promise to shelter 4,000 people, is difficult to understand – in particular in light of the widespread public calls for action just six months ago.

It is time for Ireland to rediscover its humanitarian voice and show the most vulnerable people of the world that they are not forgotten.

Brian Killoran,
Chief Executive,
Immigrant Council
of Ireland,
2 Andrew Street,
Dublin 2.

Ireland and a humanitarian crisis (Irish Times letters page)

Pic: Al Jazeera

52 thoughts on “‘We Must Demand Safe, Legal Channels To Europe’

      1. Dόn 'The Unstoppable Force' Pídgéόní

        Mostly all saved – others were stuck below deck and drowned. The radio here had an interview with the captain of the ship that saved them. The sailors went and bought teddies for all the children so they would have something to play with

        *mmmffh*

  1. eamonn clancy

    And where do we put these poor people? Out on the streets with the homeless? Either we have a housing crisis or we don’t. Which is it?

    1. Kieran NYC

      You must be delighted with the homeless crisis since it gives you something to troll drowning refugees with

  2. A Certain Ratio

    Thanks but no thanks Brian. I’m happy for some of our proportionally massive overseas aid budget to go to help these poor people, but I don’t want them here in some kind of mega-Mosney hell.

    Also, where are the trillionaire Saudis in all of this?

        1. Dόn 'The Unstoppable Force' Pídgéόní

          Question – do you think Twitter etc has made people less able to hold nuanced and complicated understanding of complex issues? I just feel that EVERYTHING these days has to be black and white, it couldn’t possibly be more detailed and tricky to think about and people couldn’t possibly get off their holes to find out more than what they read on their mate’s FB page or see for 2 mins on the news at 10.

          I despair, I really do. Because these people go on to vote on very important issues and are doing so without all the facts or massive “misinterpretations” of the facts. That is terrifying!

          Maybe I have #euref fatigue. Wake me on the 24th June guys.

          1. The Real Jane

            I agree, Don. I think it’s a combination of things – there’s a widespread mistrust of information and knowledge making anyone who knows stuff a bit suspect but also there’s the internet. Now not only can we potentially know everything ever known, there is also no distinction between what my mate Biffo reckons and facts that are difficult to parse. Except Biffo has a rant on facebook that’s easy to understand and the other stuff is hard and Biffo argues with conviction so maybe he knows what he’s talking about and who knows what’s right anyway, so, you know…

          2. Dόn 'The Unstoppable Force' Pídgéόní

            Jane, it’s gets on my tits like a 15 yr old boy on summer camp. I swear to god…..

            *deep breaths*

      1. Tony

        Where would we put them Don? I know you live over in UK so yourself and held of could take 5 if we put them on the ferry. The other 5,000?

          1. Dόn 'The Unstoppable Force' Pídgéόní

            Oh, you did it anyway! Congrats! What a pointless comment and conversation!

        1. Dόn 'The Unstoppable Force' Pídgéόní

          “Quick person with a different view from mine! Come up a completely foolproof viable strategy encompassing all of the states of the EU and Turkey and addressing all of the drivers for the people in those boat or stfu and go away with your pointless opinion”

          Black. And. White. Another point of deflection and misinformation. You should have just said something about celebrities taking them in and been done with it.

          1. Tony

            Sorry Don. You chose to play on here. Not huff or other sites. Seeing as you try to set the tone for here, you should eat it when it’s served back to you. It must be exhausting trying to be so perfect in the eyes of your peers.

        1. Dόn 'The Unstoppable Force' Pídgéόní

          Not at all – everyone needs to be seeing these articles. Interestingly, most of the more calm ones seem to come from Buzzfeed or Huff Post both of which have their own issues!

      2. A Certain Ratio

        No addressing the foreign aid budget thing, I see?

        The only thing I’d believe out of the KSA is money – more money for refugees, less money for MANPADS for jihadis and Wahhabi nut-bar “schools”.

        1. Dόn 'The Unstoppable Force' Pídgéόní

          What, the aid budget that goes to a variety of things like girl’s education and gender equality, health care, preventing and treating HIV/AIDS, environmental factors, human rights, schooling, hospitals, infrastructure in countries that ARE NOT EVEN THE SAME COUNTRIES THESE PEOPLE ARE FLEEING FROM? THAT BUDGET?

          I’m surprised you can breathe with a brain that dumb.

          1. A Certain Ratio

            I’m surprised you can type all the way up on your high horse. I am impressed at your faith in Irish goverment institutions to the extent you believe they can handle any level of refugees. The poor fockers would be thrown out in the burren under some polythene sheets.

            Very slowly, once more – we aren’t competent enough to handle our own peoples’ housing and homeless – how do you expect us to manage a load of traumatised people who can never get a job here, don’t speak the language?

