leo varadkar

Image via Twitter.com/@merrionstreet

The Government is going to pay 1.5 million euro to a refugee aid scheme due to its inability to house 350 refugees.

The system was set up to re-home migrants arriving in the Mediterranean with Ireland agreeing to partake before the war in Ukraine.

Ireland signed up to the European arrangement to rehome asylum seekers arriving in the EU via the Mediterranean, to help out the countries baring the brunt like Greece and Italy.

Since then however the war in Ukraine has reduced what Ireland can provide, according to the Taoiseach:

“We’re now one of the countries under pressure because we’ve taken in nearly 100,000 people mainly from Ukraine but also from other parts of the world and that changes things.”

While Tánaiste Micheál Martin denied media reports Ireland is being fined:

“The alternative then was for Ireland to make a contribution to such countries in lieu of taking asylum seekers. It’s not a fine it’s something that we voluntarily entered into.”

Secretary General of the Irish Red Cross Deirdre Garvey says longer term plans to accept more migrants are needed:

“The numbers of migrants, lets be honest, with climate change, it is likely to increase over the years. We have to address this in solidarity with other countries.”

The plan to spend 1.5 million to NOT take in 350 migrants was signed off on by Cabinet this morning.