          2. Dόn 'The Unstoppable Force' Pídgéόní

            Dude, it took me 5 seconds to google Irish Aid budget to find out what it is spent on and where. It’s called informing yourself not being on my high horse. Try it instead of repeating trite and hackneyed whatabouteries.

            And your excuse is the Irish are too incompetent to handle refugees?! So convenient to pull that one out but then have a big cry about it if someone else ever says anything like it. Grow up.

          3. A Certain Ratio

            Take a breath there, sweetie. It’s just internet points at stake..

            If you’re happy to increase the size of our shameful Mosney poo-hole of a solution, then go ahead. It’s not an excuse, it just seems to be the way things go around here. We’re not magically going to get our act together for refugees, particularly when there’s no money in it for Paddy. Look at the Limerick regeneration project for example. That’s actual Irish citizens abandoned by their government.

            If you can think beyond your #SJW #refugeeswelcome mindset and witness the reality of any Irish state-backed project, you might just realise that we’d be better off either :

            *increasing* the state aid budget to back camps not 3000 miles away from where these people are from

            or

            *reapportioning* some of that same budget to go to the relief efforts closer to their homes.

            You might also take into account that the Refugee Appeals Tribunal refusal record is reflective of the Govt’s actual stance on this matter – they don’t want refugees at all.

            Dude.

          4. Mark Dennehy

            Step 1 : Save the ones that are drowning in the hundreds every week.
            Step 2 : Beat some human decency into the people who needed a ducking plan to know that was step one.

          5. Dόn 'The Unstoppable Force' Pídgéόní

            Yes. Someone refusing to continue to “debate” you because you have a fundamental lack of understanding of the facts is “winning”.

            Flaptwozel.

          6. They Tried To Make Me Go To Rehab

            @ A Certain Ratio

            No-one here cares for your sexist, misogynistic, uninformed drivel.

        2. Tony

          Exactly. It took you 5 seconds don. How about spending a day helping? Or a week? Or maybe just a tut tut and a tweet.

          1. The Key of G

            You’re the worst sort of chauvinist ar$ehole. How galling it must be for you that women drink pints

          2. Dόn 'The Unstoppable Force' Pídgéόní

            I’m helping sure you idiots up so I’m fine thanks. Something something geldof is the best counter argument you can make. Lol.

      3. Djin Genie

        That article also oversimplifies things, though, and takes the inflated Saudi government figures at face value.

        Alternative figures give 250K Syrians living in SA before the conflict. An additional 500K have come since, many of whom are family members sponsored by those pre-existing Syrian residents. They’ve been permitted to live and work in SA for now, but have far fewer rights than refugees. This article explains it quite well: http://www.zahrahankir.com/saudi-arabia-math-syrianrefugees

        So it’s certainly more than zero assistance, and SA have also donated $700m in aid. But as Saudi has been bankrolling the conflict with the goal of destabilising Iran, how relevant is that? Saudi and the US were the instigators of this proxy war with Russia, Iran and Iraq so they are the ones who should be paying for the fallout. Instead Europe and uninvolved neighbouring nations are shouldering the burden. The Western media hasn’t gone far enough in lambasting how little they’re doing for the refugees they created, in my opinion.

    1. A Certain Ratio

      Genius stuff. Seems we don’t care enough to put our existing homeless in any of these 200k houses (who owns them, by the way?), but we can ship in immigrants to beat the band.

        1. A Certain Ratio

          high praise from a professional commenting ar$€hole such as yourself…

          See my above comprehensive baiting of the so-called “unstoppable force” pigeon brain. I’m on hand to explain any of the difficult words if you have trouble understanding.

          1. B Hewson

            Your plan. 200k houses x 5 people per house = 1 million migrants into a country of 5 million….your a loon

      1. They Tried To Make Me Go To Rehab

        we can ship the likes of you out at the same time if you want
        no one will experience any loss

      1. Dόn 'The Unstoppable Force' Pídgéόní

        Put Tony, never knowing the sweet loving embrace of a retweet…

  3. Turgenev

    The Pakistan Army Corps if Engineers

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pakistan_Army_Corps_of_Engineers

    (Wiki: “Although the Corps is generally associated with dams, canals and flood protection, it performs variety of public works for the Government of Pakistan, only if it is ordered by the civilian Prime minister.”)

    built the Karakoram Highway (with some Chinese aid):

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/may/31/witnessing-death-neoliberalism-imf-economists

    Could our government decide the homeless and refugee crises are a crisis and setting Óglaigh na hÉireann to build homes for both Irish and refugees?

    Weren’t we supposed to take [a mingy] 5,000 refugees, by the way? How many are living here now?

  4. Turgenev

    Uncertain whether it’s a reference to a country bordering India or one to the army of my country that has the eeekometer holding my comment for moderation.

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